There isn’t too much new to report, things continue to be great over here. This past weekend Vlad and Becca went to Butre Beach, and I stayed behind in Bawjiase. For some reason, I have a really hard time leaving Bawjiase, even it’s just to travel around Ghana, haha. So I stayed back at cleaned the house with Fifi and Toffic, ate fufu at the orphanage, and fetched 8 buckets of water in a row! VICTORY! The kids are all doing great, healthy and happy:) The building is continuing to progress, The next installment from Mama Hope comes in today so they will start roofing.
Some new and exciting news: Another previous volunteer, Melinda Beyer, has decided to partner with Mama Hope to raise money for United Hearts School!! This school will serve over 250 community children, and will eventually (hopefully) include a Library for the community as well. Vlad and some other volunteers started building a school in summer 2009, but we had to stop construction once we learned we were going to need a new orphanage. Melinda spent 6 months in Bawjiase, and started out by doing the agriculture program for the farm at the orphanage. She is a wonderful and dedicated individual, and you should check out her page on the Mama Hope website! http://mamahope.org/United-Hearts-School.html
Other Mama Hope News: I am currently working with Pastor on organizing proposals on sustainability projects for the orphanage! Mama Hope has some money set aside to invest in projects that will bring continued revenue for the daily needs of the children and staff. Our top three ideas include the Pineapple farm (which would be the biggest investment) Chickens, and Goats. If we decide to invest in either chickens or goats, it would be a lot more formalized then attempts in the past. We would buy land, build structures for the respective animals, and most likely hire individuals from the community to help with there daily care. While our first priority is finishing the new building, it’s great to be a part of organizing for the future sustainability of the orphanage. Through working with communities and being a means for connecting people with resources, we can create the most significant change. And this change doesn’t come through charity – it comes through investing in individuals who know what they need, and working to connect them with resources so those needs met.
I firmly believe that I have a responsibility to connect the people here with these resources, and that this only comes through working as a community. In the words of Brooke Fraser, “Now that I have seen, I am responsible”. Anyone who has met these children, or knows their story, shares this responsibility. So if you’re reading this blog, that includes YOU! Many of you have taken on this responsibility, and have done amazing things to create awareness for the orphanage. But it’s interesting how many previous volunteers “miss the kids soooo much”, but have yet to make an effort to create awareness of this cause. I believe that the only way we are going to create systemic change here is through working together. This is something that the people of Bawjiase know how to do: work together to create a sustainable community. Let’s all learn from them.