BACKGROUND

Environment of Hope (EoHope), formerly QueenCare International, is a Non-Governmental organisation (NGO) aimed at bettering the lives of persons in the rural community. The brain behind EoHope is Nana Afia Siraa-Ababio III, Queen of Kato, a small town in the Berekum municipality of Brong Ahafo Region. She founded the organization upon ascending the throne as Queen in 1989. Nana Afia Siraa-Ababio III a Social Advocate and a Visionary, with support from some elders and opinion leaders of the town, established the charity as Community Base Organisation (CBO) realizing the impacts of low levels of living, high dependency rate, lack of parental guidance, needy children, orphans and women within the Berekum Municipality. In addition to these observations the organization has actively engaged in the capacity building of women in the community as well as providing education and a temporary shelter for neglected children and orphans. These problems have always been a challenge to the nation and the world at large with some of its outcomes being: teenage pregnancy, armed robbery, prostitution and migration from rural areas to urban centers not to mention other social vices which threaten the future of the society.

The organization was registered in 2005 as company limited by guarantee under the company code 1963 (Act 179) as a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO). Environment of Hope is an advocacy and child care organization and also provides shelter to homeless people. Our Charity and Social Welfare numbers are G15, 777 and DSW/2656 respectively. The foundation is recognized by the Department of Ministry of Women and Children (MOWAC), and the Berekum Municipal Assembly.

Environment of Hope has it’s Accra office at the premises of Department of Social Welfare, Zone “B” office, Osu; the project office at the queen’s palace Kato, a farming community one kilometer drive to Berekum on the Sunyani Berekum highway -Brong Ahafo Region.

VISION STATEMENT

To create an environment where the neglected, the orphan and vulnerable children grow up in safe, permanent and loving family settings with appropriate care, protection and equal rights and opportunities by 2020.

MISSION STATEMENT

To provide a well-furnished and fully-equipped home/skills training centre for the deprived and to give them the best education available for their overall development and harnessing of their talents with the view of changing the mindset of the people and integrating them with their families, making them useful not only to themselves but also their families and the society as a whole

OBJECTIVES

To create awareness for the sensitization of the public on the need for responsible parenthood.

To appeal to government, organizations, philanthropists, churches, embassies and commissions for financial support to put up permanent structures for the home/skills training centre.

To organize fund-raising activities to help get funds to run the organization.

To help the society to uphold the good tenets of the extended family system.

To promote our culture and traditions as a way to protect our children against all forms of vices through drama, drumming and dancing.

To educate the society through talks, seminars and symposia on the need to keep the environment sane, clean and safe.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Shelter: With the help of the stool elders she has been able to take care of about 70 deprived and underprivileged children using her palace as their abode, traditionally, this is not allowed but for the passion and the sake of their future, she have no other alternative. Currently, there are 8 children with 2 two foster parents in her palace who are not only fed and educated but also catered for medically. The children are often taken out for excursions to expose them to industrial and commercial activities in the country.  Some of these beneficiaries are now on their own while others are under apprenticeship.

Reduction in rural-urban migration in Kato, Berekum Municipality: Between the period of 1989 and 2008, rural-urban migration has reduced greatly through her efforts.  The youth of Kato in the Berekum Municipality used to migrate a lot to the cities to seek greener pastures until she intervened by creating awareness on the disadvantages of rural\urban migration. Encouraging the youth to engage in farming and other vocational activities, she has gone all out to give personal donations as working capital for some of them to be self-reliant.  Others too have engaged in petty trading. Today, a lot of the youth are successful farmers and tradesmen. Others have acquired “hair dressing skills”, through her own good efforts.

Formation of Otwaakwan Performing Arts: She fully funded an academy of the youth interested in our cultural practices through drama, drumming and dancing (in her palace) since in 2004.  This programme is organized one hour daily after school on Fridays.  Poetry recitation, appellations and songs are taught in both foreign and local languages.  Topics cover respect for authority, positive peer influence, responsible behaviours, personal achievements and ambitions, puberty rites and need for sexual purity before marriage, etc. The children also use drama as source of entertainment and education on pertinent societal and national issues. This vision has brought respect and seriousness to the youth.  Resource persons come all the way from Kumasi Cultural Centre and other traditional leaders to take the members of the group through Ghanaian and African cultural practices.

Reduction of Riots in the Berekum and Kato Town: Many years ago, the youth of Kato used to riot a lot due to the numerous vehicle accidents on the major road which passes through the town from Sunyani through Berekum, Dormaa Ahenkro, Kofi Badu Krom to Cote D’Ivoire.  In the past, the youth of Kato more often set fire to vehicles involved in accidents and destroyed lives and properties.  Using her influence as the queen of Kato, she assembled the youth and talked to them on several occasions and the hooliganism has been eliminated in the area.

Acquisition of Marketing Skills by the Women: About 60 women have been taught how to enhance their income generating capacities.  Some of the areas covered were kenkey production (a traditional trade of women in Kato over decades), hygienic way of operating local “chop bars” and basic food processing, marketing strategies and habit of saving money in the bank.  Resource persons from GTZ, Sunyani sometimes come to give technical advice and some are given seed money to start small businesses on their own.  This attempt has helped the needy and the deprived in the community.

Involvement in the Registration of the National Health Insurance Scheme: When the National Health Insurance Scheme was introduced, the general public did not understand the concept.  For that matter, people were reluctant to register with the scheme.  Nana took it upon herself to campaign on the advantages of registering with the scheme.  Most of the people then registered willingly. She also used her personal money to register those who could not afford the registration fee due to financial difficulties at the initial stages of the scheme, Nana is happy God used her to save lives. In all, she helped to register ten (10) vulnerable and needy families.

Scholarships for the Vulnerable and the Needy Children: Over the past fifteen years, she has catered for the education of ten vulnerable and needy children (1. one boy, very brilliant but needy, 2. four boys, their mother died mysteriously, 3. three boys, their fathers died, 4. two girls, very needy, 5. four street children) whose ages range from 6 to 10 years at the primary school level.  At the Senior High School level, five children had graduated through her financial and philanthropist support.  Currently, Nana is happy to say that 10 SHS children are enjoying free scholarships in different schools in the region under her care. Nana says, she glade to see lives change for the better.

Acquisition of Various Vocational Skills by the Youth: Educational campaign programmmes were launched for the owners of the various vocations in the area on the need to train some of the youth for vocational skills acquisition.  They did and at the moment, many of the youth have acquired various vocational skills and are on their own, some doing hair dressing, keeping poultry farms, rearing sheep and goats and trading, etc.  Resource persons from the local banks and experienced businessmen and women are sometimes invited to address the youth on business opportunities and setting up businesses and managing them.

Tree Planting / Environmental Issues: Through her initiative and the collaboration of EPA, Kato Traditional Council and the youth, her organization has been able to protect, resuscitate the Nfansi Sacred Grove by replanting about 5000 trees of different species.

With the support of the World Bank (Civil Society Fund) and Centre for Development Partnership (CDP), Nana has been able to sensitize over 80 Queens and hundreds of women and children in (4) four districts in Brong Ahafo Region on good sanitation practices.

Responsible Parenting: Nana also advocates good parenting and child care, two areas which are constantly on her heart. She also educates the youth and the elderly through talks, symposia and seminars on issues confronting the society.

Oneness: What is more; it was through her instrumentality that the formation of Berekum Queen’s Foundation became a reality. She was ably supported by Nana Adwoa Awindor of Back Home Again fame. To say that Nana is an achiever is an understatement. She has also been able to counsel over 200 families to be reconciled to take care of their children in Berekum Traditional Area.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

As a growing organization and in celebrating our five years of growth, we believe it is about time that our operations see some expansion. Hence, the name is changed from QueenCare International to Environment of Hope (EoHope) to suit our new status, upon several consultations with the community, our Board of Directors, beneficiaries and stakeholders. This reflects our objectives and goals; there is the hope of light at the end of the tunnel. However, all transactions entered into by QueenCare International are deemed as legal and legitimate.

The 5th Anniversary Celebration marks the expansion of projects of EoHope to enhance the lives of our target group with the community being the ultimate beneficiary.

Within our five years of operations in the community, we can speak of many success stories some of these are highlighted below:

Establish a Women Association in the community to foster co-operation and communalism amongst the women in the community. This we can say has been able to promote oneness and consensus building amongst this group of people.

The establishment of the Performing Group, Otwaakan performing Arts has amongst other things kept the youth busy with activities of the group as well as educating them our important cultural practices. This project we observe helps in the preservation of the Ghanaian culture and its sustenance.

The abstinence club which we established has also helped in shaping lives of many young people who would have been caught up in one vice or the other as victims or perpetrators.

The organization with the help of the community has been able acquire 25 acre land facility for various projects. This land facility will be used appropriately in the interest and benefit of the entire community.

Our passion for quality education and commitment to ensuring that people from all walks of life get the best of education.

We started a reading club with periodic test to ensure that the standards are kept high. This project has been made successful with support from E.P.P Books services that have been very supportive of our initiatives.

A familiarization tour embarked on by EoHope exposed the children to many of the industry practices of Newmont Ghana limited, Keyaase. This tour has been able to shape some of the thoughts of these kids and also helped in the discussions of various career options.

EoHope in collaboration with the Kato traditional authority, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sunyani and the Forestry Commission have planted over 3000 species of trees to protect the sacred grove in Kato called “Nfansi Sacred Grove”.

The positive response we received from the community and beneficiaries of our counselling services pushed us to embark on a periodic house to house parent and child counselling and guidance sessions.

We currently have 56 beneficiaries under our care all of whom are children and teenagers. Out of this number 8 of them are housed in the Queen’s palace and the remaining rehabilitated in homes of relatives which the organization cares for their day to day up keep including education, medical bills and other expenses. We are currently caring for 10 Senior High School students with 8 of them being girls.

Currently, there are fifty-six children at various stages of education under our care; eight (8) out of the number are temporarily housed at our rehabilitation home with two (2) foster parents. Some of the children have reintegrated with relatives after careful examination.

Minority of the children are at the Senior High School level whiles the majority of them are in the lower levels. The SHS student’s educational needs including school fees are also borne by EoHope with support from benevolent organisations like yours. This is the only way we can make these children responsible to themselves and the larger society.

CURRENT POPULATION OF MALES AND FEMALES WITH EoHope.

AGE ( YRS )

EDUCATIONAL  LEVEL

POPULATION

Male                      Female

TOTAL

0 – 6

KG

3

4

7

7 - 13

PRIMARY

14

13

27

14 - 16

JHS

6

2

8

17 - 20

SHS

5

5

10

20 plus

-

1

3

4

TOTAL

 

 

 

56

 

 

The above successes we have chalked as an organization within our five years of operations have come with many challenges, such as funding, staffing, transport, lack of sponsorship and accommodation.

The founder is using part of her palace in Kato as the rehabilitation home for the children.  A development which is culturally unacceptable in her traditional area but for her commitment has persisted despite several protests being raised by her stool elders. Over 70 beneficiaries have passed through the home since its inception and now on their own given back to society for what they have acquired at the home.

In support of the foundation, the chief Nana Kwadwo Kyere (now deceased) and his elders of Kato stool pledged their unflinching support to the foundation and its activities at all times; in conjunction with the queen Nana Afia Siraa-Ababio III made available about 25 acres of land to the foundation for its operations which will be developed into Shelter and Skills Training Centre when funds become available.

MANAGEMENT

A seven member Board of Directors of Environment of Hope, acts in an advisory and supervisor role, as well as guiding policy formulation, programmes/projects planning, implementation and monitoring to ensure sustainability. For transparency and accountability, the Chairman of the Board and any other member are signatories to the organization’s accounts.

A four member Management Team, made up of Programmes /Communication Director, Project Coordinator, Finance Officer and Secretary, work under the supervision of the Executive Director, oversee the day to day running of the office, a Social Worker as well as the field implementation of programmes/projects and report to the Board of Directors periodically.

CHALLENGES

Construction of Center: Nana has secured a 22-hectre of land to develop in to a Home to serve as a Permanent Shelter/Skills Training Centre for her NGO. She welcomes any individual, groups, commercial entities and philanthropists to help her realize her dream. She hopes that help will come from ‘Macedonia” to enable her to put up a permanent building to house these children.

Financial Assistance: She also welcomes any financial assistance to help pay the school fees for the children under her care.

CONCLUSION

This document is intended to provide the basic information on Environment of Hope (EoHope) intervention programmes and planned activities. The projects are based in HIGHLY NEGLECTED AND VERY DEPRIVED COMMUNITIES with low moral and motivation to aspire to greater heights. It is the hope of Nana Afia Siraa-Ababio III that this paper could find favour with your organization, with options to support our course in providing a window of hope for the poor and the most vulnerable in our society today. We will appreciate if there are other linkages in support that you could assist us to target for help.

OFFICE LOCATION:

 

QUEEN`S PALACE, KATO BEREKUM, B/A

ACCRA OFF.: DSW, ZONE “B” OFFICE, OSU,

P. O.BOX AT 1381, ACH. MKT. ACCRA-GHANA

OFFICE LINE +233 244 376 134

WEBSITE. www.environmentofhope.org

E-MAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

Pin It