I met them in 2012, when I went to Ghana for the first time, on a whim, not knowing what I was getting myself into - but it is the greatest thing I have ever done in my life, and changed my world forever.
I lived there for 3 months in a small village with these kids, and leaving them was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I promised to always care about them. I go back now at least once a year. They have become my heart. I think about them every day. They are the most spirited, kind-hearted, grateful group of kids I have ever met and I want to cry when I talk about them <3 Their focus is never on what they don't have - it is always on how they can make-do with what they have. It is an awesome thing to see, and to learn from these little humans who have such different life experiences than me. They have taught me some priceless things about life that I never would have known - and I feel like anything I can give them is small in comparison.
With that said - there are a lot of things they need that they just learn to go without. They all like to look "fresh" for school (lol, their words, not mine), and they are often sent home if they don't look presentable (so frustrating!). If there is no money for backpacks or notebooks, they just don't get any. They all learn to take what they can get, but sometimes that is nothing.
I want to surprise them this year before they go back to school and get everyone new uniforms (maybe even some new shoes and clean white socks like they like), a backpack, and proper supplies. They deserve to feel like all of the other kids on their first day - which is September 3rd.
A $30 donation would be enough to get one kid complete with a uniform, supplies, and probably the most giant smile you'll ever see :)
Cause #2: Send Enock Dickson to his second year of college.
He is from the small village of Ofaakor, Ghana. I met him when I went to live there in 2012. He was 13, and in his last year at the local school. I taught 6th grade, and he was in form 3. He saw me around and started asking me questions. I began tutoring him at night, and I was amazed at how smart he was. The shcool systems there do the best they can, but its really up to the kid to soak in the education. He took full advantage of every piece of information he was give. He wanted to know anything I could teach him.
When I left there, I got word he needed money to go to high school. For many kids over there, middle school (form 1, 2 & 3) is where education ends for them because high schools are boarding schools which you have to go away to, pay school fees, and pay living expenses. He was so smart I knew he needed this opportunity. I successfully supported him in high school via school fees, and was SO PROUD when he graduated.
He began teaching for a little while, but teaching jobs don't pay even enough money to live on. He has been studying and taking various tests, but still remains among the small village, unsure of his future but has every tool to make it so bright - except money.
He contacted me to see if I could help him, and apologized for stressing me out asking for money. The truth is, there simply is no other way for these kids. I applaud his integrity and his belief in himself. I read through the forms and got really emotional because I remember how college was one of the best times of my life, and I want so badly to give that experience to him. I want him to get to live among other like-minded, smart individuals, relieve a little of his burden - because I know how it feels to feel like you're just floating out in the middle of nowhere - and I especially want to support him in his educational endeavors.
He has finished his first year, and will start a second at the end of the month. I will help him regardless, but am setting this up to maybe help lighten the load! The fee includes school tuition, and dorm fees, which came out to approximately $800. (The exchange rate is $1 to 4.72 Ghana cedis, so money goes a long way.)
I deeply appreciate anyone who wants to give even just $5. You don't know what it means to these kids to know that people in the US care about them.
If you would like to see some of my photos from past trips, here it is: Ghana Photos
If you would like to read the story/blog I kept in 2016, here it is: Ghana Blog 2016
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