During our internship, we were accommodated in the Spartanburg Orphanage in Donkorkrom, where we spent most of our time when not working at the nearby hospital. We did not miss the fact that these children were living in unhealthy conditions: Moldy walls, mosquito nets with holes the size of basketballs and leaky ceilings (we stayed during Ghana’s rainy season). In addition, every second child here had malaria at least once. A disease, which is curable with timely treatment, but still, has thousands of victims each year. Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease which is caused by a single-cell parasite of the Plasmodium group. Chemical prophylaxis and medical treatment are usually expensive, can cause resistance and lead to serious side effects. Since the mosquitoes are nocturnal, the best protection is therefore simply sleeping with a mosquito net.
We did the following: We called our friends and family and asked for money to buy new nets. In fact, the call-out was such a success that we were able to gather enough money to replace the nets on all the doors and windows of the building and to fix the leakage in the ceilings. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our friends Ken and David. Two local paramedics who helped us find workers to take care of the jobs. It was fascinating and moving to see how so little effort can contribute to such an impact. However, we also knew that there would soon be urgent repair work again. We sat down together to brainstorm on how to help the orphanage in a sustainable way and so the Orphanage Independence Project was born.
We hope to support the financial independence of the orphanage in Donkorkrom by completing the construction of the associated guest house. The orphanage is dependent on donations. However, donations are barely enough to supply the orphanage with their basic needs. We hope to change this situation with our Orphanage Independence Project. Instead of solely relying on donations, income would now be generated by renting rooms in the guest house. With the completion of the guest house, travelers and volunteers can rent accommodations and the proceeds go directly to the Orphanage.
Your donations will be used to hire local construction workers and cover material costs. The walls and roof are complete thanks to previous donations. Therefore, the most difficult tasks are already done. All that remains is to lay the floors, to install windows and doors, and to plaster and paint the walls. This project will not only benefit the orphanage, but also the whole community. Tourist accommodation in the city does not exist. With the construction of a centralized accommodation, more students and volunteers will find their way into the city, creating a link between the Donkorkrom region and the outside world.
To safely transport equipment, save costs and reduce CO2 emissions, we give volunteers traveling to Ghana the opportunity to deliver the donations directly to the hospital. We recruit our volunteers through our student exchange organizations, and additionally, through our cooperation with Elective Ghana, the largest placement agency for medical electives in Ghana.
In February 2018, our team of four left for Ghana to invest 5000 Euro in the project. Together with other organizations and the community half of the guest house is now completed. In order to realize our goals, we will still need your help. You can see our success in the small picture gallery below. We would like to thank all those who made it possible for the orphans to move closer to their financial independence.