Today I had the pleasure of saying hello to Celina, Michael, Alice, Elijah, Lucas, Nice, Chadrak, Angela and Dennis. I was also greeted by the HELLO MADAM and WE MISS YOU MADAM......from the entire class, the shout of the collective little voices floods my heart in ways I am at a loss to describe.
The conversations with the children are short, the children polite, my message over and over, school is important, I miss you and I am coming to see you soon. And please tell ALL the children I say HELLO.
I spoke to Renee and Kwame and told them I am starting to get the feeling in my heart that I need to see the children. It is hard to describe, maybe people who are parents understand; a huge emotional force is pulling at my heart for me to visit and be with the children. Actually I would love to surprise them, just show up on the school office patio or porch one day.
So much has gone on, so much goodness, so many blessings, I have to spend sometime this week providing all the updates. Here are some of the highlights...
1_ The ISEP students have settled into their classes at the University of Ghana and MOP has the fortune to have 6 of them commit to helping out with scheduled visits and support with the MOP for the entire semester they are in Ghana. I am going email them and ask them if I can include information on who they are, what schools they are attending, their major, etc. so you have an idea of the incredible fortune that MOP has in their relationship with ISEP. A reminder to anyone recently reading the blog, ISEP is the International Student Exchange Program that originally brought Renee to Ghana. It is a organization that partners with universities and colleges all over the world for the purpose of international exchange and studies. The exposure for the children of these volunteers is a huge bonus; each of the ISEP volunteers bring their individual contributions, their stories, their talents and the children benefit greatly from their support.
2_ I sold 100 Mawuvio's bracelets last week, and I got an order for 50 more last night. Anyone interested in buying bracelets ck the ETSY link above on the right hand side. Remember all the proceeds go directly to the school to fund education, the lunch program and basic medical care for the children.
3_ We should know about the GOOGLE GRANT this week. Also the article in the Dunwoody paper should be in this week's edition.
4_ Last week MOP received a substantial gift from a private foundation that will ensure the school is built. The gift allows Renee and Kwame to go forward with the purchase of the materials needed to finish the school construction, pay for the labor, and all the associated costs. I will never ever, ever forget the phone call to Kwame and Renee at 3am a few days ago...... to give them the news. I will write more about this in detail. I get tears in my eyes thinking about this, I was part of a moment in their lives when they got the news, processed the news and realized that their dream of building a school is going to be realized. The cement blocks will be stacked upon each other, the rebar will enforce the walls, a roof will be built, windows will be let in the light of day, toilets will the norm, there will be breakfast, and lunch and dinner ...... and education will continue to build and make a difference in the life of these children and children from Aiykumah that we have not yet met.
5_ MOP also received a fundraising challenge from the same foundation noted above.. for every dollar raised within 90 days of the original gift, the foundation will match EVERY DOLLAR up to $25K.
As you can imagine an empty building is not a school. A completed building without desks, blackboards, chairs, bookshelves, etc, is not a school. The matching funds gift will help furnish and outfit the school and and and and provide for 1 year of operating expenses when the doors open. I forget to tell people the school in Aiykumah, the new school is not just a school, it will be a dormitory for 60 children. The total capacity is planned for 100, 60 will live there and 40 will be day students. And the Kissemah school will continue to be for K1 and Primary 1 and Primary 2. I have all the details, all the forecasts, all the components of the plan if you are interested. I have the list of all the items the school needs to be 100% ready for move in. Any questions don't hesitate to let me know. And yes if you want to help with the matching fundraising challenge, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOP also has to figure out a way this year, to get the Kissemah school off the porch. Long term this model cannot be sustained. One day at a time, one child at a time, one lesson plan at a time; I continue to thank God and the platoon of angels he has assigned to MOP and REnee and Kwame for giving me the incredible opportunity to participate in such an amazing life experience.
6_ MOP partners with 2 great organizations, The School Fund, and OMPRAKASH, great things are coming from those partnerships and the work Renee and Kwame have done to to establish the relationships. Click on this link and view the students from Mawuvio's from Ghana The School Fund Organization - all of them with the exception of one are from the MOP program.
7_ OMPRAKASH is a wonderful organization........ they team up volunteers with organizations all over the world. I will provide in detail the work Renee and Kwame are doing with them. Visit their web site at http://omprakash.org/vision - I wrote about them a few weeks ago when one of Renee's friends received a grant that will allow her to travel to Ghana and work with the children of MOP for a month.
MORE TO COME.......