SAVANNAH SUNSET: Sharing Skills, Changing my Life (My VSO story)

By Rubelyn Yap

The author in Ghana. VSO photo

GHANA (BukidnonNews.Net/22 March 2019)–Over ten good years now have passed when I left a good paying and secured job, my friends, my family, my comfort, my home, my country. Not a single time, when I looked back, did I feel an amount of regret that I made the decision. My life has never been the same again.

Fast forward, I ended my stint with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) after five years. I have established a community-based and non-profit organization. I have received recognition for contribution in youth development and traveled the deepest part of Ghana, ventured into the Sahara and had malaria about hundred times.

I have met thousands of people of diverse background, shape and color. I have experienced heartbreak a couple of times. I even tried somersault in a car, shot at by armed robbers and lost very good friends. I have cemented friendships with trustworthy people and donors. I learned that I inspired many, especially women and girls. The list goes on. Now I am about to embark into another journey to the unknown — to test (again) the limits of my capability as a human being.

Coupled with courage, perseverance, understanding, flexibility and patience, I am ready to embrace a new career path again. Thanks to VSO.

VSO gave me the strength to face the world on my own, gave me determination to move in life with so much optimism with no matter what challenges. The experience gave me a full approach to tolerance of our differences as individuals, gave me the best attitude to adjust in all settings and most of all the endurance to take everything there is in the world.

VSO give me a life I never thought I have.

Life that is so full and meaningful. It taught me my purpose- to live and share.

“It is in sharing that life begins to have a meaning and purpose. The time you touch the lives of others is the time you truly live.”

VSO my salute! Cheers for the 60 years of changing lives!


(VSO Philippines, an independent, international development organization then called Bahaginan, posted Ms. Rubelyn Yap, then based in Malaybalay City, to VSO Ghana as Community Advocacy Officer, a pilot post in Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region in Ghana from 2008-2012. She is now running her own NGO in the same community and doing freelance writing with various NGOs. A version of this piece was published  by VSO in time for its 60th Anniversary in December 2018. Savannah Sunset is her column for BukidnonNews.Net)