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.
The Savior Children Foundation does an extraordinary job of educating and caring for all the children at the school but their challenges are huge. Each day is a struggle, whether it’s finding enough food to feed every student or desperately trying to talk loud enough for all the kids to hear you teach in the small and cramped rooms. The classroom conditions are vastly inferior to those that students in Europe or North America experience. There are very few workbooks, the kid’s treasure the one pencil they use, multiple classes are taught in one room and the walls separating classrooms are very thin. Henry Koomson, a teacher at the Savior Children Foundation says, “The biggest challenge in working here is the fact that there are not enough supplies and not enough room to teach.” The school is in desperate need of donations to improve the classrooms and purchase the materials necessary to teach and learn.
Volunteers are an integral part of the Savior Children Foundation's experience. They play an active role in the lives of the children there. They are encouraged to help out in the classrooms. The classes range from nursery age students to class six. This variety of ages gives the volunteers a chance to play with the little ones as well as teach math or English to the pre-teens. Teaching at the school gives the volunteers a chance to learn more about the Ghanaian culture while also giving the students a chance to learn from enthusiastic teachers from different countries and cultures around the world.
Volunteer, Nicki Jay qualified her experience in the quote below.
"On May 1st 2013 I met some of the most amazing, beautiful, goofy children I've ever met, in a small village in Ghana and my life will never be the same! I never planned on teaching, but upon arrival I heard just how desperate they were for help, and was asked to teach class one english. I am by no means a teacher but agreed to do my best. Teaching in Ghana is much different than here in Canada. In Canada we have a quiet atmosphere, perfect for learning and concentrating, and all the books, supplies, and technology that we need. In Ghana they do not. I was given one text book to teach from, and some of the children didn't even have exercise books or pencils to complete their work. It is a loud place, with absolutely no soundproofing, making it very difficult for the children to concentrate. There were little visitors from the nursery class coming in every few minutes, and to say the least it was very distracting! I'm not going to say teaching wasn't a very challenging task, because it absolutely was, but it was also one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I have never seen children so eager to learn, read, and interact. The reward when a child lights up because they are proud of themselves and their work is priceless. The sense of accomplishment they feel and the smile on their little faces when they get perfect on their homework and get a big sticker from "Madam Nickie" is absolutely amazing. I wouldn't change anything about my time with those children and I miss and think about them ever single day! The experience of a lifetime is an extreme understatement ."
Being a volunteer is a rewarding experience for anyone who wants to make a difference in the lives of children. If you are interested in volunteering with The Savior Children Foundation or in donating money to help improve the conditions please visit: http://www.saviorchildrenfoundation.org/donate.