FALLBROOK – Fallbrook resident and Pacific Ridge School senior Louisa Ballif visited Ghana’s capitol city of Accra for 10 days during the summer. She made the trip as part of Pacific Ridge’s global travel program. Her intent was to document the unique stories and lives of Accra’s residents through her passion for photography and videography.
Her photos, a mix of lifestyle shots and portraits, provide a glimpse into the contrast of a city’s absolute poverty and a community’s easy generosity.
“The people were so warm, kind, and open,” Ballif said. “They would invite me in and give me food even though they probably didn’t have enough to give.”
While in Accra, Ballif also took the time to visit several service organizations working within the city. One such organization was the Street Children Empowerment foundation, which provides advocacy, educational support, skill training and creative arts learning for school-aged children living on the streets.
“I left feeling very grateful for what I have, and inspired and motivated to help the people there,” Ballif said.
Finding ways to serve a community seems to be a family affair. Ballif’s grandparents, whom she stayed with during her trip, have spent two years in Ghana performing mission work. In San Diego County, Ballif is engaged in service-related projects at her church and school. At Pacific Ridge, she serves as All-School Student Council President and has been involved with service-learning groups working on issues ranging from hunger to the environment.
A collection of photos from her trip can be viewed at www.accra2013.tumblr.com.