This week’s Country Director letter is from Ghana. I’ve been sponsoring Oxford there since January, and in 6 months time I already received 3 letters. The communication seems to be frequent and the turnaround time very quick, at least in my experience.
“Dear Alisa, I am Padmore Baffour Agyapong. I have been the country director of Compassion Ghana for five years. Compassion Ghana is 11 years old. We are currently supporting more than 68,000 children in about 250 child development centers.
I sincerely wish to express my utmost appreciation to you for sponsoring Oxford in Ghana. The challenges the children and their families face include high unemployment rates, low income levels, lack of health facilities, inaccessibility of potable water and toilet facilities, harmful cultural practices, child abuse, and inadequate infrastructure.
Schools in the rural communities are largely inadequate and dilapidated. Some children must walk long distances daily to attend school. Some schools lack libraries, computer centers, and trained teachers. In some places, health facilities either do not exist or are seriously under-resourced. Lack of access to health care is so serious in some communities that children and their families lose their lives from preventable and curable diseases such as malaria, worm infestation, and tuberculosis.
Sponsorship makes a tremendous impact on the lives of children and their communities. Children receive age-graded Bibles and learn God’s Word. As a result, many confess their faith in Christ and are able to demonstrate the love of God to other people.
Before one boy entered Compassion, his single mother could no longer take care of her children, so she abandoned them and left the community in search of a job. She could not find a job, yet she failed to return. When the child was registered, the center staff followed up on the mother and brought her back to the community. Not long after, her child’s sponsor sent them a family gift that she used to open a bookshop. Profit from selling books now serves as her regular source of income, and she is able to support her family.
Children have access to medical care and receive an annual comprehensive health screening, after which center staff follow up to ensure that all required care is done. Last year, several children had surgeries that their families couldn’t have afforded. Children receive everything necessary to stay in school (school uniforms, books, supplies, tuition fees, tutoring, etc.), and are also trained in income- generating skills such as sewing, bead-making, shoemaking, baking, etc.
When they graduate from the program, these children will be physically healthy and economically self-sustaining. Literacy rates will be higher. This coming year, we will focus on children’s water, sanitation and hygiene needs and also roll out a new youth development strategy. In addition to Compassion programs, our partner churches minister to the community through activities such as evangelism, community cleanups, and other outreach programs.
The exchange of letters between sponsors and their children creates a close bond between them. Encouraging words from sponsors mean so much to the children. They feel loved and treasured. The thought of having caring sponsors abroad who write to them makes them feel special. Children who do not receive letters from their sponsors look sad when their friends receive letters. These children always look forward to the day when their sponsors will also write to them; some actually pray about it. I wish to kindly request you to write to your sponsored child as often as possible. Children cherish the letters.
I am grateful for your deep love and concern for Oxford. Your sponsorship has opened the door of hope for the future of your child. We will continue to pray for God’s blessings for you and your family.
Thank you, Padmore Baffour Agyapong”