As I write this from the comfortable home of my family in Alaska, I feel fortunate to know that Carrie and Ford of The Kekeli Foundation are such a reliable team in the field, giving us regular updates on the children we have chosen to sponsor and keeping their eyes out for more children who would benefit from the kind of medical funding we are able to provide. Because the conversion rate happens to be working in our favor, the dollar goes really far in Ghana, so the copious donations we have received can be stretched to incredible lengths. Though I feel far away, I have already begun to plan my next return to Ghana, and it is so encouraging to receive news from our friends in Ho. I thought it would be good to share with all our generous supporters some of our news from the past month or so.
First, we are helping out a new youngster named Shine, who I never got to meet, but am excited to spend time with in the future. She has problems with her feet and will need physical therapy and equipment to get walking. Welcome, Shine!
In another exciting turn of events, through careful discussion regarding Sedem’s Down Syndrome, the encouragement of the Kekeli Foundation, and the international support of The Patience Project, Sedem’s father has come around and is now much more optimistic about his child’s future, meaning that things are looking up in terms of going forward with a potential heart surgery for Sedem. He has to get a new echocardiogram before we know exactly what needs to be done, but that’s one step closer to helping Sedem grow into the healthy little guy he’s destined to be!
Moreover, Justine is also on her way to a heart surgery to fix the bigger of the two holes in her heart. Once this is done, we are hoping the smaller hole will begin to close itself as her heart becomes stronger. Justine’s surgery got postponed to July due to an infection, but she wore her best to the hospital just in case.
Finally, I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but the group we took to the physical therapy center near Accra expressed their profound gratitude for the opportunity, each one calling individually to thank us before we left Ghana. I can’t help but hope that everyone who donated feels a little bit of ownership in having given someone a chance they might not have otherwise gotten.
Sometimes the language of international aid can be a bit patronizing, and if I could convey anything at all to our friends in America who have helped us along the way, it is that this project is not about “saving the children,” it is about equality of opportunity and advocacy for our friends and their amazing abilities, given the right support, patience, and understanding. You know the stories. Go tell them. Because if you don’t, who will?