Today I went to determine the location and meet the manager of Hope Community Orphanage. I had to take two trotros to get there, but it’ll be cheap travel.
While there, I met Pastor Ashley, the head of the orphanage, and learned that I will be:
1. Teaching/coaching kids in English, math, and computer skills before/after school (sometimes school is in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon),
2. Taking them on trips on the weekends and planning activities to help boost their self-image, show them they matter, etc,
3. Collecting clothing and mosquito nets from the other CIEE students to donate at the end of the semester (we won’t need them anymore), AND
4. Working on a project with the Ghanaian social services branch of the government to get 14 of the kids in the national health care system.
The way it was explained to me, when the health care system was set up, they didn’t consider the orphans in Ghana, because to get on the program your parents have to register you, and these kids don’t have parents. I guess some of the kids have been registered to have the government pay for their healthcare, but each registration only lasts one year and then they have to renew it, and it’s a very long and tedious process. The government recently changed the system so that you don’t have to renew it every year, and so we’ll be trying to get these 14 kids on the long-term plan. Courtney (the other CIEE student working with me at the orphanage) and I will be getting official letters from the Aya Center (through which this internship is coordinated) and Hope Community Orphanage telling the Ghanaian government that we’re registering these kids as a project we’re undertaking as foreign students, and apparently that will be the ticket to getting through the government red tape and actually getting this done. If the orphanage were to try to tackle this by themselves Pastor Ashley says they’d never get through, but since Courtney and I are undertaking it, we’re hoping to complete the process by the end of the semester. Courtney and I will meet with the pastor on Friday to finalize details and figure out a schedule, and then we’ll be on our way next week.
I think it’s going to be a busy semester after all.