CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT

Giving kids a brighter future

Praise News

Edition 42 - November 2019

Never give up on your dreams no matter how crazy they seem!  Simply, give time a chance!!!

When we started building the centre, there was not even a foot path for us to get to the site. We started building in 2009, and in 2019 the centre was officially opened.  We definitely had our fair share of setbacks, but with God all was made possible!!

How did this amazing transformation take place?!

Back in February, we received a remarkable financial contribution from the Australian High Commission through their Direct Aid Program (DAP). This donation helped us to complete the back and side entrances, finish the ground floor (except the kitchen) of the centre, and install the beginning of our solar unit. In addition to these great accomplishments, we were able to complete the front entrance, build a small security room, set up water-tanks, and finalize payment on the additional land we recently purchased. These feats were made possible through a generous donation from Charities Aid Foundation America, First Love Foundation, Dulux Ghana, and other kind individuals.

THE GRAND OPENING

On Friday, 23rd August, Australian High Commissioner, Andrew Barnes, along with our Director, Jeanette Brown Opoku, officially opened the Children of the Light Learning Centre. The event was graced by many dignitaries who are directly involved with the centre. It was a joyful occasion which included a performance by the children. A donor appreciation board, featuring all those who have been a support to us over the years, is now on display at the front entrance of the centre.

A RUN DOWN OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO

As this newsletter is well overdue, we go back to February to fill you in on all that we have been doing.

BLACK HISTORY

February marks 'Black History Month' at Children of the Light. Throughout the month of February, the children created projects all about great black people. These projects were presented to us all on Saturday, 2nd March.

EASTER SATURDAY

On Easter Saturday, our older children performed a short drama for the younger children and workers on site. The play was entitled 'Were You There', and explained the death and resurrection of Christ.

 

EARTH DAY

We celebrated Earth Day on 22nd April. In observance of the day, we sent a load of plastic bottles to Lynamps Plastic Enterprise for recycling, broken glass to TK beads for recycling, and then spent the afternoon planting tree seedlings.

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MATHEMATICS COMPETITION

On Saturday, 25th May, we held a Mathematics Competition it included a written text and math drills.  The competition was extremely competitive, as all contestants were eager to win.  The winners received great prizes and all participants received a gift pack.  

TEENS PROGRAM

This year we started a 'Teens Program'.  The aim of this program is to discuss some of the many issues that our teenagers are faced with.  Our Board Secretary, Paulett Opoku, is the facilitator.  It is held on the last Friday of each month.  The teens are served a refreshment after the discussions.

COMPOSTING

The children have been involved in a variety of other programs: World Water Day, World Frog Day, World Clean-up Day are to name a few. They also took part in a wonderful composting exercise taught by Sara Stayte. Sara spent an afternoon giving us a deep incite into composting. With the help of the children, she put together a wonderful composting unit, at the centre, using car tires.

READING MONTH

Our annual month of reading held in June was a great success. It ended with a fabulous banquet sponsored by Shoprite and friends of CotL. This year Shoprite actually came to us prior to the banquet with a colossal donation. The party day was fabulous! The children enjoyed a delicious meal and the winners received fantastic prizes. All the reading participants took home a bag of treats.

PARCELS TO THE FEMALE INMATES

We delivered 86 parcels to the ladies at the Nsawam Prison. This was made possible through The Fair Justice Initiative. Read more about the initiative at https://fairjusticegh.com/.

VACATION CLASSES

We continue to serve a hot meal, to the children, every Saturday. When vacation classes are in session, we also serve meals on Wednesday.

2019 MARKS OUR 14th ANNIVERSARY

August was a special month for us as we celebrated our 14th anniversary.

It was a joyful occasion. 

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SAVE ATEWA FOREST

September, we had a visit from Stephanie Nkansah of A Rocha Ghana. A Rocha works throughout the country to help communities protect some of the most bio-diverse and threatened habitats. Stephanie came to share with us the wonders of the Atewa Forest.

CLIMATE STRIKE

“Don't Give us Hope Give us Action,” “Climate Action is Saving Atewa,” “No Trees, No Oxygen.”

These were the words on some of the posters that were held high during the Climate Strike March that we joined in Accra in September!

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

In October, many of our children wrote letters to the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, asking him to protect the Atewa Forest and make it a National Reserve. Read more about the Atewa Forest below.

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Message from the Founder

This years theme has been ‘STAND FOR TREES’. Our major focus has been on the ‘ATEWA FOREST’. We recently held a special Atewa Exhibition during our Recycling Competition as a way to honor this magnificent forest. The Atewa art work and entries for the recycling competition were tremendous. (Photos below)  

Atewa is a magnificent forest in Ghana.  However, its unique biodiversity is under threat from mining, illegal logging, farm encroachment, and hunting.  It houses plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world many of which are currently under threat or near-threat with extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  In addition, 5 million people depend on Atewa for clean water. If the forest is sold to the Chinese for mining, these people will not have clean water. To put it into perspective, New Zealand’s population is 4.8 million. If not stopped, an entire country will suffer due to the consequences of bad decisions. Many are fighting for Atewa to be turned into a National Reserve, allowing it to bring in more money as a tourist spot in the future. God clearly commanded man to take dominion (as a King takes pride of his own) over the earth and KEEP IT. Sadly, this is not happening.  Let us all stand together to fight climate change for our future generations.

The photos below are of a recent visit we made to the Atewa Forest. We met up with the A Rocha Team in Kibi, and they took us into the waterfall. From the smiles, it can be said with certainty that this was a day we all will never forget.

Do visit their website: https://ghana.arocha.org

Lastly, Silas (my youngest) and I have now moved to the centre. It is absolutely amazing!  We still have work to be done for example, running water into the centre, a kitchen sink, and doors in various places. However, will keep working and keep the faith.  

I would like to take the opportunity to thank our wonderful donors, staff, and volunteers. You have and continue to play an immense part in where we are today.

May God richly bless you!

Jeanette

Acknowledgments: Australian High Commission - Direct Aid Program (DAP), Ghana; Charities Aid Foundation America, USA; First Love Foundation, USA; PFC Auditing Services, Ghana; SHOPRITE, Ghana; Type Company Ltd., Ghana; The Hazel Dick Trust, NZ; DULUX, Ghana; TOP CHOCO, Ghana; GEODRILL, Ghana; Admintelecom Academy Ltd., Ghana; Extra Mile West Africa, Ghana; West Bridge School, NZ; and all the individual CotL supporters. THANK YOU!

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CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT

P.O. Box BR143,

Aburi, E/R,

Ghana, West Africa.

Reg. No.: D.S.D/3233 - Republic of Ghana

+233 24 205 5897

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P.O. Box 48154,

Blockhouse Bay,

Auckland 0644, New Zealand

Reg. No.: CC44538 - Charities Services, NZ.

www.childrenofthelightghana.org

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