Sunday, July 31, 2011


Girl in school_Ghana by Join Up!
Girl in school_Ghana, a photo by Join Up! on Flickr.

When I think about meeting the needs of the children in Ghana the most important and influential immediate (physical and tangible...) need I can think of is Education! Sure all children need food and water and shelter and love. I absolutely think those things are primal needs for healthy lives. But what I am concerned with is changing a system that locks kids away from their childhoods. A system of work that enslaves children. If we can fight THAT system that is embedded in poverty then we will likely have well loved and well fed children. And the key to fighting a system that is intertwined with poverty is education. It is universal. That is how you fight it here in the US and how you fight it in Africa. 

When we go to Ghana in November, we will be working hard on bringing education to children. The idea is that these children are going to be the future business men and women of their nation. The future doctors and nurses and leaders. That is why building another school building at The Village of Life is of great importance! This will allow more children to be rescued off of the lake and given a formal education. An education that will allow them to employ moral business practices and to advocate for children as they turn into young men and women. 

We are also going to continue to work on educating the slave masters that own the sweet children on Lake Volta. Praying that peaceful attempts at educating these men and Gods movement in their lives will start to change the hearts and minds of the people who buy and use children in their fishing businesses. 

Please be a part of this! It is how we will help this region in Ghana change. It isn't a hand out at all... it is educating them and providing them with the skills necessary to go on to be honest and  moral business men and leaders in the future. Now that is a powerful goal! Please donate to the school if you can. Every single dollar will help. $30,000 is what it takes to  build this new school. That is nothing when you look at the school buildings our children go to in the US. NOTHING. We can do this. We can raise $30,000 to give beautiful children a family and education. We can raise that money to have a place for FORMER slave owners to take business classes or learn new skills so they can run an honest business that violates no ones rights. Get the word out. Donate whatever you can. If all of my friends donated just $10 we would be WELL on our way to building a new school in Kete-Krachi for rescued children. We would be WELL on our way to helping to transform a huge region of a country through empowering them and educating them. It is quite amazing when you think about it all. I truly believe that we can all take part of being the hands and feet of God in this. God has a heart for children and wants us to fight for their rights. I hope you can take part in this journey with us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Books, books, books

oxfam-ghana-18 by
oxfam-ghana-18, a photo by on Flickr.
Education is freedom...

In addition to raising money to build a new school building at The Village of Life campus, we are collecting supplies for the kids/teachers who use this school. They can always use new resources! One of the bigger needs for the school and the children and staff are books. Curriculum that isn't outdated is a big need. Particularly curriculum and books about health and fitness. But all curricula would be appreciated. Math, science, art, literature, English, handwriting, music, geography. Also the kids really love books and are in need of story books and work books and just any learning material out there. They are hungry for knowledge.We need to feed that hunger! These are the kids who are going to transform their country. These are the kids who have a very good chance of putting child trafficking out of existence in Ghana and these are the kids we need to be investing fully in if our goal is to end human rights violations. So if you have children's books, chapter books, or curricula to donate, we would very much appreciate adding it to the pile we have started. I have a feeling I am going to be shipping several boxes of books and curricula ahead of us but if that is how it works out... FABULOUS!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

soccer ball drive

soccer by belovedshoshanna
soccer, a photo by belovedshoshanna on Flickr.

What reminds you of childhood? For me... it is undoubtedly the hours upon hours upon hours that I spent on the road beside our corner lot house playing basketball. Shooting hoops with the neighbors, my step-dad and brothers, my mom and grandma even played with us once... shooting hoops when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was frustrated. Practicing and practicing so I could make the high school basketball team. Shooting away the anxiety, shooting through the excitement as I waited for teenage life changes, shooting to raise money... I always had a basketball in my arms. I would work on shooting 3's for hours at a time. Then dribbling drills and layups and playing horse and whipping everyone in the neighborhood :P. Basketball was an absolute joy of my childhood. 

Most of us have those things from our childhood that really just remind us of being children. For many Ghanaian children, soccer/football, is that link to childhood. That thing they want to be awesome at and practice hard to learn. In so many of the videos and first hand accounts of child trafficking... I have heard child after child say "and when we can sneak it in, we play football". It is a passion, it is a connection to an otherwise childhoodless life. A soccer ball is an extremely coveted possession for these children. AND it is something that we can get for next to nothing and give to children in Ghana. 

So for the next month... until my oldest son starts kindergarten... I will be collected soccer balls to take with us to Ghana to give to children we meet there. You can donate money to my personal fund and denote that you are "sponsoring a soccer ball (or several)" or you can get with me and get my address and ship them right to me. The more we get, the more we can give. So with that being said, I am not opposed to deflating 50 or 100 soccer balls to ship ahead of us to Kete-Krachi so that we can inflate them all and distribute them to amazing, beautiful children. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Slaves of the Lake

If you have some time, please watch this documentary. This is not the organization we will be working with but they do very similar things as George and PACODEP. This documentary tells the story of 2 boys who were sold into slavery by their families and who were rescued by a local organization. It is eye opening and tugs at my heart to see children suffer in this way. My prayer is that we bring awareness to the world about child trafficking and that people will be moved to act. If you are looking for ways to help, please let me know. JD, Tia and I have plenty of ways you can get involved with this trip!