As some of you know, I am going to GHANA at the end of December to help with my friend’s foundation, Happy Kids.
GOAL: Raise $4,000
Originally started as a school in 1995, Elizabeth Gbone created Happy Kids as a response to the wide array of orphans and underprivileged children in rural area of Gbi-Wegbe, Ghana. Elizabeth began teaching vulnerable children under the trees. Happy Kids steadily grew to supporting over 100 children, but Elizabeth struggled to care and feed for them without proper infrastructure or resources.
Today, Happy Kids educates and feeds 200 children on a daily basis, and houses 50 vulnerable children and orphans. Their focus is on empowering the local community and children to learn income generating skills that can sustain their lives, while also sustaining the school and orphanage.
For more about Happy Kids, visit their website: http://happykidsfund.org/
The purpose on this trip is to:
1. Meet with Ghanaian political and socie-ecocomical leadership to advocate for the blocks in continued education, economic opportunity and gender equality that the children of Happy Kids (and beyond) face in underprivileged parts of Ghana.
2. Assess the Happy Kids School (infrastructure and resources) – repairing, cleaning and expanding on as many areas as we possibly can in our short time there.
3. Implement self-sustaining programs (i.e. assess the viability of a goat farm, the sewing project, and a taxi for teacher transportation and supplemental income for the school).
4. Bring Christmas and New Year's to the KIDS!
5. PLAY, LOVE and LEARN
In addition to the purposes above, I will be introducing the following Projects to Happy Kids:
Project 1 - P.E. - The kids LOVE soccer! And they are incredibly talented!! They are unable to scrimmage with the public school kids (as we are an orphanage) and while we’re looking to close that gap and allow our children to play with other children regardless of their school or economic status, we know our kiddos lack the basic resources to train. So, I am creating a jump-rope and speed ladder routine to teach them the importance of footwork and agility….and fun! I will also be teaching them some soccer practice drills from my playing days at SDSU.
Studies have shown that jumping aids in the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain. It improves spacial awareness, reading skills, memory, balance, coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance. Thank you SDSU Women’s Soccer for sharing your materials with an old alum.
Project 2 - Physical Well-Being - Handwashing. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. I am going to conduct a science experiment to show the kiddos how germs travel. Then, teach them why we should wash our hands, when to wash our hands, and how to wash our hands.
Each year, hundreds of millions of kiddos around the world are affected by health care-associated infections (HCAIs). Hand hygiene is a simple and effective solution to reduce both the spread of infection and multiresistant germs, and to protect these kiddos from health care-associated infection. We face many challenges when introducing western ‘medical science’ into the Happy Kids community. The differences between our view on health care, illnesses, diagnosis, and what we prescribe for recovery in comparison to the local, traditional views surrounding Happy Kids on these very topics are quite wide, often confusing, and swept under the rug. The difference between voodoo illness and medical illness presented a devastating, irreversible loss this year. Introducing the importance of hand-washing to the children of Happy Kids can make a tremendous impact and helps us bridge the gap on health and wellness. Thank you to our physicians at CHLA for helping me gather the content and knowledge for this project!
Project 3 - Bring Christmas and New Year's to GHANA! I, along with a team of Santa’s Happy Kids Helpers will be flying across the globe to make Christmas and New Years a reality for the 180+ children who live and learn at Happy Kids. Your donation raises money for presents, holiday meals, and a field trip the children.
Your support will help provide the following:
- Soap (couple years supply)
- Glo-germ (a handwashing science experiment)
- Handwashing educational materials (posters, coloring exercise, etc.)
- 50+ jump ropes
- Soccer cones
- Speed ladders
- Christmas presents
- New Year event supplies
- Essentials identified by Happy Kids Foundation
100% of all donations are going to support the Happy Kids Foundation!
Thank you for your support!
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