Offinso Children’s Home Campaign – Ghana

CF

Good morning!

It has been a while! As always i have been keeping busy with work and all 🙂

Since my last visit to Ghana earlier this year, I have been back home in Scotland working and preparing for my next visit.  My plan is in fact to move over to Ghana next year longer term but if i am going to do this, I have to of course think of my career too.  I enjoy my job in Scotland very much and very blessed to have a great career in Law.  So, for me to leave my job behind, means I have to be well prepared and also think of furthering my career while abroad as a volunteer.   So, i have been checking into some Universities in Ghana to study Law and although this may seem ridiculous considering i already have a job in a Law firm all this while, it is in fact to keep me on track with my career in Law rather than move away and forget all about it!

Anyway, besides my plans for Uni, I of course still have my plans for the  Orphanage (Offinso Children’s Home).  On my last trip on March, i discussed some plans with the owner and have came up with a plan to build shower rooms, toilets and have concrete flooring place over the full ground at the orphanage.  The grounds at the orphanage are currently in a state due to the dust and dirt so this of course is a problem.  Due to the dirt and dust landing on the grounds, the kids of course become very dirty while playing around and not only that but the major issue is the dust the kids are breathing in.  This is causing them to have chesty coughs and poor breathing.   So first thing is first.  I want to have the full ground cemented and this will be my first project starting March next year.  To complete the full project (shower rooms, toilets and floors) will cost me around £8,000/£10,000.  I am of course saving all i can from my salary to fund this but I have now opened up a small campaign to try and raise £1,000 to put towards these costs.  I have recently had a increase in bills in Scotland and also trying to earn enough to cover my university fees so i have came to realize that saving £10,000 might be a bit difficult in the space of 9 months.  So by Gods grace i can save at least £6,000/£8,000 for my project and with the help of my campaign hopefully a further £1,000 from donations can be of great help towards the costs.

Below are some photos i took at the orphanage to show the current state of the washing/toilet area and grounds, to allow people to have an idea of what works are needing done and to also understand the great importance of these works being done.

toilet grounds

(ABOVE IMAGE – Current Showers)

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(ABOVE IMAGE – Current state of grounds at the orphanage)

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(ABOVE IMAGE – Current Toilet)

washroom

(ABOVE IMAGE – Current Bathing Area) 

If anyone can donate or knows someone who can donate i would be VERY grateful if you would kindly share my campaign.  I have previously posted about the orphanage and have previously asked those who can help to simply come along or donate clothes etc but this project i have started is going to be very costly and although i am still very much open to donations of clothes etc, this fund raiser is in fact the biggest task.   This will not only help the children’s health but will also improve their everyday life with shower rooms, working toilets and a clean, safe play ground for them. I strongly believe in taking matters to our own hands.  I can’t sit and wait for the government to make the change because it is not happening.  If i don’t take action then who will.

Please find my links below for my campaign and i am extremely grateful for any support given. I have opened two webpages up (GoFundMe and Crowdfunding) hopefully to reach out to more people around the world.  Please feel free to donate to either account.  Its much appreciated.

https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/OffinsoChildrensOrphange

https://www.gofundme.com/ChildrensHomeGhana

Thank you all in advance.

Kerry

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Offinso Children’s Home, Ghana

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From my previous posts, you will already be aware of my main reason for visiting Ghana so often. My main purpose has always been to work as a volunteer and it is something I am passionate about. So on my third trip I of course visited a lot of village schools again but this time I managed to visit a very special children’s home (Offinso Children’s Home). We had planned out an event for the kids to have fun and also give out clothes etc. But before the date of the event I got the chance to meet up with the owner of the children’s home.  On the morning I arrived at the children’s home I was shown around briefly before sitting down with the owner to go over the plans for the event. So this wonderful lady Sat in front of me greeted me and began to tell me the story of how Offinso children’s home came about. I knew this was going to be a wonderful story but what she told me next touched me so much that I really wanted to just pick her up and squeeze her tightly lol so she began to tell me how it all begin. Many years ago she was at her home just not too far from where the orphanage is now located, and she had heard a child’s cry from near by the house. So of course she eventually started to wonder why this crying was continuous so she went to check things out. To then discover a baby who had been abandoned by the parents. So her next action was to take the baby in. She then tried to locate the parent but from what I remember, no one stepped forward to collect the baby.  So, she raised the baby by herself instead.  She then went on to tell me how after this first time, she then started to take care of other abandoned babies and people also would approach her for help or to take in abandoned babies and raise them. She of course did. (There is way more detail to it that this but it was a lot to take in so excuse me for the missing details).

After some years of this wonderful role she had taken on, she then realised she will need a bigger place for these kids to stay so that was when she started to form a children’s home. From what I remember, given this was almost 1 year ago she told me the story, she then started to build a Small home with the little money available for these kids to stay. Gradually more and more people were dropping kids off to her leaving her with little space for all of them. So through the years she started to gradually bit by bit build more and more parts of the orphanage and also build a small school area for them to be taught and learn too. There were also some Americans she told me about who heard about this story and came by to see how they could help. They then provided her with a lump sum of money to help towards building this orphanage up. Today, the orphanage is what I would call, rather massive! There are four (or five) buildings on one plot of land, female bedrooms, male bedrooms, dinning hall area, school and of course the owners own living area. The owner is now getting older and that very weekend I visited she had just celebrated her 80th birthday if I am not mistaken.  So, her next plan for the orphanage is to have concrete floors put down on the orphanage grounds and a new roof for the dinning hall. This of course showed how she still doesn’t give up regardless of age. This lady is a blessing to these children.

So during my visit to the orphanage I had the pleasure to meet the first orphan she raised, who is now in his 20’s and completed university. Might I also add, this lady pays for these orphans tuition and pays for them to go to university. She told me how she wants to be able to send one orphan per year to university. Given there aged by then of course. So not only does she raise these kids but she also makes sure she gives them a future even after they grow up into adults! I don’t quite have the words to describe how wonderful and amazing this woman is but I wish everyone had the chance to sit with her and hear her story. As it was so detailed more than I can type. I felt extremely touched and till this very day I Still remember her every time I think of Ghana.

So, now in 2016 and its just 4 weeks left until I fly back to Ghana for the 4th trip. (I just booked my flight today ahhhh I’m so excited) and I will definitely be visiting the orphanage again to help in every way possible. Below I have posted some pictures of the event we held at the orphanage along with some pictures from my first visit to the orphanage. Oh, another touching part about his visit for me was, this one baby in particular, who I carried and played with at the orphanage, when I returned the second time, on the day of the event, she recognized me and reached her arms out to me and didn’t leave my side the whole event. I was so unbelievably touched and felt like she was my own daughter. I wished I could just take her home lol I pray she remembers me again this year. Below is her pictures. The first day she met me and the second time when she recognized me again.

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Enjoy the pictures below and oh, I will of course update everyone on my next visit in four weeks 🙂

A few pictures from the event.

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Returning from Ghana (3rd time around)

Hi everyone! 🙂
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I know I have been a stranger for what, almost a year or so? Wow! Anyway, a wholeeeeeee lot has happened in one year and I have a tone of posts coming up but to start it off I’ll keep it short and sweet.  So after that second trip to Ghana I was screaming and shouting over last year, I of course couldn’t help myself going back a 3rd time 😉 I missed Ghana so much I jumped back on a flight just a few months later.  I returned to Scotland after my second trip with a massive plan in my head and I had to fulfil it.  And that I did 🙂

On my second trip to Ghana I had this idea to help out a few village schools and orphanages (previously visited during this trip) but knew that what I had in mind would be costly.  So, as soon as I got back to Scotland I continued work at my job as normal but started saving extra hard this time and also started a small fund raiser around friends and family to gather every pound I could! As the idea I had was to get/buy as much school books, stationary, clothes and shoes for each village school I visited and most of all, for the orphanage which held a special place in my heart after meeting the amazing lady who owns and runs it. (I will be posting about this on another day, her story is wonderful).

So a few months after saving and gathering money i had more than enough to take over on my 3rd trip but just to get that bit extra, I took a few trips round my local primary schools and giveaway clubs and rounded up a whole load of schools books, pencils, pens and some kids shoes/clothes etc to take along. Now of course I had only a certain amount of luggage allowance so I took what I could (in two EXTREMELY large suitcases, it was not easy getting to and from the airport! Bitten off more books than I could chew!) Haha but nevertheless, it was all worth it!! And from my upcoming posts over the Christmas period, you will see exactly how it all went and read all about my 3rd trip to Ghana. Trust me, it’s the best one yet! 🙂 I am currently back in Scotland and planning my 4th trip to Ghana while also trying to build on my career here in Scotland (Hence the reason for my silence). Oh, I got a new job earlier this year with a different law firm this time so that’s more great news 🙂 Anyways, stay posted for my upcoming stories and pictures from my last trip.

Happy holiday’s!. 🙂

Street Hawkers

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Picture above: One of the lovely ladies i met on the way to Kumasi.

I’ve noticed that the word “hawker” is used differently in different parts of the world. Of course a lot of us only use it when referring to someone who sells good on the street by chanting out to people but after a bit of research on “Hawkers” i noticed Hawker is actually used slightly differently around the world.

Funny thing is that in my old home town in Scotland, the word “Hawker” is a word used to insult someone or saying someone is dressed badly or dirty. Like telling someone they look like a hawker would mean someone doesn’t look presentable or tidy. Not in all parts of Scotland but where i grew up that was the word older people tend to use a lot lol

My own definition on what a “Hawker” is, is pretty much just the same as most people. Someone who sells good on the street. A lot of people can be ignorant towards hawkers though and mistreat them as they see it as annoying to be disturbed by them. I think this is ignorance because they dont actually know and realize that they are just trying to make a living or earn some money.

While i was in Ghana of course there was a lot of street hawkers around and while some of them may be in your face a lot it is still something i learned to deal with and understand. A lot of people don’t stop to think about how hard they are working for a small amount of money first of all. Not to talk of the long hours in the heat too! Also i have heard some ignorant people saying they should just go and get a “real job” ! when in actual fact they have no idea why they don’t have a “real job” ! Street Hawkers can be doing that job because of a lot of reasons. One being they might not have the money to pay for university fees to get the job they dream of or some people might just be doing it as a job on the side. I have a close friend who’s mother is living very comfortably and has other jobs yet she still sells goods as a side job just because she enjoys it. So i think people shouldnt be quick to judge.

I actually met some lovely friendly people while out in Ghana who are street hawkers because i am a huge food lover and couldn’t resit buying almost every food i seen lol one thing i actually miss about Ghana was buying different foods from hawkers. Also i found it very handy when i was on the road a lot and got hungry or thirsty and there was the street hawkers to buy some food from.

I am interested to know what other people think about Hawking so feel free to post comments below 🙂

I haven’t been able to post on my blog as often as i would like to due to work but i would like to say thanks for all the views and comments! I’ll try and get more posts up soon as i will be back in Ghana on September to work as a volunteer as most people already know. So i should have a whole lot more to upload when i get a minute ! 🙂

Feel free to add me on facebook or drop me a message/email if you are interested in volunteering with us in Ghana too as we are still looking for people to come along and work in the school 🙂 You can find the ling below for our volunteer facebook page or visit the contact page on my blog for where to contact me direct. Thanks again! 🙂

MakeChange-Africa – (Our volunteer organization) – https://www.facebook.com/makechangeafrica