Archive for July, 2008

Light for Children June Update

July 21, 2008

Written by Mike Owusu, Programme coordinator (inlawp5@yahoo.com) and Sebastian Lindstrom, chairman (butchieenorsk@msn.com)

School presentations
This month we started holding our presentations at the Nyankyerenease Methodist School. We went to the classes 1 and 2 of the Junior High and the classes 5 and 6 of the Primary School. During the presentations the students were introduced to the Journey of Hope and encouraged to participate, as we lectured them about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and others. After that the studentsc were given assignments to write or draw something about what we had told them. We also coordinated with the faculty and students of Nyankyerenease regarding A.K., a student whom has been having a difficult time at the school. A.K. was being taunted and made fun of by the other children due to a slight mental delay relative to the others in his class. We spoke with his family as well, and developed creative ways to bring out his potential. A.K. and his family have recently reported that they are much happier, and the students have been treating him well at school. The work on these assignments will be carried out next month.

 

Monthly socialization meeting
The monthly meeting of the HIV positive care and support group took place at the Center for National Cultural Centre of Kumasi on the 21st of June, 2008 at 9:30a.m. Most of the children and their caregivers were present and participating actively. Volunteers Mimi, Hilary, Andre Terra and Sara Glazer from Canada, and Christian Monteith from Germany were all present to assist. Volunteer Sara Glazer from Volunteer Abroad came to the meeting with Junior, a seven year old boy living at the Missionaries for Charity Orphanage. Junior is HIV positive and has been suffering from Tuberculosis. He comes from a family where he was severely neglected and left very ill. Sara hopes to, in coordination with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Western Ontario, find sponsorship for Junior as well as several other HIV positive orphans upon her return to school in September. We will follow up on this venture next month.

 

Cooperation with US High School 

As we were contacted by an US High School, which was interested in Ghanaian culture and therefore wanted to cooperate with a Ghanaian High School, we went looking for a school with the appropriate facilities to keep in contact with the partner school. Finally we chose the Kumasi Academy, as they have both enough students of the age from 15 to 17 as well as the opportunity to install an Internet connection over there, which is necessary to communicate with the US school. The plan is to have the students communicate with each other for 9 months. In the 10th month, however, it is planned that the US students will come to Ghana for a short visit so they can experience Ghanaian school life. Right now we’re still waiting for the school to send us the profiles of the 40 selected students, so we can forward them to the US High School.

 

Profiles of Children who need sponsorship

If you are interested in sponsoring one of these children, please don’t hesitate to contact Sebastian Lindstrom via email at butchieenorsk@msn.com

Mavis, Age 10.

Family History

The Mensah family used to reside in Europe and on return to Ghana; both parents discovered they were HIV positive. Both parents sadly passed away due to the virus, leaving Mavis and her twin sister Mabel as orphans. The grandmother assumed the role of primary caregiver to the girls. Mavis and Mabel were taken to the hospital and tested for HIV; Mavis was found to be chronically anaemic and HIV positive, Mabel tested negative for HIV. A friend of the family that works in the hospital reported them to Light for Children.

Both girls are still residing with their grandmother in Agogo, Kumasi. Their grandmother is unemployed and has only their Grandfathers pension to support them and the rest of their large family. Providing for the girls is a constant struggle for the family due to the health needs of Mavis.

 

About Mavis

Mavis is a lovely, quiet young girl; she is extremely caring and loving towards everyone, and adores children. She is very helpful around the house and always helps her grandmother with the household chores.

Mavis is doing ok at school; her favourite subjects are Twi and English, she enjoys these very much. Mavis enjoys attending the monthly socialization meetings with her twin sister Mabel. She spends a lot of time looking after the smaller children in the group and playing with them. She is extremely caring towards them and she is a popular member of the group.

 

 

Mabel, Age 10.

Family History

The Mensah family used to reside in Europe and on return to Ghana; both parents discovered they were HIV positive. Both parents sadly passed away due to the virus, leaving Mabel and her twin sister Mavis as orphans. The grandmother assumed the role of primary caregiver to the girls. Mabel and Mavis were taken to the hospital and tested for HIV; Mabel was found to be negative but Mavis was found to be chronically anaemic and HIV positive

A friend of the family that works in the hospital reported them to Light for Children. Both girls are still residing with their grandmother in Agogo, Kumasi. Their grandmother is unemployed and has only their Grandfathers pension to support them and the rest of their large family. Providing for the girls is a constant struggle for the family due to the health needs of Mavis.

 

About Mabel

Mabel is very similar to her twin sister Mavis; she is an extremely loving and caring young girl. She loves children and is always willing to help her grandmother with the household chores.

Mabel performs very well at school; she is in the top four of her class for both mathematics and English. These are her favourite subjects.

Mabel enjoys attending the monthly socialization meetings with Mavis. They are always seen playing together and caring for the younger children, especially the two sets of baby twins. Mabel is a popular member of the group, and is especially close to Beatrice.

 

Beatrice, Age 8.

 

Family History

Beatrice is HIV positive and is cared for by her Auntie and Grandmother in Tafo, Kumasi. The auntie is the only member of the family in the household who knows that Beatrice is HIV positive. Beatrice’s father is presumed to be positive but refuses to test and discriminates against his daughter because of her status. Her father stays in Accra and her mother took her to live with him there, but due to his attitude to the virus he insisted she went back to Kumasi. Due to the conflict between the parents and the obvious neglect of Beatrice’s health and wellbeing the father’s sister stepped in and took care of Beatrice.

Beatrice’s auntie use to work in Accra as a trader but due to her own health problems is now unemployed. She moved into the Grandmothers house in Kumasi to help her in her effort to care for Beatrice and her own children.

 

About Beatrice

Beatrice is a bubbly and playful little girl. Over the last few months Beatrice’s personality has begun to shine, she is now very chatty and outgoing. This is a result of a loving and settled home life.

Beatrice has very recently started attending school. Despite being behind the other children in class she is enjoying her new school. Her English and general performance is improving quickly and it is clear that it won’t take her long to catch up with her peers.    

Beatrice enjoys the monthly socialization meetings and loves playing with Mavis and Mabel. She is a keen participant in all games. She always turns up to the meetings beautifully dressed but always leaves covered in dirt…a sure sign that she has enjoyed playtime!

 

 

 

 

 

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