$120! That’s all. A lousy 120 bucks for a whole year. It boggles the mind. At first I thought I had heard wrong. It costs only $120 to send an orphaned child whose parents died of HIV/AIDS to school for a year in Ghana.
Right now our small program, begun by the UU United Nations Office, is supporting just under a hundred kids. However, there are thousands of these orphans who need help in order to get a basic education. Supporting a child in high school (there are only four right now!) costs $250. We buy school uniforms, books, school supplies, shoes and other necessities that make school attendance possible. We also make sure that children and the families they live with are receiving basic medical attention.
I just returned from a brief trip to Ghana with staff from the UU United Nations Office (UU-UNO), other UUA staff, a seminarian, and people who have been generous donors to this small program. We visited the “Queen Mothers”—tribal women who have taken charge of finding homes for these orphans. The children we support are in the Manya Krobo district. We visited the very primitive schools they attend. Computer science is taught at the chalkboard because there are no computers.
Until a few months ago the UU-UNO was an independent organization. Today it is part of the UUA. Now that we are one organization we have the potential to do so much more.
First, I believe we must expand this program. I know of no other program where we can make so much difference for every dollar we spend. Having seen the impact we are having I returned committed to do my part. I am making a personal donation. But there is so much more possible. We are going to explore options for creating a learning/serving site in Ghana so that UU’s can lend a hand in this program and get the experience of being in a developing nation. We had initial talks with Peace Corps officials to look at how the Peace Corps might assign a volunteer to this work.
Our program is small. We are not going to end the suffering of children in Ghana. We are not going to support all the orphans. However, we build the blessed community one relationship at a time, one act of compassion at a time, one partnership at a time. We can be proud of what we are doing here. I urge you to join me in supporting our work.
Cross-posted from Beyond Belief.