Happy Independence Day! March 6, 2015 was the 58th anniversary of Ghana’s independence from the United Kingdom. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) has started off 2015 with a lot of changes, including the induction of the new Moderator, the Right Reverend Doctor Seth Agidi. The former Moderator (who acts as the Church President for a 6 year term), the Very Reverend Francis Amenu, had a farewell celebration and the handover church ceremony was a twelve hour affair on January 18th. A new director was inducted to the Activity Centre School for Teenage Mothers and the second year students are scheduled to take their national exams from April – July. The dormitory at the Nenyo Haborbor has received all 30 bunk beds and mattresses needed to shelter 60 boys who are currently living in the Ho outdoor market. EPC partners from around the world are beginning to visit Ghana again as the threat of Ebola begins to abate. Ghana has still recorded zero official Ebola cases.
Nenyo Haborbor Youth Rehabilitation Centre
Nenyo meetings resumed in January and we’re seeing more kids than ever. Whereas last year at this time we were getting between 40 and 50 kids regularly for meetings, we’re now seeing between 50 and 70 kids.
There is some construction work going on at the site. The groundwork for the concrete stands needed for the two large water tanks purchased through a Global Ministries grant has been laid. The tanks will sit behind the Nenyo dormitory and ensure that the program has running water year round.
The long-awaited beds and mattresses for the boys’ dormitory have been delivered. The building will be the new home for 60 boys. The church is still searching for someone to stay overnight on the property with the boys and as soon as that position is filled, the boys will be able to move into the dorm.
Two of the oldest boys in the program are still working on their apprenticeships and five more have just begun a nationally accredited program to learn some electrician work and how to work with solar energy.
Between January 19 and January 26, every child at Nenyo Haborbor received a brand new pair of clothes. Last year over 50 pairs of clothes were handed out. This year we passed out over 95 pairs of clothes and every child was able to get something new. The kids were very excited, as they were last year. They take great care of their new clothes. For many of the children this is their only spare set of clothes, the only pair of clothes without holes or tears, and the only set of clothes that fit.
The kids had quite the windfall at Christmas as well. Each child took home some crackers, a pencil, a balloon, and a popsicle made from fruit gathered around the Nenyo site. They also received presents that will stay at the Nenyo site to be used by all of the kids. Over 50 coloring books, sets of colored pencils, and pencil sharpeners were donated to the program. The kids also received a few new hats, four new puzzles, three new dolls, two new soccer balls, and a new pump for the balls.
For the 2014 Christmas play, the kids performed a small pageant where dancing angels led the wise men to Jesus, who for our purposes was born under a mango tree. They drummed and sang Feliz Navidad, Little Drummer Boy, O Come all Ye Faithful, and an Ewe hymn to guests from the EP Church headquarters.
The Activity Centre School for Teenage Mothers
Classes resumed at the Activity Centre on January 12, 2015, a full month earlier than last year. The second year students are very busy preparing for the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) exams that will take place between April and July. These national exams determine whether or not they are able to graduate and whether they are eligible to receive certification in dressmaking, catering, and batik fabric dyeing.
Mrs. OF Adjina took over as director of the Activity Centre on January 1, 2015. Her appointment was greatly welcomed by the staff and the board of directors, as the last director of the school retired in December 2013. Madame Adjina has taken an active interest in visiting all of the students’ classes and the school is running smoother than ever.
We’ve added another student to the first years’ class. Mawusi (whose name means “in the hands of God”) joins Benedicta, Love, Believe, Catherine, Victoria, Lawrenda, and Jennifer to make our class full at 8 students. Last week during our grammar class, the students learned how to play Bingo, which we used to learn irregular verbs. Catherine won a 7-Up for first place, Love won a Pepsi for second place, and everyone got a small piece of Ghanaian chocolate for participating. It was our most fun class of the term.
On behalf of the EPC, the Nenyo Haborbor Youth Rehabilitation Centre and the Activity Centre school, akpekakaka (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.