11 July 2012
[Hey!! Before I say anything, I have to apologize for taking so long to update. Now that we're coming close to the end, I've been trying to work on my papers for the past couple days, which has taken up what used to be my designated blogging time. I'm attempting to break the cycle today, however :)]
Wednesday was our final field trip for our Social Service Delivery Systems class. This trip was more informal than the others as we took an hour bus ride to an orphanage called the Village of Hope. I was struck by how aptly named the place is; it is a HUGE property. As our class emptied the bus, we were immediately greeted by the fresh country air and the sound of kids playing. I felt like I was standing on a little slice of Ghanaian paradise. While we took a seat in chairs underneath some shady trees to hear from the res director, we were slowly joined by a few hundred kids of all ages come to check out their visitors.
We learned that the Village of Hope is a running orphanage that welcomes not only abandoned or parentless children but also children whose families are unable to take care of them (due to mental disabilities and the like). They come here to live and attend school until they are of an age where they can go off to be trained in a specific vocation and establish themselves in the greater community.
What I found most interesting about the orphanage is that it invites couples who would like to donate their time to come and live there with their biological children and be “acting parents” for about a dozen children at a time. This way, the kids essentially have adoptive guardians to be their guides and role models and to give them a sense of family.
The facility runs entirely off of donations from the public, which has made a major impact. This was clear to see on our tour of the place. The buildings were clean, polished, and new and there was even a professional clinic. I believe it was mentioned that both the clinic and the school are open to the public! The kids have a lot of exposure to the larger community this way, and they are less confined and less segregated like other orphanages are.
I just felt so at peace at this place. Seeing how much pure, unconditional effort has gone into caring for these children gives me hope.
And oh! I almost forgot to mention, the kids SANG for us! Their choir director organized for them to perform a couple songs for us and they were just gorgeous. I took a few videos with them, but I may not be able to upload them on here until I have access to WiFi (right now I’m using a paid modem with limited data). My love for choral music knows no bounds.
Alright, better get back to being productive. These papers have no mercy!
Till next time,