I remember turning 6 years old and feeling so happy that I would be going to first grade at Hodgin Elementary. I knew where the school was and that there were teachers there. I had no idea that this was not true for every child. For some children in Africa there is no school. One of our first lessons here in Ghana has been the realization that all our lives we have had so much, and taken it mostly for granted.
A few years ago, this situation came to the attention of some ambitious American Expats who believed that we could make a difference. Everything that has happened since then has been through the generous donations of people who share that vision. The humble teachers at Ayi Mensah tell me that it has all happened "by the grace of God." Today Ayi Mensah is a very basic 2 room school with about 65 students. Once there is a building and you prove to the district that children are coming, they will provide a teacher. Ayi Mensah now has 3 paid teachers. The 3rd classroom just got a tin roof and the dream is to complete that classroom for the beginning of school in the fall.
Some years ago, when Gregg and I couldn't think of what to give each other for Christmas someone suggested giving each other a wheelchair (for the wheelchair project). Polio is alive and well in Africa and we have seen firsthand what a difference a wheelchair can make in someones life. It may have been the best Christmas gift we ever gave each other.
Because education can change a child's world, I'm suggesting a similar gift you can give. Think of a way that you can make a donation to Ayi Mensah or of a group that you can encourage to raise funds for this little school. All that you donate will go directly to the building of the school. We know that because Gregg and I take the funds directly to the school and monitor the progress. The first time I took Gregg there his comment was, "those little children deserve a school." And they do. Please help us.
Yes, there is a way to donate money to Ayi Mensah School. The donations should be made payable to the 'Forever Young Foundation' and sent to Sally Murray. She ensures the funds get to Sterling Tanner, the CEO of Forever Young, who deposits the money to the Komart Foundation in Ghana. I know that this sounds like a long and winding road, but it ensures that anyone who donates money has a tax deductible donation, as Forever Young is a legally registered Charitable Organization. You should know that none of the contributions are used for overhead; all of it goes to help the school. These children pay no fees to attend school here.