Welcome to the Free project

Read the Interview with Camilla Gustafsson, founder of the free Project organization, who created her own orphanage in Ghana with only 24 years old.

img_7895_537b29602a6b2258ada611f4

 

There are special people in the world. People who dedicate a lot of their time to help others and make their lifes happier. It does not have to be a big thing, I always say it’s not about changing the world but to do the best to make it a little bit better. Today I want to introduce you to Camilla, she is one of these people who is giving and sharing a lot to others without expecting anything back… I read an article in a magazine in Sweden about her project, The Free project, and I decided to contact her for an informal interview to share with you here on my blog. I was so impressed how a girl of only 24 years could create all of this by her own and with such a confidence. After meeting her, I am not only more impressed about her and her job at The Free Project, I also have gained a friend with whom I hope to create a lot of beautiful things together. Thank you Camilla for your time and these fantastic words!

 

Captura de pantalla 2014-06-22 a la(s) 23.11.48

dsc_0665_52696c5ce087c3436e0879e3

 

Explain me a little about you before The Free project started…
As early as 12 years old I remember having dreams to travel to Africa. There was just something about the continent that fascinated me. I was a normal rebellious teenager, actually I was not very motivated in school, I didn’t fit in or feel that my strengths were put to use. When I grew up I wanted to create something for myself. I started thinking about a volunteer trip. “What can I do in my life to contribute and create a change in the world”. I booked a volunteer trip to Ghana for 3 months. I found a place where there was no NGOs, no water, no electricity, and 25 children orphans.
How was to be there?
I fell in love with these people, it was very easy to make a difference. A lot of hard work and energy! I really connected with all of them.

p1010413_534ea2b39606ee3ca68c7764

When was the Free project born?
October 2012.
My goal was to start to create things to be able to do this by myself. Learning by doing. When I came back to Sweden I started working as a receptionist and suddenly I felt I wanted to go back to Ghana and do more, start a school and learn. I was 22 years old. I rented out my apartment, sold a lot of my belongings to have money to invest in what now has become the FREE project. 8 months after been in Sweden, saving money and fundraising, working with the creation of the project and bureaucratic stuff I came back to Ganha.
What is your exact role in the Free Project? Are you running the project alone?
Everything, I do everything by myself… It’s a one women business!!! In Ghana there is also a group of local staff caring for the children, helping with construction, etc.
Tell me about the project…
The Free project started of with helping orphans in a small village in the north of Ghana. We built a orphanage for them, legalized it and gave them clothes, schoolbooks, food and other aid. In the next round I went back to Ghana with the aim to build a junior high school, a public school without any fees not only for the orphans but other kids in the area. The project met a lot of challenges and due to drought and shortage of water, sickness, corruption and finally a big storm that took down a big part of the building. This caused us to pause the building process an I decided to go back to Sweden, gather more strength and capital to return to the orphanage in July/August to finish the school building and most importantly – drill a borehole to end the critical water situation that was not only affecting the construction but leading to that many kids do not have access to clean water.
 
How is your day in Ghana?
No day is like the other. It varies a lot. And that is also one thing I love about my work. I usually wake up around 5.30 when the sun comes up and the kids wake up (I live in a room at the orphanage). After eating breakfast and playing a little bit with the kids we get them ready for school. When the kids have eaten and gone to school we go to the constructions site (07.00) to start up the work at the building. We work with both men and women and every body has his or her own purpose and we try to give people responsibility and the chance to try new things and develop themselves.

 

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

 

Are you working with any big sponsor or another NGO?
Today I´m working alone without the cooperation with any bigger companies. My fundings come from a couple of different companies and organizations.
 
How do you feel now? Has it changed your life?
More confident. I believe in myself because I have proven that it is possible to make a change. My heart is divided in two places, the attention is doubled. I am more careful where I invest my time and energy.

saco3_5299fa9f2a6b2269b6c9e984

 

New projects? How do you see the Free Project in 10 years?
Now I want to study digital media creative in Sweden. I also want to develope my organization to do more and reach even longer – The Free project around the world.
 
A message to share with everybody….
My message that I want to share with who ever is reading this is that don’t give up on your dreams. Put yourself out there and believe that you can, because no one is going to do it for you. To be able to do more and to learn we have to force ourselves in tonew situations and yes, it can be scary somethings, and yes, you will fail. But the important thing to remember is that its going to get better. Not always what you thought from the beginning, but you will learn and end up in beautiful places you didn’t even thought existed. “To be able to see the rainbow you have to look through the rain”.

 

RSCN6719

THANK YOU CAMILLA FOR THESE BEAUTIFUL WORDS AND FOR SHARING WITH ME AND ALL THE READERS EVERYTHING ABOUT THE FREE PROJECT AND YOURSELF.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT VISIT THEIR WEBSITE, SPREAD THE WORD, AND IF YOU WANT YOU ALSO CAN CONTACT HER TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW TO COLLABORATE WITH THE PROJECT.
 
 
 
Thanks with love,
LV
No Comments

Post a Comment