Archive for November, 2008

Light for Children October Update

November 12, 2008

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12th of November 2008

Light for Children October 08’ Report

Written by Catherine Charles, LIFOC volunteer (catherine@lightforchildren.com), and prepared by Sebastian Lindstrom (sebastian@lightforchildren.com)


Call to Action

We are now nearing the end of the year and winding down with volunteers. It is very important to continue bringing volunteers to work with us for both the children and the organization as we are small but extremely busy. If you know of anyone that is thinking of traveling and doing some volunteer work please email us at lightforchildren@yahoo.com We have volunteers organized for December, January, March, May and June but the more the merrier so please call your friends and put them onto us ASAP.


Good bye to the old and hello to the new

This month we said a sad farewell to Amy, David and Laura from the UK who left us on the 16th for a 2 week trip around Ghana before leaving for home. We also welcome 7 Swedish volunteers who arrived on the 27th of this month for a 2 week stay.

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Ghanaian Health Fair – Kumasi 2008

October has been a big month for Health in Kumasi. The annual Ghana Health Fair was held at Prempeh Hall and Jubilee Park and LIFOC played a leading role. Both Mike and Yaw were involved in the organization of the fair and volunteers Catherine, Chelsey, Rhi, Craig, Amy, David and Laura all participated in events. The fair started off on Saturday the 11th with the “Walk for life” which left from the Post office square in Adum and finished around one hour later in Jubilee Park. Mike, Yaw and the volunteers all helped out ferrying children from their schools and seamstresses and hairdressers from pick up points to the Post office square. Once at the park the 1500 participants all joined in with group exercises before partaking of snacks that the volunteers distributed. The Monday following was the official opening again leaving from the Post office square with over 2,000 involved. There were floats and clowns and once all seated at Jubilee Park there was entertainment of traditional African dancing, drumming and singing, some acting and official speeches. There was a representative of the President and the message was sent about making the right life choices to affect your health.

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The official proceedings were finished again with snacks handed out by the volunteers before everyone headed to Prempeh Hall for the opening of the exhibition. The week ended following activities such as exhibitions, local school rap dancers and other entertainment, health seminars and free health tests. LIFOC helped all week with Yaw and Mike working tirelessly day and night with the organizers and the mobilize malaria organization.

Monthly socialization meeting

The monthly meeting of the HIV positive care and support group took place at the National Cultural Centre of Kumasi on the 18th of October, 2008 at 9:30a.m. Most of the children and their caregivers were present and participated actively. While all the formalities were underway the volunteers took the children to the football grounds and played. Rhi had brought along many bits and pieces and the children were delighted in the seemingly endless (and messy) supply of bubbles and glitter as well as balloons. The girls covered themselves with the glitter, danced in and out of the bubbles and fought over the balloons as the boys played soccer, much fun was had by all.

After returning to the mothers who had been issued their medication and funds, the children all lined up and were given teddy bears that had arrived from the mother bear project www.motherbearproject.org Each bear has been hand knitted with love and wears a tag around its arm stating the name of the lady that made it. 100 bears have been sent by the organization working purely for the enjoyment of children and LIFOC can not express our gratitude to them enough. The bears were given out to all of the children and a group photo taken and all the mothers clapped.

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Everyone then had lunch of Jollof Rice and juice before we all said our farewells until next month.

Meetings

This month also saw a NGO fair at the Ghana University to students from Trent University Canada in ACCRA. Catherine traveled to the fair to represent LIFOC and presented with another 15 NGO’s to encourage the students to come and volunteer at the end of their course in January. The competition is stiff with the group going to another Ngo fair this week in Tamale where another 16 NGO’s will present making a total of 32 NGO’s and only 25 students so fingers crossed. After the presentation the students stopped on their way through to Tamale to visit the LIFOC office and meet with Yaw and Mike so we are hoping to get at least one volunteer to join us in January.

Trip to Green Turtle

On Friday the 24th of this month the volunteers headed off for the much talked about Green Turtle resort. Here we met up with David, Laura and Amy who had been traveling all week and got acquainted with the resort. The place is owned by a British couple who have set up an eco resort, run by solar power, compost toilets that use ash and a lot of the profits are used to save the leather back turtles.

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It sits on the Atlantic Ocean lined with palm trees and beach umbrellas made of bamboo poles and grass thatched tops. It was a great 2 days of relaxation after a busy week at work with lots of swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball, reading, eating and traditional African dancing, singing and drumming. A great time was had by all and at reasonable prices to cater for the volunteers a definite recommendation on any trip to Ghana.


In Progress

As usual there is a lot of work in progress at the moment at LIFOC. We have been offered a grant to assist and roll out a program in Kumasi called Mobilize Malaria. The program involves training local volunteers on recognizing early signs of malaria and taking action by referring them to the necessary health clinic. This program starts at the end of October and runs until December with the possibility of becoming a part of our LIFOC program for another 2 years depending on its success. School presentations also started at the end of this month with Catherine, Rhi, Craig and Chelsey all taking part. The presentations will run until the end of November ensuring the volunteers have a full working calendar.

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Rhi and Craig are also making headway at the Missionaries of Charity orphanage with the painting of the orphanage to brighten the children’s lives and their somewhat drab surroundings.

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