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One Child at a Time by Janet Neumann, US Volunteer

DSC_0108Day one of reading camp for me was both familiar and yet, new.  In past years, as the bus with Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope volunteers drives up to a school, smiling children would come running.  I love seeing the children waving and calling out “Auntie Janet, Auntie Janet.”

This year my greeting was much quieter, which was to be expected since this is a brand-new camp in a different Region of Ghana, the Eastern Region. This region is quite long reaching from the Volta river area to the Central Region. It is very agricultural. I loved seeing lush green vegetation. Most of the families in this part of the region are farmers.

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Some children from the Botae village came to our camp in Twerebo last year so I was ecstatic to see three familiar faces. As we began getting situated, we could see many eager, smiling and happy children.  You could tell they were so excited about us being there and camp to start.

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The team began by assessing our space for the week; this school was unlike the schools we had been to before.  The camp we were in two years ago at Twerebo consisted of four, dusty walls, and NO roof.  This was a change! A school that was in good condition.  It was dingy looking but you could tell that this building was cared for.  How we treat things shows how we value them. This building was treated with love so education and learning was valued and respected here.  The teachers from the village that were there to teach with us were smiling and ready to lend a helping hand.

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As we started picking classrooms, I found a room that was perfect except it was filled with buckets, dust, roofing tins, “stuff”, that honestly would appear as trash to us in the U.S.  I asked some teachers for help and before I knew it, little children came rushing in and began taking out things piece by piece. The teachers helped navigate and the children did the moving, it appeared as an assembly line. Soon, all the extra “stuff” was gone, and in its place was a beautiful classroom, full of potential.

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Anything could become possible in this space. I thought to myself, it isn’t that I come here to do, I come to create possibilities.  As I saw these children so willing to learn and help, my heart was filled with joy, these little children understood.  They understood that school was important.

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This is my 5th year and I keep coming back because I know the time I spend here makes a difference.  Anything is possible with the right intentions. Understanding that education will open up avenues and whole new world, creates incredible possibilities.  I love that I get to share my love of learning with these children and simultaneously empower them, one child at a time.

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P.S.  This is our first year at Botae. We have 40 children, five US volunteers, one Ghanaian, and nine Ghanaian Teachers.

There is another camp at Twerebo being running by a team of nine Ghanaian teachers. They also have 40 children.

Our third camp will run at Akramaman next week. That camp will have 100 children, two U.S. volunteers, seven Ghanaian teen assistants, and eight Ghanaian teachers.

Please send us a comment about this post to encourage us.

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Our Mission is Finished – by Beth Hester, R.N.

Beth Hester, Leader of the Breast Cancer Awareness

To paraphrase someone a long time ago Our mission is done. I have seen the most wonderful learning and excitement and appreciation on the faces of so many Ghanaian women this week it is hard to count the number.

Holding her sleeping grandchild, a woman listens carefully

It is amazing the way they listen so attentively as they soak up new information on breast cancer and breast self-exam and hypertension and menopause. These topics that American women have been learning all our lives is very new to the distant villages.

Here in Ghana the word “village” is similar to our word “town” as a village can be a few hundrend to many hundred. They asked us lots of questions some of which were on a very personal level, but they needed to know and now they do.

This has been a powerful experience for all of us. The curriculum I put together and hands on supplies have been left with a wonderful physician and the nurses of the Amasaman Health District. The teaching to come will help to save even more lives. We are all blessed for having been here, shared our knowledged and learned so much ourselves while making some wonderful new friends. God bless all of you who have supported my mission. Thank you very much–Beth

Photo taken by Lisa, Deb, Charity, Beth and Nicole

Ghana Mission 2010

Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope will host two mission trips to Ghana this summer.  The first trip, July 14-26,  will bring breast cancer awareness, along with health and environmental issues to four villages in the Amsamaman District, including Akramaman village, where our first Health Post has been constructed.

Beth Hester, R.N., Nicole Schmidt, teacher,  and Lisa Bornt, animal specialist,  will host day long programs in the villages to discuss women’s health.  Breast Cancer is a large concern in Ghana and many women are under the misconception that any abnormality of the breast could be a curse.  Our hope is to demystify breast cancer and provide information on treatment opportunities.

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