CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT

GIVING KIDS A BRIGHTER FUTURE

PRAISE NEWS

Edition 40 - October 2018

To all we say, "Akwaaba!"

With October about to end we have made it JUST IN TIME for our 2018 quarterly edition of PRAISE NEWS.

Get ready, we have a lot of great news to report!

Ananse Story, African Proverbs, Recycling Competition

Last Saturday, 20 October, we held our annual Recycling Competition! The entries were awesome making it extremely challenging for our judges to decide on the winners. In this years event, the children recited a number of African Proverbs and performed a drama titled, 'Ananse and the Pot of Wisdom.’ One of the favorite Proverbs was: The monkey who tries to see the hunter clearly collects bullets in its eyes. —  

To top off the program, the children enjoyed a delicious hot meal and on closing snacks were shared. Special thanks to our judges: Paulett Opoku, Adwoa Gymiah and Seth Johnson.  Thank you also to our sponsors: TOP CHOCO, H&H Ltd., Extra Mile West Africa, our volunteers and all our on-going faithful CotL supporters.  May God bless you all!

We are 13!

Back in August, we celebrated our 13th year! We use this opportunity to say big thanks to everyone who has been a part of this journey.  

The celebration day was a blessing.  We received a delightful gift of stationery and a selection of children's books from Cara Amankwah, who was visiting with her family from England.  We also had an interesting visit from Cordie Aziz, the director and founder of Environmental 360, an organization based in Accra that is recycling plastic waste.  Cordie talked to the children about saying, 'No to plastic bags'. Although this is a simple concept, it is something that we all have to be conscious about doing.

https://www.environment360gh.org

Many thanks and a look at the Learning Centre and Land!

We take this opportunity to thank First Love Foundation, the Helensville Christian Life Centre, Rida Cup South/Tema Golf Club (photo right), Mt Roskill Rotary Club, and all the individual donors that have helped us continue work at the centre: this includes work on the building, furniture and land. We have now installed all the louvers on the upper part of the building, there are more boards up displaying the children's work, and we have extra classroom furniture. With it being rainy season, we are continually planting and the grounds are looking absolutely beautiful! We still have a way to completing the centre and grounds, but little by little we are getting there.

We stand on these words of the late Kofi Annan - Former UN Secretary-General.    “The farmer knows instinctively that if you take something from the earth today you have to put something back to be able to return to harvest tomorrow. Somehow, when we move to the city we lose that instinct. We need to create a world that is equitable, that is stable and a world where we bear in mind the needs of others and not only what we need immediately."

Vacation Classes at CotL

During the August school holidays, CotL organised Vacation Classes. It was a busy and exciting time. One of the subjects for learning was 'ROCKS'. Each group learned in detail and prepared outstanding projects. These projects are now on display at the centre. 

Another highlight for the program was teaching the children how to sew. Many made hand-made purses, and some of the older children ventured on to using the hand operated sewing machine to make a shopping bag from a recycled flour bag. Special thanks to DUNK-Developing Unity Nurturing Knowledge, for the sewing machine donation, we really appreciate your kindness. DUNK is an organisation in Accra that uses the sport of basketball, and other approaches to help encourage and empower the youth. 

Do check out their website for more information. http://www.dunkgrassroots.org/

Saturday Hot Lunch

We continue serving the children a hot lunch every Saturday. Thank you to Mina Reynolds who gave us a  donation of rice, tinned fish, and pasta. This donation has been a tremendous help. To add to our feeding program, we recently harvested corn from the land which was planted by CotL's gardener/farmer, Kwame Darko. The corn has been an immense help to the feeding program. The corn is dried and milled and then used as the main ingredient for a local dish called banku, which is eaten with soup or stew. Thank you aslo to Internos Farms in Peduase, for the donation of eggs.

Toys, Sports, Books Donation

Thank you to CO Foundation for the donation of fluffy toys, school bags, footballs, and more. CO Foundation is a football/sponsorship program based in Kitase, Ghana, which is aimed towards youth empowerment and success. They have been a support to us in kind for many years, and this support has been invaluable. One of the items donated was a huge amount plastic connecting tiles. It has been a joy to watch the children working together to make new and amazing creations. http://co-foundation.org/

A big thank you also goes to Nicole Madden, for the great selection of early readers.

WORLD CLEANUP DAY

A handful of children and our director, Jeanette Opoku, met on World Cleanup Day, 15 September, and cleaned up an area that gets heavily littered by those who use the Aburi Road for training every Saturday morning. 'SAY NO TO LITTERING!'

'It’s estimated that 90% of plastic that enters the ocean comes from river mouths.'  https://4ocean.com

Writing Workshop

One Saturday morning in September, Esther Singh, a High School English teacher in Accra, visited CotL. During her visit, Esther shared tips on effective ways to teach journal writing. Thanks so much Esther!

We Love Volunteers!

We are so grateful to have Seth and Anna Johnson come on Saturday's to help us with the teaching. As the children and their learning needs are many we really appreciate their support.

Message from the Founder

One afternoon, a few weeks back, we had an amazing encounter. A few of us had been working on the land and as we were preparing to go my son, Silas, heard a strange sound, so he went over to see what it could be. What I thought I heard him say took me by surprise. "Snake! Come and see there are more!" What, more snakes? My whole body tensed up. Well, it was not more snakes, but the cutest little creatures, two young pottos. The snake was chasing them and when it saw Silas it slithered off. Thank goodness! I managed to get the photo above before it also vanished into the forest.

Africa is an amazing continent home to such a wide range of wildlife, but what is incredibly sad is the habitat for these breathtaking animals is not being protected. What can be done? Simply caring is a start. As Dr. Jane Goodall, the founder of the world's longest running continuous wildlife research project states, 'Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved'.

One of the children recently asked me, "What is Global Warming?" This question took me by surprise and has pushed me to work on a major project with the older children before the year comes to an end.  We have started, so it will surely be featured in our next newsletter.  

On another note, in November, we will be holding our annual Spelling Bee and Vocabulary Test. This test is for the children who have completed the vocabulary lessons in the text we use called 'Vocabulary Workshop'. It is encouraging as we have a vast amount of children that will be ready for this test. Recently we received in the post a selection of fantastic teaching resources from Ann Murgatroyd, a retired NZ teacher. Thank you Ann and thank you Sharon Kohler (CotL board member), for getting them in the post.

Before I close, I wish to thank all who are supporting us whether through the child sponsorship program, general donations, or in kind. Your kindness, generosity, and support have been invaluable!!! God bless you!

Many blessings,

Jeanette Opoku 

Acknowledgments: First Love Foundation, USA; Helensville Christian Life Centre, NZ; Mt Roskill Rotary Club, NZ; The Hazel Dick Trust, NZ;  Rida Cup South, Ghana; PFC Auditing Services; CO Foundation, Netherlands; TOP CHOCO, Ghana; Extra Mile West Africa, Ghana; DUNK-Developing Unity Nurturing Knowledge, Ghana; H&H Biscuits, Ghana; Internos Farms, Ghana; Caves and Gardens, Ghana, and all the individual CotL supporters. THANK YOU!

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If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.   African proverb

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CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT

P.O. Box 143

Aburi, E/R,

Ghana, West Africa.

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

024 205 5897

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P.O. BOX 48154,

Blockhouse Bay,

Auckland 0644, New Zealand

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

www.childrenofthelightghana.org