Miyawezo! Greetings from Ghana!
Autumn in Ghana has proven to be a busy time. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), Ghana held its sixth General Assembly in August, and held a joint Synod with the Togolese EPC a week later. The Synod coincided with a visit from three Global Ministries representatives- Rev. Sandra Gourdet, Rev. Dr. Jim Moos, and Tracy Carnes. New volunteers from Germany’s Bremen Mission arrived to help with the Nenyo Haborbor Street Children’s Project and we said goodbye to the 2013-2014 volunteers. The Activity Centre School for Teenage Mothers restarted with the addition of eight new students. And all over Ghana health care professionals, including the nurses at the EPC mobile clinics, have been planning and preparing a response to the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa. Ghana still has no official Ebola cases and Ghana has done a lot since August to prevent Ebola from spreading here.
Nenyo Haborbor Youth Rehabilitation Centre
A Global Ministries grant has allowed for the purchase of two large water tanks on the Nenyo property, which will ensure that staff and volunteers are able to prepare meals for the children even when the water is not flowing to the surrounding areas. Previously the program has had to shut down for weeks at a time in the dry season until water was restored.
The boys’ dormitory that was donated by Fleetwood UCC in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania has been completed and was dedicated in April 2014. The building has a capacity for 60 boys who will be able to move in once beds, mattresses, and bedding are procured. The church is also looking to hire someone to stay with the boys throughout the night. We’re hopeful that the boys will be able to move in early in 2015. The boys who will live in the dormitory are currently sleeping in ditches in Ho’s outdoor market, where they also work each day.
Two of the oldest boys in the program have begun trade apprenticeships in the community thanks to scholarships granted by the EP Church. In addition, more children in the program have been enrolled in school this year than ever before.
Since July we’ve been trying to document every child that comes to Nenyo meetings. We have 59 recorded so far, with their photographs, names, ages (or approximations), grade in school (if they attend), their favorite activity, and short notes about each child. There are far more than 59 kids in the program and we’re continuing to add to the list whenever any of the workers have a spare moment during a meeting.
The Activity Centre School for Teenage Mothers
There have been big changes at the Activity Centre. When classes were dismissed in July for the summer holidays the one room school had grown to include thirteen students. When classes resumed at the Centre in September there were even more new students who were divided into two classes- Year One and Year Two. There are now ten students in the Year Two classes and eight students in the Year One class, with two more expected to join Year One. Since the school only has one classroom, the Year One students have been holding classes on a partially covered patio next to the dormitory garden. The Activity Centre shares space with one of the EPC’s mobile medical clinics. Construction on a separate building for the mobile medical clinic is underway, and once they move into their new building the Activity Centre will inherit the three small rooms they currently hold, which will be turned into one large classroom.
The students in the Year Two classes will complete their 18-month program in March 2015 by taking the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) exams. Passing these exams will gain the students entry into their desired fields of catering, dressmaking, batik dyeing, and needlework.
The search for a new director of the school has been underway since January when Madame Ayebi left, and this month the staff received word that her successor has been chosen. The new director will be introduced to the students and staff before the Christmas holidays and will begin work at the Centre when classes resume in February 2015.
On behalf of the EP Church, the Nenyo Haborbor Youth Rehabilitation Centre and the Activity Centre school, akbaykakaka (thank you greatly) for your support of Global Ministries missions.
Kristine Tisinger serves with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana, working with education and women’s empowerment. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples’ Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.