The reason this turned into a rescue mission is because the children from Bentum were suffering greatly and the man who was running the orphanage was a con artist, taking advantage of the children, the volunteers and as we recently found out- the parents... To make a long story short, read the summary below to get a glimpse of what the kids have been going through these past couple of months...
1. On Nov 15th, me and 3 volunteers along with our local sister went to the orphanage in Bentum to take out the 17 children. We found out through Ophelia's mother that all of the children have parents. The man who was in charge of the orphanage basically went to the village where the children are from and told all the parents that Americans were opening a school and left him in charge. He collected money from the parents all the while the children were starved, dirty and mistreated. He told us volunteers that they were orphans and that only a couple of them have parents but that they could not take care of the children. We discovered that his orphanage was not registered and that he was lying to us and the parent. Once we found out this truth we decided to go the the village and speak with all of the parents. The parents were all loving parents and believed that the children were only boarding a school and that they would be back during holidays. We told the parents what we have been seeing and how the children were neglected, we paid for two tro tros and went to the orphanage with the parents to pick up their children.
2. We brought the children back to our home with the parent's consent until we figured out what was going on. As soon as we got the children out, ALL of the kids told me they were hungry and that they haven't eaten for two days. They stayed with is for 2 weeks because our intention was to find them a school since that was the only thing the parents couldn't afford. While they stay at our home, the children started to confess to us what was happening at the orphanage and what unfolded was horrendous.. They were starved days at the a time. The only food they ate, was the food we used to bring to the school. If we left the food for over the weekend, the man and his wife would take it and eat it themselves.
3. They were beaten.. The man used to make the children hold eachother down while he beat them with the cane on their backs.. He used to make the older boys hit eachother with the hammer.. And if they didn't, he would hit them himself...
4. We got a doctor to do an outreach program for the children to assess them and get them medicine and he or his wife never gave them the medicine.. One of the older boys gave the children the medicine and would get beat for it...
I mean, there is sooooo much that was going on that I can write a book... I will write a post on my Health Epiphany Facebook page with all of the details...
The reason I am doing this fundraiser is because I am here for another 2 months until January 20th and have to finish what I started... They ended up in evil hands because the parents were desperate to provide an education for their children... I promised the parents that I would help fund their school with the help of donations so that they never go through that again. The parents love their children but life is tough here in Ghana and if u don't have the means to pay for school fees or transportation, the children get no education. You see 8 year olds selling stuff in the streets during school hours just to pay their own school feels... It's quite inspiring actually...
School fees are about 100 Ghana Cedis per term for a good school. That's about $30 USD... For all 18 children for one term $600 USD will get them school materials as well as pay for their school fees.. Let's come together to help these families... All they want is their children to have a good education. The next term will begin in January so please spread the word. We are taking it one term at a time but what I hope for is for people to eventually sponsor these children and build a connection with these wonderful children. Being here in Ghana I have met the perfect person whom I trust with all my heart who can manage this for the sponsors and the children.
Maryann has been with us every step of the way and has cared for the children like a mother would when they stayed with us. She has been with us translating to the families and has proven to be trustworthy. Her love for God transpires through her love for the children and I can truly say that her heart is in the right place.
Thank you for taking the time to read this... I will keep updating through this page to keep u posted...
God bless you all!!!
- Charlene Garcia
- Yashira Figueroa
- Karla Donofrio
- Marissa Martinez
- Amy Garced
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