Improving Living Conditions
Our first impression upon entering this orphanage in Ghana was “This is a happy place, smiles and laughter everywhere you look. These kids are full of joy.” Second impression “These children are very poor. Dear God, what are they wearing? Where are their toys? While the goal of this ministry is help the children of Ghana, we are presently working with the Offinso Children’s Center in the village of Offinso. The director, Mary Osei Tutu, has proven to be a trustworthy partner who stewards the resources she receives with great care and wisdom. We are confident any improvements would be overseen and guarded by her. Her number one priority was to have a new well dug with a tank to store the water. However, the children’s sleeping conditions were heartbreaking. While each child had a cot most did not have any type of mattress or cushioning, sleeping instead on steel bed frames. Through the quick outpouring of funds from friends in the US we were able to locally buy mattresses. One of the volunteers, Tanner Bunch, said this was the highlight of the whole trip for him.
In addition to the Offinso Children’s Orphanage, Mary also founded the Blessed Child Basic School in September of 1999. Recently, a high school was added. Currently, the school serves 350 children, 60 from the orphanage and the remainder from the nearby village. This school is significant in that the fees collected from the village students pay the faculty’s salaries and costs of materials. Not only does this make the school self sustaining, it enables the orphans to attend free of cost. The main threat to the school’s viability is the washrooms. They are in such poor condition the district authorities have ordered that new, bigger ones must be built. Currently, 5 cement holes serve 350 students as the “bathroom”. Other plans for the school are the addition of a “science facility” This would require running water, white boards and some basic science equipment. It is noteworthy that through this school, 11 orphans have received an education enabling them to graduate from the University. Their degrees include BSC in Nursing, Marketing, Accounting, etc. It’s very uncommon for an orphan to graduate college.
Fresh Water Well
Ghana Ministries added a water well inside the grounds of the Offin Children's Center. Now the children have clean water right next to their living quarters. This was made possible by the funds quickly donated by supporters in the US. Thank you Tank Pro, Helus Construction and others!