Saturday, December 27, 2014

Follow us:
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to this news feed 


Capital Region

Lessons learned in Schoharie County will help people around the world

  • Text size: + -
Albany/HV: Lessons learned in Schoharie County will help people around the world
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

out of 10

Free Video Views Remaining

To get you to the stories you care about, we are offering everyone 10 video views per month.

Access to our video is always free for Time Warner Cable video customers who login with their TWC ID.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

Thousands of volunteers have flocked to upstate New York to help complete strangers recover from Tropical Storm Irene. But for some, the experience of helping people they've never met before, will allow them to help their own families. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, lessons learned in Schoharie County will travel around the world.

MIDDLEBURGH, N.Y. -- Sitting in the Middleburgh Village Hall, Donald Osei-Owusu, 24, an Americorp Vista, is a long way from his family and friends in Ghana, Africa.

"I heard there was a flood here, and people were struggling. I felt like this was a good way for me to use the skills that I've learned to help a community," said Osei-Owusu.

Donald is one of twelve VISTAS currently helping with flood recovery throughout Schoharie County.

"They've helped to recruit over 600 volunteers, and helped to bring in over $24,000 in fund development," said Jerrine Corallo, VISTA Supervisor for SALT.

Donald says he's most proud of an idea he got funded, to build an information kiosk here on Main Street, to help boost tourism in the area.

"There will be room for brochures, and a map of the Main Street area," said Osei-Owusu.

But while Donald is helping our neighbors rebuild, he's also learning valuable lessons to help revitalize his own community.

Osei-Owusu said, "That's pretty much my ultimate goal, I don't care if I make money doing it. The per capita income in Ghana right now is less than $2,000 annually."

"That is one of the underlying benefits of being a VISTA, the experience you get and get to take onto the next opportunity you take advantage of," said Corallo.

Donald has helped businesses here in Middleburgh get back on their feet by applying for grants. A skill he says will go a long way back in Ghana.

"Being here has taught me a lot about what it takes to get things going, and I think that will take a me a long way to be able to make a difference back home in Ghana," said Osei-Owusu.

Donald will serve in Middleburgh through the end of August. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP