Ghanaian Arthur Lailah Gifty Akita once said that for a person to be successful, they had to be daring, passionate, and persistently pursue their dreams. A 30-year-old Virginia native has embodied this narrative in the endless pursuit of her dreams.
Brittney Caldwell, who developed a zeal for African Culture, found her passion when she toured the continent while on vacation. So amazing was her experience, that she sought to return and ultimately settled in Kenya- selling her house in the United States in the process. What pushed her to make the daring move?
Speaking to Travel Noire, Caldwell explained that she was instantly hooked after a Christmas trip to the continent.
American tutor Brittney Caldwell posing for a photo.
“I knew I wanted to go back again, but I wanted my return visits to have more purpose, and not just be for a vacation,” she stated.
Her passion led her to visit Ghana, where she spent much of the time volunteering in schools, especially in areas that were in need. Most of the time, the students lacked basic amenities as well as school supplies that were vital in their education.
“I was so amazed by the children. The children were so smart, yet they managed to stay engaged with so few resources. The building was so worn down, they would literally get rained on some days,” she stated.
The US native raised funds in order to set up a computer laboratory within the vicinity. Caldwell undertook her charity work in both Ghana and Kenya- which she admitted was only a five-hour trip.
Narrating the experience on her YouTube channel, she entailed that while in the US, she had received a job offer in Kenya. She, however, resorted to volunteering in Ghana first before ultimately settling in Kenya.
“People ask me, ‘well, are you in Ghana or Kenya.’ When I begin applying for positions, I wasn’t able to secure the job I wanted with an international school in Ghana. But after visiting, I also felt at home in Kenya, so I took a position with an international school here.
I traveled between Ghana and Kenya —which is only a 5-hour trip, and much closer than being in the US— while we go through the building process, she noted.
Caldwell ended up selling her house and quitting her job in the US in order to teach at the International School of Kenya (ISK) as her first overseas teaching position.
She currently aspires to build schools in the country, while traversing the continent in order to fully experience the African culture.
An aerial view of the International School of Kenya.