Greenheart Club International Awards First Collective Grant
By Lee White, Greenheart Club Volunteer and Sister Stan’s Children Volunteer
To celebrate the Greenheart Club reaching its first collective 10,000 hours we asked the 800+ members to nominate and vote on an organization of our choice to receive $1,000! We received several nominations and even more votes. We are excited to award Sister Stan’s Children our first $1,000 Greenheart Club International Collective Grant. Below, Lee White a volunteer for both Sister Stan’s Children and the Greenheart Club shares a little more about the organization and how they will benefit from our donation.
Thank You, Nancy Sanderson, for including Sister Stan’s Children in the Greenheart Club International contest. And, appreciation to Greenheart International for the $1000.00 donation that will directly benefit the children of Nazareth Home for God’s Children in the village of Sang, Ghana, West Africa.
Sister Stan’s Children, a nonprofit organization based out of Nashville, Tennessee is dedicated to the health and well being of rejected children in the village of Sang in northern Ghana. Some tribal cultures consider a child born as a twin, to a mother who died in childbirth, or with any form of physical or mental handicap an “omen” that can bring bad luck to the entire village. Parents reject these children and bring them to Sister Stan, who warmly receives them into her home.
The current facility, which seems like “home” to me, is old and crowded. However, thanks to donations from generous people in the United States and Germany, a beautiful new orphanage now stands where there was previously only dirt and a pile of stones. Once complete, the new house will have sparkling bathrooms, spacious sleeping rooms with new beds, an indoor and outdoor kitchen, a pleasant dining room, a reception area and guest facilities, a library / classroom, running water and electricity. All we need now is a wall to be constructed to keep the children in and critters out, and to add the finishing touches and move in!
Our family consists of Sister Stan, the Parish Priest, local caretakers, international volunteers like me, a Board of Directors in the U.S., and of course ~~ the children. Children range in age from babies to teenagers. Many, like Alice, God Knows, and Marta, are smart, bright, outgoing kids who are developmentally on target without any physical or mental limitations. They just need good schooling to supplement their classes at the elementary or middle school. As part of a future plan, Sister hopes to open her own school that will enable her children to reach their various educational potentials.
Other children in the family do have physical and mental challenges. Some like Elizabeth and Xavier have orthopedic issues and may be unable to walk, sit, or stand on their own. Additionally, there are those with emotional / behavioral problems, vision hearing impairments (see Agatha,) hydrocephalus, or brain injuries from birth. All require special care and frequent trips to the hospital for treatment.
When I returned to Ghana for my second visit, I was so pleased to see Abraham and Lucy. Lucy, who arrived last year with malnutrition, is now walking, talking, eating normal, food, and calling me “MaMa.” Abraham, even with an enlarged head due to fluid in the brain, is quite pleased with himself since he has learned to walk.
With so many children, Sister Stan works long hours caring for them! Whether directing her staff and volunteers, shopping for supplies like food and firewood, cooking, cleaning, nurturing, doing her own office / secretarial work ~~ Sister is always “on call.”
As for me as a volunteer, I enjoy teaching my little class, playing with the little kids, and generally just providing some extra attention to the children. Since I am not involved with feeding, bathing, or diapering, what I do is fun!
I have now traveled to Ghana twice. The first trip in May 2013 was more like an adventure in a continent I had never before visited. This time, it was a return to visit my family in Ghana. One thing I admire about the culture is that friends are family. Because I am an older woman, I am “MaMa” to friends and to strangers. My friends are my brothers and sisters and the children are my sons and daughters. Being with my family in Ghana has taught me to appreciate simple things: waking to the crowing of a rooster, hearing singing and beating of drums in the background, watching a “fashion parade” of colorfully dressed young wives walking past the dining room window with water vessels on their heads, enjoying hot bread right out of the oven for breakfast, sharing a meal of fresh tilapia & yam fries with Sister Stan, enjoying the company of friendly folks who just drop over for conversations under our shade tree, absorbing the peace of a village without the confusion of cars and traffic.
Sister Stan is an amazing lady–who cares wonderfully for every need of every child and who has built for them a new home ~~ all through donations. The funding from Greenheart Club International is greatly appreciated and will be used to benefit the kids.