WHO assists the countryside home and orphanage to become self-sustainable
Emma Boafo, Yeboah, Ghana
In July 2001, the WHO Country Office identified and selected the Countryside Childrens Welfare Home and Orphanage to benefit from WHO support with the aim of alleviating poverty through improved health and nutrition.
The Orphanage situated at Ewutu Bawjiase in the Ewutu Efutu District is about 60 kilometers from Accra, the capital city. It was registered with a certificate of incorporation in 1994 and in 1998, received a certificate of recognition trom the Department of Social Welfare as a voluntary organization rendering selfless service to mankind.
Mrs. Emma Boafo Yeboah, the founder and her husband Capt. Rtd. Joe Yeboah run the Home with the support of 14 non-salaried dedicated staff. It has a seven member Board of Trustees which oversees general, fiscal and policy issues and a five member Oversight Committee formed to advise on the joint WHO/ Countryside Orphan- age poverty alleviation projects.
The Countryside Childrens Welfare Home and Orphanage was established at Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana in 1981 by Ms Emma Boafo Wilson, a young caretaker of six needy children who were supported by an American couple. Upon their retirement, Emma was asked to send the children to a Childrens Home and continue her education but Emmas love for the children made her abandon her education and instead used the funds to care for the children.
In 1983, during the great drought, she migrated to Awutu Bawjiase where food was relatively cheaper and lived with 12 needy children in a rented house until 1986 when the present home was partially completed. The Home has since grown in number.
In July 2001 when WHO first visited the Home, there were 73 children made up of abandoned, orphaned and the destitute with ages ranging between 3 months and 17 years. Today there are 126 children registered with the Home, two of them as young as a day old and 28 infants under one year. A number of these children were picked up by social workers from the streets, pit latrines, refuse dumps and from markets where they were left by desperate mothers and relatives.
The children live in 8 family rooms which also accommodate care mothers and their assistants. Several new members are admitted to the Home every week resulting in facilities being over stretched. The Home needs an annual budget for food, clothing and education for the children. They also need houses to accommodate them.
With this large number of children including babies and teenages, the needs of the home are obviously very large. The vision of the Orphanage is to create a comfortable home for the children, yet with 73 children and only six rooms and scanty bedding at the time, it could provide just the basic needs of food, cloth- ing and shelter through donations from individuals, churches and benevolent organizations.
Even though the Home cultivated food crops and vegetables and raised poultry to supplement the nutritional needs of the children, these were not done on a large scale. With just six sheep, and four goats and less than 20 in their poultry, chickens the home could not keep to three square meals a day.
Who assisted projects
In July 2001 when WHO first visited the Home, it observed that the Home did not have a proper bath house. Both care takers and teenage children were using a structure made of palm fronds as a bathroom.
WHO assisted the Home to build a 12 cubicle bath house at the cost of 30 million cedis.