In 2011, Patrick Nwodobeh, school teacher, chicken farmer, and spiritual man, answered a call from God, which he heard through prayer, and launched the Savior Children Foundation, an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of children in and around the community of Kasoa in Ghana, Africa.
The Foundation was built to help bridge the gap between the rich and poor, gender inequality and human rights, and to provide a landscape where every child thrives with exposure to good nutrition, education, and recreation. At its heart, the Foundation provides a home for more than 40 children but it’s also much more than that. It’s a school where children are taught fundamental skills that will help them grow and take care of others who are vulnerable. It’s a recreation facility where children can play. It’s a home where children are loved...
The Riverside Lions Club, located in Winnipeg, Canada, will be celebrating its 65 anniversary in 2014. Since its charter in 1949, the membership, currently with 39 active participants, has worked on a variety projects in their local community, such as:
- providing financial support for local daycares, schools, libraries, healthcare agencies
- offering employment and new immigrant and refugee services
- developing resources for visually impaired persons and at risk youth
- ensuring affordable housing and services for older adults, and adults living with a disability, are available.
Further abroad, the Riverside Lions Club has supported important causes such as the construction of both a daycare and toilet facilities for a school in India for hearing impaired girls. Recently, the Club partnered with the Savior Children Foundation Orphanage and School in Ghana, Africa...
On December 31st, 2013, The Savior Children’s Foundation orphanage and school was forced to relocate when the landlord needed the property. The orphanage had no money to rent more land and they were forced to relocate to the property where the Founder, Patrick Nwodobeh lives. Forty-four children had to move all their belongings onto the property and leave their prior home behind. They had to leave all the classrooms where they were taught and the dorms where they had slept. This transition was abrupt and hectic. The struggle to quickly build new classrooms and new dormitories for the kids has not been easy.
Directly after the move, the kids had almost nothing. There was no place for them to sleep or learn, no place for the cooks to prepare food, and no place for Patrick to keep all the records for the orphanage and school. The kids were forced to sleep in two small rooms.
The Savior Children’s Foundation, a non-government funded charity for children, has been operating in Kasoa, Ghana to help children in need for over three years. There are currently 40 children living on-site and about 200 more that attend daily classes. During the last three years, countless volunteers from all over the world have spent time at the orphanage and school, helping any way they can....
Founder of the Savior Children Foundation Patrick Nwodebeh dreamed that some day the foundation would become self-sustaining.
This summer a handful of volunteers pooled their resources together in order to start the process of making this dream a reality.
Today the foundation’s first crop of corn is sprouting from the ground; growing in the 12 acres of land that was partially paid for by those same volunteers.
Initially 10 acres were supposed to be cleared of brush, burnt, ploughed and seeded but because of the generosity of donors from other countries there was enough funding for an additional 2 acres of land. A downpayment was made on a total of 12 acres of land.
The Savior Children Foundation is so much more than a home for the 45 wonderful children who reside there. It is also a school for over 400 other students in the area. The school offers the gift of an education for children without the resources to accomplish this on their own. Patrick Nwodobeh, the founder of The Savior Children Foundation seeks out eligible children in the community and makes arrangements for them to attend. Patrick does not charge school fees, he does however charge a minimal 1 cedi per day (approximately 30 cents). This fee goes towards paying for the students lunch. If a child is unable to pay this amount Patrick accepts them anyway. He says, “If the child cannot afford to pay he can go to school for free.” Patrick finds a way to cover the associated costs.
The students who attend school at the Savior Children Foundation not only get a well rounded education but also receive a hot lunch. For some of these kids this may be the only meal they eat that day. The ladies who work in the kitchen preparing the food also deserve an enormous amount of credit for these kids’ welfare. They make sure each child gets fed. There are days when the last few students in line for lunch find an empty pot. When this happens, the ladies figure out a way to give these children a meal. Their job is not easy and yet they cook and serve the food with huge smiles on their faces.
In late July of this year I found myself awake at four o’clock in the morning trying to figure out how I would fit two violins in a suitcase. It was the largest suitcase I could find, but it was still a tight squeeze to fit both violin cases in with the extra padding they would need to survive the rough journey to the other side of the world. My plane was scheduled to leave in four hours, and I still needed to finish packing my own personal items and to make sure that I didn’t leave my room a mess before I left. I thought at one point that I must be crazy for trying this, but I was determined. I would stay up all night if I had to (which I ended up doing) because I had spent too much time and effort to give up now.
It all started with me simply talking about the idea of bringing a few violins to Ghana and how to get them there. The idea of packing the violins in checked baggage seemed risky because suitcases are thrown and knocked around quite a bit, and even if I could package the violins safely in a large enough suitcase there was nothing I could do to stop the TSA from opening up the suitcase, searching through it, and failing to put everything back in properly.
To all past volunteers, I hope your volunteer experience at Savior Children Foundation was an incredibly fulfilling, life changing experience for you. I am sure your memories have lingered on like mine, and that any opportunity to go back is near and dear in your heart.
I volunteered for 3 weeks this September and it was the most amazing experience of my life! From the moment I entered the gates, I knew it was going to be an incredibly wonderful experience. I noticed right away that the children are loved and well cared for by Patrick and Mama Pat. Their dedication, love and devotion to these children is truly a gift from God. They begin and end each day in prayer, spiritually a sign of love, gratitude, kindness, faith and hope. The children are always smiling and happy, this made me realize what is truly important in their life, to be loved.