Summer vacation went so quick in FHTH Ghana. We had a full house throughout the summer, and had to cook for 20 people every night. The centre buzzed with fun and happy people, and there was complete silence when schools opened after the holidays again, and one by one they went away from here. In additional Yaa took the big step and moved away from the centre along with Viola, after five years under FHTHs wings.
We got busy visiting all schools, paying school fees, canteen money and buy this year’s school books. Once again we had excited and happy children and young people who were ready for a new school year in a new class.
The building project has had a quiet period and we managed to be completely distraught over the situation. Fortunately it all turned for the better again, and now we’re soon ready to inaugurate the first six buildings, and we will be able to move to FHTHs center. The first families have already moved in, and there is life on the land.
We are pleased and 2016 will surely be a great and exciting new year with our very own
FHTH Centre – for people in need.
There are already new buildings on the drawing board, and we are now looking for sponsors for the work shop building, the volunteer house, accommodations and staff building.
In October volunteer Katrine arrived and John, who is an intern at us. They must both be here until the middle of December. We also had a visit from Højskoleforeningen Vendsyssel, as on their tour around Ghana came by and visited our new centre. They brought us 20 suitcases with presents for the children, and gave further more a very generous donation to our building project.
-We are deeply grateful.
In January, two new volunteers arrive to help us, when we move in at our newly built center. In addition, there will be two volunteers on February 1st to build a nature playground at the new center.
There are still places available for volunteers in 2016, please write to us if you are interested.
Late November Ben, Alfred and I will travel to Denmark, where we will be until early January. The first weeks we should give lectures, meetings, etc. and we will often be present in Lianes Bazar, to talk to clients, volunteers and other interested parties.
On December 8 FHTH will hold a free lecture on Brønderslev library, with music and stories from FHTH Ghana.
We look forward to this and hope to see many of you during the Christmas month.
Family no. 1:
Mother: Sidonia Dagaar
Children: Ernestina, Kwabena Joseph, Akosua Mary, and Kwaku Emmanuel.
This family has already moved into our newly built center. They live in one of the round huts, and although everything is not quite finished, they thrive very well. – Perhaps it is even the best place they have ever lived. The family can live independently, and therefore it is not meant that they should remain at the center in the long term. The plan is to find a lease for them near the center when we move in there in the beginning of the new year. Thereby, we still offer the help and relief that they need in everyday life.
Sidonia has tried to sell Pito (local beer) in the area, but there were not enough sales, and she is now working in different places from day to day. Some days she gathers cement bags and sells them, and other days she helps in a street kitchen.
Five years ago, we got Sidonias three children out of Reverend Kofis orphanage and the eldest son Kwame moved in with his school teacher. She and her husband have since taken good care of Kwame, and have arranged for his schooling, etc. Kwame however, suddenly wanted to move back with his mother, although she does not have much to offer him. He now lives with his mother and younger brothers, and started at a local school in the area. He is 16 years old. We have made it clear to both Kwame and his mother, that we can not help him financially. We already help four of Sidonias children. Kwame is now working at weekends; he sells ice cream on the street, so he can earn to pay school fees, books and so on. It is difficult to understand why he has chosen to move in with his mother again, where his future is now very uncertain, but perhaps blood is just thicker than water.
Ernestina should have started in 3G this semester, but be due to bad grades she has to take year 2G again. She is deeply unhappy and does not want to continue the school. She wants us to help her and pay for her to start at another school instead. We have told her that we cannot help her. Of course we have encouraged her to stay at the school and make an extra effort. We hope the best for her.
Family no. 2:
Mother: Olivia Owusu (Yaa)
Child: Viola Owusu (Vera)
Yaa and Viola have moved away from the centre. They now live together with Yaas boyfriend Atta, and his two children. Yaa and Atta are planning their wedding and are very happy in their new life together.
Yaa and Viola were to very first people who moved to the centre in 2011 and now they are the first family we have successfully helped through FHTH. It has been a long and sometimes hard process with two steps forward and one back. Yaa was a young, desperate and irresponsible single mother but has now grown to be a confident, proud and beautiful mother and businesswoman.
We are proud of them and they will always have a special place in our FHTH family.
We are now beginning to scale down the support for the Viola, as Yaa gradually take over full responsibility for Violas schooling etc.
Family no. 3:
Children: Enock Okrugu and Samuel Okrugu
Enocks school grades have arrived and he will start in Senior High School as a boarding student from next month. He is very pleased.
In the long holiday period, he has helped at a barber and he has been very happy. He still comes and visit us at the center every Sunday
Samuel has started in 3G at the boarding school, and we have this semester paid for his recording of the final exams next year. It has been a big extra expense since the school wanted the payment for school fees + registration at once.
Family no. 4:
Father: Kofi Boakye
Mother: Afia Adu
Children: Frank Kofi Boakye, yaa Akoto, Yaw Awuah, Evans Boakye and Akwasi Adjei.
When Yaa moved away from her family and it was really decided that she was no longer part of FHTH. The father told us that Yaa now lived with an uncle in Accra, he was looking after her and paid her school fees. The father assured us that they talked called together regularly and that she was all right.
We were therefore somewhat surprised when Yaa one day called us and told that she had returned home. His uncle had treated her very badly, forced her to sell fish, and rarely let her go to school. She also did not get enough food and had to beg for food from neighbors.
We went to the family to talk to the father. The father was angry with his uncle, but we explained to him that he ought to be angry with himself instead. He had let down his daughter and allowed her to travel from the family, without following up on how she really was. He asked for forgiveness and Yaa prayed for our help to start school again. We felt sorry for her, and of course we helped her. She is now in her old school, happy and she has started in seventh class.
The mother still sells beads at different markets, and often she is not home for days.
The father is unemployed, very poor health and drinking too much. We gave him a mini-loan to sell sandals, which went well for a period until he spent all the money on alcohol, and we took the sandals from him again. Fortunately, the children come to school every day, where they thrive and are happy.
Family no. 5:
Children: Lucy Amankwa, Stephen Amankwa, Felicia Amankwa, James Amankwa, Elizabeth Amankwa, Philippa Amankwa, Nana Emmanuel Amankwa (Kwaku).
Unfortunately, the family decided after summer holiday to split up the children. Philipa and Kwaku now live with an aunt outside Kumasi, and Elizabeth moved down to another aunt in Accra. Since Elizabeth now live so far away we can no longer sponsor her. James, who should go to a boarding school next year, is now left alone with the two adult siblings Lucy and Stephen in the house.
Philipa, Kwaku and Felicia spent their entire summer vacation at the center, and Felicia who goes to boarding school come here on weekends, etc. She has just been ill with a lung infection, and was therefore at the center, where we helped her to the doctor.
Lucy has completed her training and is now a trained hairdresser. She got a job in a salon nearby, but dreams of starting her own salon.
The children are all very quiet and it’s hard for us to know how they feel. We try to support them as best we can, and always let them know that we are here for them.
Family no. 6:
Mother: Talata Felicia Kobina
Children: Harrote Kobina (Bebee) and Angela Kobina
Talata and Bebee visited us recently at the center. We had in a very long time not heard from Talata, and we advised her therefore to change this. Angela lives with us at the center, and it is important for us that Talata is showing interest and that she appreciates our help regarding our support for Bebee. She had many excuses but we made it very clear that it will have to change, otherwise we will not be able to continue to support her children.
Bebee are well, we see him often at school, when we come to pay school fees and books.
Angela has been very sorry about Viola leaving the centre. They are best friends. At the same time it has also been good for her, since there is now more time and attention directed at her. Angela is now the oldest child at the center. She is happy and thriving. Last month we held her birthday out at LakeBosomtwi, it was a really good day.
Family no. 7:
Father: Kwabena Awuah
Mother: Mary Ankomah
Children: Stephen Akwasi Sarpong, Francis Sarkodie Awuah, Stella Owusuaa and Liane Konadu.
For a long time we haven´t heard anything from the parents, and decided that if it continued like this we would stop supporting the girls. It is important for us that parents are involved and if they do not show interest, then we must conclude that it is because they no longer need our support. We called the parents for a meeting where we told them that we no longer can help the children because of the lack of contact/interest. The parents were very frustrated and asked many times for pardon. We have now agreed to give them one more chance, but now require the parents to help financially to paying the girls’ schooling. In this way, they are forced to be involved. Even though we know it’s hard for the father financially, this solution is the correct one. We have since then in cooperation with the parents, decided that the children should change school. The old school was too pricey. The new school is located close to the family home, and children can easily walk to and from school alone. They are happy!
We have been with the parents and the boys to “Dansk Børnefond” to collect the boys’ support. We have visited their school and made sure that they have everything they need.
Family no. 10:
Mother: Ama Bonsu
Children: Vicencia Gyasi Baye, Anthony Twuniasi, Akua Bonsu and Kojo Kliti
All the children are well. We met with the mother, Vicencia and Anthony in “Dansk Børnefond” when they came to pick up this semester’s support.
Kojo is doing well and even though he is very shy, it is clear that he is happy in school. The family is doing so well that we have decided that from next semester, they should pay half of Kojos school fees. We will, in other words slowly downsize our help to Kojo. Is very pleasing that our support has ensured Kojos schooling, in a difficult period for the family, and it is also very pleasing that it is now possible for the family to take over the responsibilities again.
Self help is the goal of FHTHs work.
Akua is doing well in school, where his grandfather still works as a bus driver. Akua is living with the grandparents who, although funds are small, are looking very well after her.
Family no. 12:
Mother: Georgina Atta
Children: Daniel Eshen, Magdalena Eshen, Habeku Eshen, Nehemiah Eshen + 4 older children.
The children are doing well and are always happy to see us when we visit them at schools. They come regularly to school and seem to thrive, although it is still obvious that the two youngest boys have learning problems and are lagging behind their age. It is frustrating for us that there is no good cooperation with the mother. We feel that more could be done especially for Habeku and Nahamiah, but it is difficult when the mother can not / will not cooperate. We will from next semester involve the mother in the payment of school fees, let her pay a small share, to see if a financial responsibility if necessary can help in the collaboration.
Family no. 13:
Grandmother: Mary Adu Gyamfi
Grandchildren: Joyce Adu Gyamfi and Erica Adugyamfi.
The girls are well and are still very happy to be at the boarding school. In the holidays they live with their aunt where the grandmother also stays when she is in Kumasi. Their Father has also previously lived there, but the aunt has thrown him out when he created too many problems for the whole family.
Joyce has been ill for an extended period of Malaria and has twice been hospitalized. We have helped at one hospital and otherwise visited her regularly. She’s better now, but is still home from school until she certainly is on top again. Apparently, the girls are not very good at taking care of themselves. Often they don’t eat in the cafeteria but eat biscuits and other unhealthy and not very nutritious food. They don’t even sleep under their mosquito nets, as they should. We have advised them and have also talked to the school about different issues, and is now hoping it will be better.
Family no. 16:
Children: David and Liane
The children are doing well and they visit us now and then at the centre.
Esther is still frustrated about their housing situation. The new owner has now forced them out of their room by ripping the roof panels of, and they now sleep in a small room at the other end of the house. It’s probably only a matter of time before the owner comes and changes the lock to the gate, and physically throws them out. It is hard for them, and Esther is still awaiting what her husband will do. We visit them often and try to encourage and support Esther.
Family no. 17:
Mother: Stargina Ama
Children: Nana Acquah Lord Henry Obinim, Louis Obinim and Benedict Nhyira Appiah.
After holiday the boys have moved school when school fees at the old school had increased incomprehensible much. They are happy at the new school, which is located much closer to the mother’s salon. A new fine salon has opened nearby, so it is difficult for her to get enough customers. She’s had a very difficult economic and we have now helped her by transferring the sandals (the father of the fam. 4), to her. She really appreciates the help, and can now economically better look after the boys.
Kobiis mother has picked up Kobii, and he now lives with his mother and her boyfriend in another city. We hope the best for him, that the mother looks after him properly, let him go to school and so on.
It is harsh for such a small guy to be moved such around. We are pleased though that we have helped him the last couple of years. We have given him a good educational routine everyday, with the support of FHTH.
Family no. 18:
Mother: Doris Apana
Children: Benjamin Apna
Doris has again had many ups and downs. Two months ago, she was given more of her epilepsy medication and she has since had it well. The medicine, however, has its side effects, and Doris is very tired and passive in daily life. She stopped at the school, which we all decided was best for her. We found out that she is not professionally fit for school, plus she with her fatigue slept most hours away.
She is now considering the possibility of starting an apprenticeship as a sewer instead, but until then she sells used clothing in the area where we live. It’s not every day she has the energy to go out to sell,, instead she is at home at the center, or with us at the construction site.
Benjamin is very sensitive and easily come to tears. He is also very determined and stubborn, and knows what he wants. If he does not get it his way, he breaks into tears.
When he’s in a good mood, he is the nicest guy. He is gentle and full of laughter.
The last year, in which Doris has been ill, it has been hard for Benjamin. He cares a lot for her, and notice very quickly if she is not well.. It’s hard to be a child of a mentally ill, but we support and fight with them.
Family no. 19:
Mother: Stella Antwi Asamoah
Children: Christabel, Kingsley, Kelvin Armstrong and Nana Aduah.
Kingsley has got his school location, but it is not a school he wanted, and we will try to help him get into another school. Before long he starts all at boarding school. Kingsley fell off a bike a few weeks ago, and subsequently had a bad infection in his foot. We met the mother at a marked, who was trying to find someone who could give Kingsley a tetanus vaccine, since she had no money to get him to the doctor. We were deeply shocked, and thank God we met her! The next day we helped them to the hospital and paid all the expenses. He received tetanus vaccine and was treated with antibiotics. The foot is still a little swollen and the wound has not yet healed, but he is now well again.
Christa Bell is doing well at the boarding school. She is happy when we visit her and is always very punctual regarding the school.
The three small children are well too. We often see them when we visit their school, to pay school fees and so on. Kelvin is doing everything his own way. He has a high temperament and easily get into a fight with his siblings. He has kept some distance from us the last few months, when we had not yet received his school report, but we have talked about it now, and everything is ok again.
Family no. 20:
Mother: Ama Francisca
Child: Liane Amponsah
Liane has again been ill for a long time and we found her in school, very weakened. Ama came to the school, but lied to us and the school board that she had taken Liane to the doctor and that she had received medication. I asked her to go home and pick up the receipts and medicine, and then Ama admitted that she had lied. She just felt that Liane suffered from “too much candy sick”. However, that was not what the blood tests said. Liane was suffering from a bacterial infection of the blood, and is now being treated with antibiotics. If we had not discovered Lianes disease, she could have been very seriously ill.
Once again we have tried to teach Ama about health, hygiene and severity of disease.
It is a shame that Liane again and again has to suffer because of her mother. We wish we could help more, because it’s really hard, if not impossible, for Ama to take good care of Liane.
Family no. 21:
Children: Joshua and Freda (Mume).
Freda and Joshua are doing well and are always very happy when we see them at school.
There have been many problems with the bus the father drives, and it has also meant that earnings in periods have not been good. It has been hard for the family, even though the mother now sells porridge; it depends very much on the father’s income. We hope it resolves itself, so that the family can regain a stable life.
Family no. 22:
Grandma: Cecilia Owusuaa
Children: Akua Nhyira 1 and Akua Nhyira 2
The girls are doing well and doing very well in the nursery. They are still very cautious and shy, but they are playing and are active among the other children.
The staff and management in the nursery gives the thumbs up for the grandmothers huge effort and hard work, and they are all happy about how much the girls have evolved over the past year.
The grandmother still sells soap in the area where they live.
Family no. 23:
Child: Fredrick Osei
Fredrick is the happiest little boy. He sings and dances and fooling all day long. He loves to go to nursery and talk more and more. Fredrick’s mother, Esther, sometimes come and visits us on Sundays. She behaves very rude during these visits, demanding food and looking around at the centre’s stuff trying to find things. We have therefore had a talk with her, and made it clear that she is a guest at the center, and only come to see and be with Fredrick.
She is still very fragile and most times when we ask, she lives in a new place and has a new job. We have told her that when she manages to stay in one place for three months, then we’d love to come and visit her. We hope for her that she can eventually get a better handle on her life, especially if she wants Fredrick to be part of it.
Family no. 24:
The girls’ aunt has moved from the house and the girls are now alone in looking after their grandmother. It is a great responsibility for them, but at the same time it ensures them improved nutrition. Family members bring them money, so they can cook for their grandmother, and even eat themselves. Dorcas will not admit it, but it is clear that she no longer sells fruit, and they are both at home with their grandmother during the day. Doreen has had a good time, but do not feel very good right now. She suffers from stomach upset and she has lost weight. She is going to a check up at the doctor next week.
Stephanie is doing well and is in kindergarten every day.