Beyond the lenses of SOS villages and schools…

It was shocking news! An unbelievable sight for Akosua Mensah when the bitter news was broken to her that she had lost her husband, Abeiku. The breadwinner of a family of six had just passed on. Abeiku had struggled enough to at least live some more years to enjoy the fruits of his labour. As a driver by profession, he had endured the pain to get himself a taxi on loan. And just when he was on the verge of finally paying off the loan, death laid its icy hands on him. How was Akosua, a petty trader whose income was not anything to write home about, going to sustain her family?

The poor widow must take the full responsibility of ensuring that her children remained in school and were well taken care of. But the burden was just too much for her. Her financial circumstances would just not make it happen. She could no longer take it, as her children were always driven out of school; went hungry and looked dejected. But whatever it was, Akosua shouldn’t have taken an irresponsible decision. She opted to end it all with suicide! Abeiku was no more; Akosua was no more. A family of six! Now, left with four. No mother! No father!! They must now survive in the uncompleted chamber and hall their late father started.

Abena, the eldest child must now wear the crown of a father and mother. Where would she start from? What could the JHS 1 dropout possibly do to help sustain her siblings? Already knocking at her door was a group of “ragamuffins” ready with a juicy offer to champion their nefarious activities

Pressure was mounting. So many options that could temporarily bring joy on the faces of her siblings, but with stern and harsh consequences; probably contracting HIV, being knocked down by a car; gunned down- so many unpleasant consequences!!

Timely intervention
It was at this stage that SOS Children’s Villages Ghana heard the story. Timely intervention! The situation was saved immediately. The children had to quickly get back to school. Quicker than they expected, the challenges relating to their care, education and health care were being fixed. Food, clothing and shelter became a matter of cause.

The success story
Today, Abena just entered one of the traditional Universities in Ghana. Her younger brother is on the verge of securing admission to one of the best senior high schools in Cape Coast; and the rest of the siblings are doing great. It is seven years already, and anytime we look back at the lives of these children; we can only smile with satisfaction for saving the future of a whole generation.

This is one of the thousands of situations SOS Children’s Villages Ghana has saved since this social welfare organization graced the shores of Ghana some 40 years ago.

Millions of children in the world are being deprived of a caring family for various reasons: poverty and its associated effects, disease, domestic violence, war or natural disasters.

At SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, we are convinced that children can only develop to their full potential if they have a supportive and protective family environment

At the centre of our programmes is the individual child who has lost or stands the chance of losing the care of the family. What is best for the child guides our work. We focus on each child’s care, education and health; and we encourage children to actively take part in the decisions that affect their lives.

We are committed to making this a reality for as many children as possible, and are happy to welcome on board all well-meaning individuals and organizations who share this commitment.

At SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, we believe that every child must belong to a loving home where they can grow to become what they dream to become. You have helped greatly in ensuring we fill in as many vacuums as possible. So on this day as we mark four decades of transforming lives, and making the difference in the lives of the underprivileged, please accept our sincerest gratitude.

SOS Children’s Villages Ghana is not a school

It is not uncommon to attribute SOS Children’s Villages Ghana to a school-the Hermann Gmeiner School. While it is commendable to appreciate the quality of our schools, it is worth mentioning that the core business of the organization is to provide a holistic quality care for orphaned vulnerable children in Ghana.

What the masses are oblivious of, is the fact that we also provide community intervention services to deprived communities in Ghana. We have, since the inception of this initiative, called the Family strengthening Programme.

For those children that we are not able to bring to our Villages, we reach out to them and their families in their communities through our community intervention initiative called the Family Strengthening Programme (FSP).

Why Family Strengthening
Our Family Strengthening Programmes aim to support vulnerable families as well as their children and the communities around them. Intervention strategies include direct educational, health and economic support, as well as strengthening capacities of caregivers and community groups, and advocacy for more and better services.

The facts
Currently, over 5,000 children and their families are enjoying this facility in several communities such as Tema, Ashaiman, Asokore Mampong, Tamale, Chorkor, Asiakwa, and Zuozugu. One Hundred and Fifty Three (153) families have successfully left the programme over the last two years because they have reached self -sufficiency.

The whole essence of our community intervention is that while we take care of these vulnerable children in our care, we know one day they shall return to their communities of origin. There must be some form of metamorphosis in these communities by the time they return. It is against this backdrop that we ensure sustainability in our work through Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to mitigate some of these social quagmires.

For instance in Chorkor, the organization provide the fishmongers with Tricycles to aid their daily work; in Zuozugu in Tamale, we provide tractors to facilitate the farming activities of farmers; we have built nine (9) water projects and three toilet facilities in Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region; Osino, Bunso and Fanteakwa in the Eastern Region and Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region.

Our Community Beliefs
At SOS Children’s Villages Ghana, we continue to work to ensure that every child is able to form their own convictions-following beliefs, being true to cultural roots and respecting those of others. We have worked with partners in each community to either help families care for their children or to provide an alternative. Everything we do is based on the best interests of the child.

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