We can't believe it’s already December and Christmas! Another year has come and gone and we are amazed at all the Lord has done here at the King's Village with your friendship, support and prayers. With 2017 coming to a close we look back on the year and are pleased to see so many of our goals reached and the overall needs of so many met.
We believe you got our earlier email about the Progress of the Maternity Block. We couldn’t have done any of this without our amazing donors and supporters from around the world. We are grateful for all your dedication to see the King’s Village continue the work here. We can’t list how many lives that have been changed by your support, but trust us when we say it’s a lot.
The King's School Christmas Party
The King’s School is officially on holiday break! By completing all their assignments and exams the pupils finished the term in full force. Every year, at the end of the year, before the children are released for break they perform in a Christmas production. The program has a variety of talents shown including singing, memory verse and poem citation, and a play of the birth of Christ by the very little ones. It’s full of joy and excitement as the children practice and do their best performance for their teachers and parents. This year’s production ended a bit differently than in the past. Thanks to the generous donation by The First Group, a property investment company based in Dubai, the children had a Christmas party that followed their production which included a yummy lunch and Christmas gifts for each child including all the children at the Nutrition Centre and the Children's ward of the Hospital.
For the King's School, shouts of joy were shared when they were asked to return to their classrooms to collect their items. When asked how they enjoyed the party one of the kids said "this was take and eat," not "take away" and it was very enjoyable." The mother's in the Nutrition Centre and the Hospital were so delighted and happy for a special Christmas gift! The First Group also donated the funds to bring the pupils from our sister school, Tahilla, to the Christmas production and party. Some of these children had never left their village before, and on this particular day they got to ride a big bus to The King’s Village and experience a wonderful time celebrating and rejoicing. It was a special time to have the The First Group take part in our Christmas celebration and the children were blessed by their generous donations. It was truly a joyful time for all those involved. We want to extend a very big ‘Thank You’ to all those with The First Group and the dedication they have for our pupils.
Makes Nutritious Paste
There is no doubt that we are always so very grateful for all the donations and support we receive from individual donors as well as other NGO’s that meet various needs. So many people are healed, cared for, educated and loved because of these donations. We are especially grateful to Ann and Terry Carpenter and also Operation Orphan for their continuous support in raising funds to support the Nutrition Centre.
Sometimes donations are limited and because of that we can find ourselves struggling to meet one need or another. We found this to be the case when it came to the nutrition centre and it’s distribution of the very nutritious plumpy nut. We have been receiving this product by various organizations in Ghana and truly rely on this donation. It's a major part of the recovery process for the children that are in our nutrition program. As much of a blessing as this is, we found that when their donations weren’t coming in, our patients were struggling, some so close to death. As management, we always encourage our staff to challenge themselves with creative problem solving. With the suggestion by Pastor Ben, we were astonished when the nutrition officers shared with us their desire to make an alternative to the plumpy nut for those times when it's not coming in. After doing some research, they put a recipe into action and have had positive results from this new product including more weight gain than previous patients. Of course, the donated plumpy nut will be highly welcomed and used, but during the times the plumpy nut is not coming there is now an alternative that our staff has developed to meet a need that can’t risk not being met.
Nutrition officer, Manyaya teaches the mothers how to make the healthy peanut paste and it’s always available for the patients to purchase. Without the paste, children have been known to get wasted and even face death, so having this readily available is crucial. Another positive of making the paste locally is seeing it as an educational opportunity. An important part of our nutrition program is the education that families receive to prevent malnutrition. By teaching the mothers how to make this paste, they will be able to go back into their communities and continue to make the paste and teach other mothers how to make it also. The only downside of this project right now is the cost to make it, although we have the main ingredient (groundnut) grown locally, there are other ingredients that can be costly. It cost about GHC42 (about US$10) for a two weeks portion of plumpy nuts. The nutrition officers ask the families to bring in as much as they can to purchase the paste but the GHC42 (US$10) is a lot for families in this area. Our goal is to find funding that will support the making of the paste so that families won’t be limited to receiving it due to the cost. We received an amount of GHC2,500 (About US550) from The First Group during this year's Christmas party to prepare a batch of local plumpy nuts so that all inpatients will get it for free as part of their treatment. We are so proud of our nutrition centre staff and their hard work to overcoming a problem in a creative and educational way. We are also grateful for the kind donations towards the Nutrition Centre which has made this possible.
Public Health Visits
Often the King’s Village can be mostly focused on the medical centre or the school but there is so much more that happens off the premises that we would like to report on. Community visits and outreaches are a major part of the ministry work that is done here as well and we have been busy with doing both. When it comes to community public health we arrange a doctor and his team to visit specific communities to educate them about a variety of health topics including, but not limited to, maternal health, sanitation and mental health. Specific days are set aside to visit these communities and present material to them that will hopefully help their overall wellbeing. Recently, Mr. Simon Bugre, the Clinical Psychiatrist, along with the water and sanitation programs officer, Mr. John Annankra, visited Tibung to do a presentation on mental health. The community received them well and they were very engaged in the group discussion. Simon was able to answer many question regarding mental health and how to detect signs of it and the treatment options available at the King's Medical Centre. It was a very successful time and we look forward to more community health visits.
Our pastoral ministry team has been leading night outreaches sharing the Gospel in different communities. We always see it as a great opportunity to pray for people and share God's love with them. The last few months we’ve been able to do outreaches in Jakpahi, Ganvliga and Fundu. The overall response we've had from the people hearing the Gospel has been great. Most outreaches are two nights with one night focused on house-to-house evangelism and the second night the Gospel is presented in a group setting by either preaching or using the Jesus Film. Jakpahi and Fundu already had a church in existence before our visit so we are able to be a source of encouragement for the already established churches and the local pastors.
2017 Management Retreat
This month we held our annual management retreat here at the King’s Village. This is a time where all our management is able to take away from their every day tasks and solely focus on the upcoming year as well as reflect the previous year. This is a time where we focus on leadership development and lead the management team to review different projects and set goals for 2018. This year’s retreat was a success and we are pleased with the outcome of the discussion as well as are looking forward positively to the year ahead.
Earlier this year you may recall us sharing about a volunteer who came to Ghana and did a teaching on paper maché furniture for individuals with cerebral palsy.
We were excited when we heard that Helen Hyams and Elizabeth Lyle would be returning for another furniture making class and they wanted to spend a few days visiting us here the King’s Village. We were so blessed by their stay and are grateful for their willingness to come and share their skill and knowledge with all our staff. The ladies spent time in the hospital meeting with our medical staff, they also visited the school to check for any pupils that could benefit from CP exercises, and at the end of the week they put together a presentation for our teachers. They also went out with two of our staff members to do a community visit where they assessed a small boy and taught the family exercises that will be beneficial for the boy. Before they left, they made a donation on behalf of the Soroptimist International Scarborough and Beverley and District Clubs for standing fans to be purchased for a community clinic that was struggling with the heat in their building. The encouragement these wonderful ladies left with us can’t be described in words. Their desire to help those in need shows in everything they do. We want to thank these ladies and The Jacob’s Well for their time spent with us and we look forward to their next visit.
We'd like to introduce you to Manyaya Sulemana. She is one of our nutrition officers that spends her days caring for patients at the King's Village Nutrition Centre. Manyaya, who is originally from the northern region, recently completed her studies by receiving a bachelor's degree in science and community nutrition. She came to the King's Village in September of this year as part of her national service. She has learned a lot and enjoys being able to apply both her skill and her passion here.
Manyaya's daily tasks include admitting patients, accessing their progress throughout their time in the program, performing follow up visits into the communities and most recently teaching the mother's how to make an alternative product to plumpy nut for their babies.
When asked what her favorite part of being on the nutrition centre staff was she answered without any hesitation, "the teaching and making of local plumpy nut." Manyaya meets with the mothers every few days and teaches them how to make the nutritious paste that is needed for their babies weight gain.
Her dream as a nutrition officer is to focus on public health nutrition by taking the knowledge she has into the homes of those in surrounding communities. She has a desire to teach what so many so learning when it's almost too late. She sees the importance of meeting the needs before they come to the clinic to eliminate major crisis. We appreciate her hard work and wonderful attitude that helps so many.
The King's Village Project is a Christian led international development work based in Northern Ghana. Please click the button below if you are interested in partnering with us.