Newsletter April 2015
One – perhaps Utopian – wish: A world where few have too much and fewer too little.
I received various comments on the last newsletter, which included this:
“Everyone should have enough to eat and all children should have access to schooling. The number of people in the world living on less than seven dollars a day, should be halved, the same, the number of people suffering hunger. Diseases such as AIDS and malaria should be stopped. The infant mortality rate for children under five should be reduced by two thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters. ”
Most thoughtful is the message from Ib Olsen, who at that time was in Romania as a contact for Romania Aid:
I sit here and think that some of my “clients” have been subjected to municipal water into their grounds, but there are water meters, so they are not interested in letting neighbors take water.
In theory, all have access to water because they can just go into town and buy it. That is if they have money to buy for.
Denisa’s father just had surgery for something in the stomach. The surgery was free, but they had to borrow money to anesthesia, radiology, etc. (and also a little bit to the doctor!). He was then sent home with a prescription for some medicine he had to take the next 14 days, but he has not had it, because they didn´t have the money.
Denisa asked – one day I was there – if I would buy some food for them because they had nothing to eat for Easter.
Last week I saw a family I know who was in the process of digging a new hole for their privy. What else could they do when they have only got one water tap at the corner of the plot?
Such a privy is incidentally not something that worries so much, but of course anyone was little envious of my bathroom with plenty of hot water, and a lot of people over the years has been allowed to take a bath here.
Of course the situation is much worse elsewhere in the world, but we are, after all, within the EU here in Romania.
My answer to Ib was that I fully understand his frustration and I hope the association indirectly helps his Rumanian project through the surplus goods from Lianes Bazar. We all know that close to us there are also people who are in need. It is a coincidence that we are some people who once was presented to Liane’s desire to make a difference in Ghana. Her enthusiasm was – and is – fantastic and therefore it was natural for her friends and acquaintances to support her ideas and wishes. None of us have been disappointed; on the contrary, we sometimes ask ourselves how it happened that From Heart to Hand has grown so fast that we can hardly keep up.
We are certain this is due to Liane and Ben’s commitment and their ability to communicate what they are doing and what they want.
April month has been terrific for From Heart to Hand.
New members, loyal sponsors, many donations to Christiana’s children and donations for the construction. It makes us so grateful that we get so much support. At the same time, we have been donated 5,000 kr. from Serapion – even without applying!
Rotary has through an aid fund received 15,000 kr. to FHTH. Both donations will be spent on construction.
We are impressed and proud of the locally awareness of FHTH´s work in Ghana and to Caritas and Rotary, thank you so much for money.
From Agidon and Lisbet Hansen’s event “Walk for Water” FHTH was donated 1,250 kr. We have already sent the money to Ghana, so they can continue the building project.
Ditte is working faithfully with continuous updates of the website and we try weekly – more or less successful – to update all facebook pages.
In Lianes Bazar we are fortunate that Lianes grandmother has given us a free showroom in Bredgade 64. Now, we no longer need to say no to good fleas because of lack of space. A big thank you to the grandmother and the friendly shop owner!
We welcome the growing number of customers that find their way to Lianes Bazar. Thanks for this support through both buying from us and the delivery of fleas. And warm thanks to all the faithful and tenacious volunteers.
Thank you all for being there for From Heart to Hand – and for others!
We can not help everyone, but we can all help!
Please look forward to reading Lianes report below:
Please remember the code to the reports: zztop55 Username word: bruger
Meet From Heart to Hand and Lianes Bazar on facebook. .
German facebook page: www.facebook.de / FHTHde
Membership and sponsorship can be agreed on: firstname.lastname@example.org or paid at Lianes Bazar.
The membership can be paid into the association’s account at Spar Nord: 9028-457-18-99286
DKK 150 for an individual, 250 per. household, DKK 500 for associations, DKK 1000 for firms.
Please remember half price in Lianes Bazar the last working day of the month.
Vouchers for the association can be obtained in Lianes Bazar or the association’s address.
We accept all kinds of bric-a-brac and we can pick up larger things. (50 42 49 77)
If there are specific things you want us to get from Ghana, please contact us.
To those of you that get the newsletter and report sent by mail, please let us know your email address.
From Heart to Hand Ghana
Newsletter March and April 2015
We have a very special relationship with all our families in FHTH, it is not professional as someone might think it’s more family-related, personal, full of love – we feel that now in a way we have never noticed before. I am not even sure that we were even aware of it before. FHTH has lost one of the families’ mothers. Christiana has left seven children living at home. We have followed the children closely since their mother passed away on 20th of March. We have done everything in our power to comfort, support, keep our heads clear and create a bit of peace in all the chaos. The children have shown us confidence, and it has been very clear that we (in addition to their mother, of course), is the closest they have.
Our work is overwhelming, demanding, often tiring and frustrating but it is worth it every day
Thank you for your faithful support, and an additional thank you to all of you who sent a gift to Christiana’s children during this difficult time- Without your help our work will not be possible.
The construction project is slowly getting started again. The walls are plastered and floors are being casted. We paint window- and door frames, and before long the doors will arrive from the carpentry workshop.
We still need support in order to complete the huts and toilet building. If you, someone you know, your workplace, club, or gallery might have an interest in supporting the project please come forward. Read more about the construction project on our website or facebook page.
The car has unfortunately once again broken down. This time, several mechanics all think that we should replace the engine. It is a large unexpected expense, and with our tight budget (as many people know all money as possible should go to the children directly), we need help:
The engine + transport and wages will cost 6,000 kr.
All donations large or small are very welcome. We can make it if we help each other.
Thank you to Alberte, who has been a volunteer with us the last four months.
Drama Teacher, Bolette and four students from the folk high school, should have been with us two weeks in May, but they have unfortunately been unable to come due to illness.
In June, we are lucky that Annelise returns to Ghana to visit us, we look forward to that.
If you, or if you know someone who could have an interest in working as a volunteer at FHTH Ghana in 2016, please look at our website for further details, or email us.
Family no. 1:
Mother: Sidonia Dagaar
Children: Ernestina, Kwabena Joseph, Akosua Mary, and Kwaku Emmanuel.
Ernestina was living with us at the center in the Easter holidays. She is very shy, but opened up more to us and told among other things a lot from her tough childhood. She travelled across the country to find work when she was 12 years old and worked for only 1 kr. a day. Later she moved in with a man, her mother had told her it was her father. He treated her really badly and she could not go to school. One day she contacted a private school who listened to her story and let her go to school for free. After 9th grade, she was lucky enough to meet her mother again after many years of separation through us. Now she goes to high school and dreams of a higher education. She told us, however, that the high school she goes to now in northern Ghana is not working very well, and she therefore wishes sincerely to move to a school in Kumasi, where we and her mother live. We will try to help her with this after this semester when the next school year starts.
Sidonia has for some time had it bad, and it is clear that she really tries hard to get things to stick together, now that the boys no longer come to the center. There is not enough money, they are hungry and on top of that it is difficult for her to control Kwaku and Kwabena.
We decided to let them move into the center for a period, as soon as one of the center’s rooms is ready. The boys must then move to the school where the center’s children also go and we can then better supervise this family in everyday life. It is clear to us that Sidonia need support to make every day work.
Family no. 2:
Mother: Olivia Owusu (Yaa)
Child: Viola Owusu (Vera)
It is going very well for Yaa in her store, and she now has three girls on an apprenticeship. We talked with her about Viola, and that it is important that she also takes the time to be with her and to help at the center. Now things are much better and although she has long days, she is happy about the things she does and she is really proud of the store.
Vera is doing well and has been very happy with the new school. She has a lot of homework every day, but she loves it. Vera is seven years d. 22 May She is one of those who have been with FHTH right from the start. See photos from then to now, around her birthday on our facebook page.
Family no. 3:
Children: Enock Akrugu and Samuel Akrugu
Enock and his entire class have moved into the school, where they will stay to be able to read more intensely until starting their diplomas in June. It’s new and exciting and Enock is optimistic regarding the exams.
Samuel is doing well at the boarding school. In his Easter holiday he travelled to northern Ghana to visit his mother and the other family. He had a good trip and was happy to talk about it all, when he returned to the center.
Family no. 4:
Father: Kofi Boakye
Mother: Afia Badu
Children: Kofi Frank Boakye, Yaa Akoto, Yaw Awuah, Evans Boakye and Akwasi Adjei.
All the children are well. Yaa spent her holiday with her grandmother, but the other children were at home. The father in unemployed. He hasn’t started anything new after we took the sandals from him. He drinks too much still. The mother is the one holding the family together and walks all over the market to sell gems.
Evans and Akwasi have become more open and talkative when we are visiting.
In the coming months Yaw is going to the hospital for a check up, but he is doing well, so it will probably go fine. He hates to go, it’s boring and not very fun having to have blood tests.
Family no 5:
Mother: Christiana Serwaah
Children: Lucy Amankwa, Stephen Amankwa, Felicia Amankwa, James Amankwa, Elizabeth Amankwa, Philippa Amankwa, Nana Emmanuel Amankwa (Kwaku).
It came as a great shock to us all. Even a bigger shock for the seven children as they on March 20th lost their mother, Christiana.
For many years Christiana had suffered from a chronic disease in the spleen. It was not until we took her to the doctor last year that they found what was wrong with her. Before that she did know that something was not correct, but didn´t know what it was. She started on her medication, but still she didn´t take the disease seriously, and several times she didn´t show up at the hospital as agreed.
March 19th in the evening she was on her way home in the bus, when she suddenly started throwing up blood. She was hospitalized and Stephen, the eldest son was called. She died that night with Stephen at her side. We met up with Stephen and Christiana’s siblings the next morning at the hospital. We were with them all day, when Christiana’s husband and his family were informed and when Christianas other six children received the sad news. It was so terrible and heartbreaking. We have cried with them countless times since then, and as I sit here writing I still weep. It is so unbelievably hard and unfair for these poor children. The two eldest, Lucy and Stephen want all the children to remain in the home. It is a big decision, because it means a huge responsible to the eldest children. We have promised to help and support them in everyday life in the future and we therefore need your help to find additional sponsors for each of the children.
Family no 6:
Mother: Talata Felicia Kobina
Children: Harrote Kobina (Bebee) and Angela Kobina
Since after theChristmas holiday, we have not seen Talata at the center. Regularly we have visited her and Bebee, but each time it was only Bebee who was at home. One day Bebee told us that his mother had left for their hometown, and his aunts were looking after him. We tried to contact Talata on the phone, but without success. When she returned to Kumasi she called and we explained to her that she will have to inform us whenever she wants to travel. In the event that anything should happen to Angela it is not good if we don’t know where she is.
When the children went on Easter holiday, we decided that Angela should have a small vacation with her mother. Our goal is that Angela keeps good contact with her mother, so they will eventually build a better relationship. It’s just hard when the mother is not very co-operative and even more difficult for Angela because she sees her mother so rarely. Angela was looking forward to visiting her and told proudly all the other children at the center that she was going home to her mother. As soon as we parked the car at her mother’s house, Angela however changed her mind. She was upset and did not want to be there. Talata said she would come back to the center with Angela on Sunday, and I explained to Angela that she had to sleep four times, and then she would come back to the center again. It was a really difficult situation.
They didn´t show up on the Sunday, so next morning we drove out to them to pick up Angela. The mother had no explanation for why they had not come, and Angela was ready to come back to the center.
Bebee is almost never home, he plays around the area. It does not seem that Talata sees him a lot. She says that he will come home if there are problems or if he is hungry.
Last semester exams did not go that well for Bebee, and we have therefore called Talata and asked her to help him with homework every day and to spend more time with him at home.
Family no. 7:
Father: Kwabena Awuah
Mother: Mary Akomah
Children: Stephen Akwasi Sarpong, Francis Sarkodie Awuah, Stella Owusuaa and Liane Konadu.
The mother’s business is still very good, we are very pleased.
The mother has repeatedly expressed how much easier everyday life has become after she started working. An additional income has meant that the children now thrive much better and there is more time to be with the kids when they come from school, kindergarten and nursery.
Family no. 10:
Mother: Ama Bonsu
Children: Vicencia Gyasi Baye, Anthony Twuniasi, Akua Bonsu and Kojo Kliti
All the children are doing well and are happy to go to school / kindergarten. We have recently visited the family bringing gifts from one of the children’s sponsors. They were wild with joy. It’s always great to share, and to see the happy eyes of the children.
Family no. 12:
Mother: Georgina Atta
Children: Daniel Eshen, Magdalena Eshen, Habeku Eshen, Nehemiah Eshen
+ 4 older children.
All the children are doing well and now come regularly to school and kindergarten. It’s been a long time since we’ve visited the children at home, but we often see them in schools where they are always happy to see us.
Family no. 13:
Grandmother: Mary Adugyamfi
Grandchildren: Joyce Adugyamfi and Erica Adugyamfi.
Erica and Joyce really enjoy life at the boarding school. They are doing so much better and are always happy and welcoming us when we visit them at school. Before they were obviously frustrated, worried and far from welcoming to us when we visited them in the container, where they were alone and never had enough. Now they have been given the structure of their everyday, food is ready on time, and there are rules and guidelines. We were nervous about whether they could live up to the schools standards or not, but they have surprised us with really great exam results. We have told them how proud we are and they are very proud, too.
We are usually not fans of boarding school until after 9th grade, but in this situation it has clearly been the right decision. It’s wonderful to see how the aid helps.
Family no. 16:
Children: David and Liane
The children and Esther are doing well. Liane thrives and Esther takes her to the nurse once a month. Before long Liane will be 1 year old. Esther has been to the health insurance office to get Liane registered and we are so pleased about that. She has also been out to have Lianes birth certificate made, but since there are many mistakes (due to Esther cannot spell), we have promised to help her get it changed.
David is doing well and is happy in the new kindergarten. He’s always at full speed, and enjoying our attention when we are visiting.
Family no. 17:
Mother: Stargina Ama
Children: Nana Aquah Lord, Henry Obinim, Louis Obinim and Benedict Nhyira Appiah.
Most times we have visited the boys, they have been home alone. We try and advise the mother again and again, but it’s hard to know what else we can do to get her to understand that it is not good for children to be alone. The boys are fine, they attend school and are happy to go to school / kindergarten / nursery.
Family no. 18:
Mother: Doris Apana
Children: Benjamin Apana
In the recent period Doris has again had a difficult time. She has good and bad days, but after the holiday it has not been stable enough to start school again. Her medicine is once again changed and we sincerely hope that it will help. It is hard for us as we must constantly be on guard. When we see the symptoms, we make sure that Doris comes in and lies down, as rest helps, but also to spare the children.
Benjamin is doing well. He really enjoy the new school, and walks pleasantly off to the school bus each morning. “Goodbye, see you” he says, waving merrily. It’s wonderful. Benjamin is extremely sensitive, and he cries very easily. When he’s not crying, he is a fantastic little charmer.
Family no. 19:
Mother: Stella Antwi Asamoah
Children: Christabel, Kingsley, Kelvin Armstrong and Nana Aduah.
All the children came to the centre one day in Easter holiday. It was really nice, they enjoyed watching a little TV, and playing with all the center’s toys in the living room.
When school opened again after the holiday, Kingsley came in the morning, to ask for help to pay some school books and extra lessons. There is now only a month for him to write his diplomas. He is optimistic, focused and totally confident that it will go well.
The mother has started an English course through her church. She thinks it’s really exciting, and it’s great for us to see that she has interest in learning and understanding that it will be useful for her in the future.
Family no. 20:
Mother: Ama Francisca
Child: Liane Amponsah
Ama is still at home, she hasn’t got a job or a new apprenticeship. Last time we visited her, we explained that we will have to see an improvement, so that she can maintain her sponsorship. Ama definitely needs both economic and social support, but we also need to see that she is able to receive aid and that there is progress.
She called the day after apologizing, asked for forgiveness, and asked for help to get started with something again. We agreed to hold a meeting with her in the near future, to make it very clear about what the future should bring.
Liane is doing well and has for a long time not been sick. – This is pleasing us.
She is always very sad when we leave their place; she would like to come home with us. The situation is always really tough to get through, because we know that Liane and Ama would be able to get much better at the center.
We have often thought about letting them move into the center, but we are afraid that Ama will not fit in, along with the other residents. We help and support them therefore as best we can, in their own home.
Family no. 21:
Children: Joshua and Freda (Mume).
After Patience has stopped working at the center, she started selling eggs from the house where they live. Father Thomas has for some time not been able to work because the car he is driving has been broken. It has therefore economically been a tough time for the family, but they do not complain. Instead they are happy about what they have.
The children are well, they warmly welcome us when we visit them at school.
Family no 22:
Grandma: Cicilia Owusuaa
Children: Akua Nhyira first
Akua Nhyira second
Rainy season has set in, and that means torrential rains with strong winds, mostly in the evening or at night. The grandmother and twin girls were asleep one late night as such a downpour began. With sheet metal on the roof the rain sounds more violent, but the grandmother thought there was another strange noise. Suddenly one wall collapsed, and the bricks fell out towards the street (thankfully). It is a miracle that nobody got hurt, but of course they were shocked.
They found shelter for the night with some neighbors, and next morning the grandmother began to look for a new place to live. She has now found a fine large room in a rental property, which is in much better condition. Her adult children have paid half the rent for five years, but she has now asked us for help to find the rest of the money, as she is afraid of being evicted if she does not soon pay the entire amount. The family is looking for 2000 kr. to be guaranteed a decent home for the next five years. If anyone would want to help, you are very welcome. You can also read more about the event on facebook page, where there is also a picture of the house.
The twin girls are well and thriving in the nursery. They are still very shy, but play well with other children in the nursery and in the house where they live.
Family no. 23:
Child: Fredrick Osei
Fredrick is doing really good. He just turned two years and although it can be hard to see, we are still proud of his rapid development. He remains a bit behind, but when you consider his background, it is unbelievable that he has become such a fine and well functioning child.
Since the center’s children had been on vacation last month, we decided that Fredrick should wait to start at nursery to after the holiday, so he has not yet started.
We have not seen Esther at the center last month. She called one day to say that she has left to visit some family. She also mentioned that she now plans to save money, so she can get an apprenticeship as a hairdresser. We doubt it, but hope for the best for her.
Family no. 24:
Doreen has been ill with a rash all over the body. We helped her to the doctor and paid the cost. She is now well again and she still go to all hospital agreements and each day she takes her medicine. There is a lack of HIV medication, and Doreen is fortunate that we have contacts at the hospital, which makes sure that she gets first. She only gets one month medicine at a time. Previously she got three months supply.
Dorcas has also been ill, but took herself to the hospital, and even found the money to pay for blood tests and medication. This was really fine. She still sells fruit in the area near where they live.
Stephanie is well and thriving in the nursery where she goes.