October was a busy month for Light for Children volunteers and staff. Ulrika Thulin of Sweden did an internship the Public Works Department in Kumasi in building and architecture. She also stayed at Nsuta and volunteered at the Mampong Babies’ Home for one week. This was Ulrika’s second time volunteering with Light for Children, and we were very happy to welcome her back.
Fanny Lindström, Linnea Rydberg, and Jessica Hallerth of Sweden, and Yael Yeshurun of Israel arrived near the beginning of the month and spent a few weeks teaching English in local primary schools.
These four volunteers have since started working on the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Workshops. After 3 days of training with Emmanuel Kwarteng and Lisa Parsons, and designing new props and materials, they were ready to take their workshop to the schools.
A student religious society teamed up with Light for Children to entertain a large group of Kumasi children for the day. Children played football, did crafts, and enjoyed a bouncy castle and trampoline.
When they were not working, the volunteers kept busy with travelling and excursions. They visited Lake Bosumtwi and Bobiri Forest, as well as travelling to Cape Coast.
Earlier in the month, Lisa Parsons (Light for Children’s volunteer advisor and writer/editor) attended a writers’ workshop in Accra sponsored by the Ghana Book Trust and the Canadian Organization for Development Through Education (CODE). The workshop, led by well-known Canadian author Kevin Major, focused on fiction for 11 to 15 year old readers. Lisa is currently developing a reading and creative writing program for this age group, to be used in conjunction with the Education Center.
Light for Children’s project coordinator, Mike Owusu, visited a teachers’ residence project that is under construction in Jansa, to check on the progress of the work. The building will be completed next year if funds can be arranged, and will house 3 to 4 teachers.
Light for Children is representing local NGOs as part of a task force to investigate orphanages and children’s homes in the Ashanti region, and to enforce laws and regulations. Executive director Yaw Otchere visited some children in Akomadan who had been discharged from an orphanage that was closed because it was operating illegally and not giving proper care. The children have been re-integrated with their extended families, but problems remain, as the children remain attached to a former caregiver from the defunct orphanage. There is reason to fear that this caregiver may open his own institution illegally. The families will receive ongoing social and financial support to aid the reintegration process, funded by the former donors of the defunct orphanage.