Our December 2015 trip to Ghana was a valuable trip but also an eye opening experience. On my first day in Ghana, the team and I travelled to the local town to purchase bulk food supplies and provisions that would last a couple of months for the orphanages we planned to visit that day.
Even though the journey was very long, I appreciated it because I saw so many different parts of Ghana that I had never experienced before.
On our way, the car drove through street vendors, bustling markets, local schools and the busy day to day life of the street vendors was apparent. During some parts of our journey, it was sad to see very small children who were bare footed and poorly clothed in the street selling goods instead of being in school.
These sights made me feel very fortunate for the life we live over here in England, It made me aware of the pressing need and amount of work that needs to be done in West Africa.
At the first orphanage we visited, it was clear that the children were happy to be there as they engaged in games and ate their dinner after a long day of education. Despite this, I couldn't help but notice the small food portions that the children were eating and the decayed classrooms. Although there had been an attempt to brighten up the premises with wall art and painting, the rooms had insufficient classroom equipment and the building itself had a number of holes in the ceiling. We got the opportunity to tour the orphanage, meet the staff and children. I couldn't believe the excitement on the children's faces as we distributed all the goods (clothes, toys, posters, books, stationary, food, sweets, laundryand bathing products).
The next orphanage we visited was a smaller setting with orphans whose family have died from HIV AIDS. A tour was given of the premises. It was very small but the children looked happy to be there. A lot of work is needed to be done in both orphanages in terms of providing them with resources, food and improving the orphanage homes.
The Nana Dee team also had the opportunity to get involved with the Christmas at Serve Ghana Church. This is an outreach programme with Serve Ghana church where children aged 5 to 15 years, participated in a celebration service. The children had fun with the bouncy castle, trampoline, see-saw, face paint, movie, snacks and gifts.
This was an amazing experience as it was great to see all the children from the community have such a passion in serving God. Nana Dee team participated in activities with the children and made a presentation, then on the final evening of the celebration, Nana Dee team arrived to find one of the children waiting at the entrance to the park, with an improvised NDF ‘T’ shirt which he had carefully inscribed on the back of his ‘T’ shirt. He was very proud to show his art work to us. Next to him was his younger brother who smiled at us. His face had been painted with the NDF inscription by his older brother.
The Nana Dee Foundation team and members of Serve Ghana Church, distributed Christmas gifts to every child present. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed both evenings and it was lovely to hear the children talk about how much they appreciate the Nana Dee Foundation.
The trip to Ghana was a success and I believe that we left with plenty of experiences and openings for more work to be done in the future with our chosen orphanages.