NDF’s visit to Sierra Leone & Ghana in January 2017

Motto: Faith in Action.

In Sierra Leone, Nana Dee Foundation (NDF) visited four orphanages and a primary school at the top of a mountain. In December 2015, NDF had previously visited two of these orphanages and the primary school. The children, their care givers and teachers were excited to see us. The children looked older, remembered us and told us that they had hoped we would come back to see them. 

Feedback from Questionnaires:

In each orphanage, some children completed questionnaires that NDF had handed out to them. NDF needed to hear from the children, about their experience in the orphanage. The children’s aspirations were as follows: to become artists, medical doctors, engineers, teachers, pastors, lawyers, accountants, bank managers, architects and journalists.

All of the children said that they felt safe in their orphanage, that they had a best friend and that they were able to go to their care givers if the need arose. The children confirmed that they are given three healthy meals daily. We also found out that most of the children had lived in the orphanages since they were babies.

The children remarked that they were happy with the gifts that NDF brought for them in 2015. They said that they were able to use the items and also that they liked the fact that NDF gives them words of encouragement which in turn motivates them. They mentioned that they would definitely recommend NDF as a good charity and that the contributions from NDF had improved their lives in the orphanage and had put smiles on their faces. Finally, some of the children said that NDF should continue to support them financially especially in the area of paying their school fees and feeding them.

The education resources, tables and chairs that NDF delivered to the primary school at the top of the mountain, was most appreciated. When we visited the school in 2015, the school had no chairs to sit on or tables on which to write. Apart from the many words of gratitude from the children and staff on the day NDF visited, we received a letter the following day from the head teacher. He said that:

The gifts which you presented to us were timely as we were in dire need of sitting accommodation, teaching and learning materials, especially for the kindergarten and nursery departments.
— Pst. Silas M. Sesay; Head Teacher. MCPS. Freetown. Sierra Leone

On our arrival in Ghana, we first visited the orphanage where the carers care for children whose parents had all died from HIV Aids. The children and their care givers remembered us from our last visit in December 2015. They were excited to see us and grateful for the gifts we had brought them. The children have all grown and look healthy. Just before we left, the director of the orphanage told us that they cannot be reached at that address in future because they were being evicted by their landlord. The director showed us the eviction letter dated 16th June 2016 in which the landlord said that the last rent received had expired on February 29th 2016. The organisation had been unable to pay the rents and now, the care givers and all thirty children were being thrown out into the streets. This was heart breaking to hear.

NDF visited four other orphanages after the first one and although the stories were not exactly the same, the similarities are that they were all grateful and excited about the gifts and education resources given to them. In one of the orphanages, the director was born sighted but at age seventeen, he lost his sight. He does struggle to keep the orphanage running smoothly. We found out that all the boys in the orphanage slept in their classroom at night as does the director, his wife and family who sleep in another classroom whilst twenty girls sleep on bunk beds made for ten children in a room on the premises.

After a tour of the premises, we had no choice but to make a second trip on the same day to the orphanage/school. The children were very surprised to see us the second time but also happy. A lot of education resources, tables and chairs, were given to the director, staff and children.

One of the orphanages NDF visited said in a letter:

…..We are humbled by your thoughtfulness, that out of your own free will you came to us and offered such items.
— Rev'd Dr. Isaac Nana Abekah. Director Methodist Rafiki Satellite Village (MRSV) Winneba, Ghana.

In a letter from the director of another orphanage, it reads:

On behalf of the children, I want to express our heart-felt appreciation to you for your kind donation of assorted playing kits, lazy chair, used clothing and footwear and reading books to support the children at the orphanage. We are deeply grateful to you for your love and concern for the orphans, destitute and needy children, expressed through this act of kindness.
— Kwaku Sarkodie. Managing Director. Hope Children's Village. Gomoa-Fetteh. Ghana.

On the whole, NDF was able to get first-hand information concerning:

  • The children’s welfare.

  • The specific needs of the children in all of the orphanages.

  • The need for continuity when working with these children.

  • The effectiveness of the education resources and gifts distributed in December 2015.

At the end of NDF’s visit to all of the orphanages, it’s remarkable to learn that all of the care givers we met initially in these orphanages are still happy to care for and work with the children although it is such a demanding role to say the list. The directors and the care givers are making progress as they ensure that the children’s health and safety is paramount at all times and they are willing to answer questions asked about each child with no hesitation. NDF has promised to continue to help these orphanages as and when they are able to do so.

Moving Forward:

There are still a lot of orphaned children in both countries who need care and support from generous individuals. These children’s basic needs are to be met if they are to succeed in life. NDF together with anyone willing to help is therefore embarking on a two phase programme to assist in the welfare of these orphans. Please look at the NDF website for further details on how we could all support these children.