Rain Water Collector: A project by a Volunteer

Now, let me introduce you to Nia…
I am Nia Muhammad from Washington DC. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2012 and studied architecture and Spanish.

IMG_1251What inspired you to undertake this project?
Before coming to Ghana, I had never experienced not having running water before. When I visited the orphanage last summer, I was very moved by some of the conditions which were a great eye opener. I saw how much effort it took for the children to get the water from the stream and then for the staff to purify it. I wanted to find a way to ease that burden. Water is essential to life and is very powerful. I feel that in 2014 with all the technology and advancement of the human race, clean water should be accessible to everyone in the world. Initially, I just wanted to buy a poly tank that I saw on other buildings for the orphanage, but after I did a volunteer program the following spring, I learned how to build a rain water harvestor. I thought that would be a better option because it’s more sustainable and efficient than constantly paying for the poly tank to be refilled. I now want to continue to do similar projects in other places throughout Africa and Haiti.
The actual connection to the tank was pretty simple and only took 4 days.

IMG_1243 IMG_1245

 

 

 

 

 

How did you fund this project?
I raised money through a fundraising website for 2 months. Facebook was my primary source with spreading the word about the project and from there, people made donations. My mother’s non-profit CASP helped with contacting the workers. Some of the CASP staff who live in Hohoe found the workers and did negotiations and all that stuff.
Anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank all the CASP staff and my friend Samson who assisted me all through my trip in Ghana. I appreciate my mom, Rashida Muhammad, Fred, Bless and Francis for their help and most importantly those who made donations.

Eugemot Foundation appreciates all support received to make this project a success and Nia for this initiative. We are expecting lots of rain in the coming months so hopefully there would be enough rain water for domestic use at the home.

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Children’s Profile: Francis

This week we would be hearing from Francis!!!

sumsung tab 305Background:
Francis Akromah was the first amongst our kids to enter Senior High and he completed this April with amazing grades!! Currently, he is helping to tutor the younger kids after school hours. He is volunteering his knowledge and time at Peggy Good School of Hope, teaching English Language. Francis is a disciplinarian; he keeps the order at the home and makes sure the younger ones do the right thing.

Q. Under what circumstances did Francis arrive at Eugemot?

A. His elder brother brought him to Eugemot orphanage because he was unable to cater for him after the death of their parents.

Little Francis in a pose... can you find him?

Little Francis in a pose… can you find him?

Q. What age are you?
A. 18 years

Q. Do they have any brothers/sisters at Eugemot?
A. No

Q. How long have you been at Eugemot for?
A. Since 2005, this is 8 years ago.

Here is a list of my favourite things…
Q. What is your favourite food?
A. Kenkey and Fish (a local Ghanaian meal)

Q. What is your favourite movie and music?
A. My favourite movie is the series, ‘The Orange County’ and I like to listen to hip hop music

Q. What is your favourite subject at school?
A. Business Management

Q. What is your favorite thing to do outside of school?
A. Playing soccer and reading novels.

Francis giving the kids an english test

Francis giving the kids an english test

Growing Up!
Q. Who is your hero/someone you would like to meet?
A. Michael Essien

Q. What do you love about life?
A. The love of Christ

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A soccer player

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Children’s Profile: Paulina

Hi everyone, it’s exciting to bring you stories and profiles to keep you updated on what’s been going on here at Eugemot. Within the next few weeks, we would be hearing from the SENIORS of Eugemot Orphanage! Five of our boys graduated from High school in May and one of our girls is in her final year. Today we would be hearing from Paulina.
paulina
Background:
Paulina lost both parents and was brought to the orphanage by her uncle who is unable to cater for her. She is the senior among the girls in the home, being the only one who has reached the high school level. She would be writing her finals next year paving the way for her to enter an institution of higher learning. Paulina is a lovely and smart young lady, she shows a lot of maturity in the things she does and she isn’t reluctant in taking care of the younger ones when she’s home on vacation. Now let’s take some time to know who Paulina really is!

Q. How old are you?
A. 18 years

Q. Do they have any brothers/sisters at Eugemot?
No

Here is a list of my favorite things…

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. Jollof rice and Chicken

Q. What is your favorite movie and music?
A. Mexican telenovela and a song taught by our friends from Alabama “Love one another”

Q. What is your favorite subject at school?
A. Biology

Q. What is your favorite thing to do outside of school?
A. Playing basketball and singing

paulina 2

Growing Up!

Q. Who is your hero/ or someone you would like to be like?
A. Yvonne, Mama Eugenia’s daughter.

Q. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A. I would love to be a nurse.

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The Alabama crew!!!

Well, it’s another beautiful summer and our friends from Alabama are here again. Surely, it was the best thing for the kids at Eugemot Foundation to look forward to. They were beaming as their friends from overseas got down from their bus, with their arms opened wide.
Every year since 2005, a team from Madison Academy led by Dr Bob Burton visits the foundation during the last week of May through to the first week in June. They come with a lot of excitement and a list of activities to do with the children and workers of the foundation. Sometimes they help in building, molding cement blocks, repairing broken beds, general cleaning and most of all playing with the children.
There was another incredible time at the riverside….     

And another special treat of bible studies and mentoring

The children of Eugemot and all the staff really appreciate you!!!

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Staff Interview: Sister Emelda!

Another staff interview for you, so that you can start to see more about the people behind the scenes at Eugemot that make all of our work possible. Emelda is the primary woman that keeps the house running from day to day and we are incredibly grateful for her tireless help. Enough from me, here is Emelda!

 

 

 

 

 

Background
Q: How did you find out about the Eugemot Foundation?
A: I am the niece of Eugenia “Mama” Motogbe, founder of the Foundation, so I heard out about the orphanage as soon as Mama started it.

Q: What do you do to support the work of the Foundation?
A: Emelda works as the primary care-taker for the children at the orphanage. She oversees and organizes the food, clothes and general care of the children at the house.

Experience so far
Q: How long have you been working at the foundation/ in a similar position at another institution?
A: I have been working for the Foundation for the previous seven years Continue reading

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Children’s Profile: Vida

It has been a while since we featured a Child Profile so I thought it was time to share with all of you one of our most mature and inspiring young women we have here at Eugemot. Here is Vida!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background:
Q: Under what circumstances did Vida arrive at Eugemot?
A: Vida came to the orphanage when she was 9 years old, arriving with her younger sister Judith. Before they came to the orphanage both sisters were hawking goods in the Hohoe market in order to help provide for their younger siblings. Their father had died years earlier and their mother was sturggling to care for the family and the girl’s younger siblings. When an older male relative found the two girls in the market, he brought them to Eugemot to recieve an education with the permission of their mother.

The fact that Vida was made to grow up quick shows in the young woman she is today; she is an incredibly mature, responsible and helpful 16 year old. Continue reading

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Volunteer Profile: Jake Barnett!

Hi my name is Jake Barnett and I have been the individual that created and has been managing this blog. While it will be taken over by the Eugemot staff when I leave, I thought I would share my story before I go. I hope this does not come across as egotistical, if anything it is lazy because I did not have another topic ready to write about today. So here is my story!

A slight size discrepancy.

Decision to Volunteer at Eugemot
Q: How did you first hear about the Eugemot Foundation?
A: I came to the Eugemot Foundation through the AIESEC internship program, which pairs university students and recent graduates with affordable internships and volunteer positions around the world. Yvonne Motogbe, the daughter of”Mama, is a member of AIESEC and thus paired me with the Foundation.

Q: What made you decide to come to the Eugemot Foundation versus all of the other volunteering options available?
A: I was excited about the open and welcoming atmosphere that I saw at Eugemot. I felt like I would be happy working with the staff at Eugemot and they seemed happy to have someone coming who wanted to work on the back-end of their operation.

Role at Eugemot?
Q: What do you with the kids at Eugemot?
A: I primarily work on the logistical and fund-raising side of the operation at Eugemot. I have worked to set up this blog and the Sponsor a Child program in order to keep past volunteers and supporters of Eugemot better connected to the organization. I am a self-proclaimed nerd for things like operational efficiency and new fund-raising protocol. However, on my off-time I also love to play with the kids, going to fetch water, playing football and generally goofing off.

Q: How long are you staying at Eugemot for?
A: I came in mid October and will be staying until mid March for a total of five months.

Q: What has been your favorite part of volunteering at Eugemot?
A: I have loved hearing the stories from people about their past experiences with the orphanage. Everyone that I have spoken to about the orphanage seems to have a unique tale to tell about a particular kid, a particular activity, a particular day. Everyone that passes through here seems to be moved and forever changed by this place. To keep them connected and to help them continue supporting these amazing kids is a real blessing.

Personal Reflections
Q: What has been your most acute moment of culture shock in Ghana so far?
A: I think the most acute aspect of culture shock, besides realizing that as a giant white man I really stand out, is the easy nature of sharing and generosity in Ghana. At first I was a bit overwhelmed by this, especially when I was expected to share my own stuff. But as time went on I saw the rationale and common sense of this approach to life, and it has grown into one of my favorite aspects of living in Ghana.

Q: What are some unique features of Ghanian culture that you enjoy?
A: Besides the culture of sharing that I talked about above, I love how easy and friendly everyone is. I think this is something you will hear from most volunteers that come to Ghana.

Q: If you could use three words to describe your experiences for
A: Challenging, Important, Growth-Inducing
(I get to cheat)

Relaxing on Christmas day.

Future:
Q: What are you most proud of having done at Eugemot during your time here?
A: This blog, actually, haha.

Q: What is the project you would most like to see completed for these kids the next time you come to visit Eugemot?
A: I think the immediate project that I am most interested in completing is buying a new bus for the school. I will write more about this project soon.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to potential volunteers considering coming to Eugemot?
A lot of aspects of the culture will inevitably be overwhelming or difficult for foreign volunteers but if you trust your instincts and trust the people without being naive you will be guarenteed to have an amazing life-changing experience here.

 

 

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Merry Christmas from Eugemot!

The holiday vacation officially started for Eugemot on December 16th; this was the day that the first semester of the Peggy Good School of Hope International was completed. Children used their vacation to play football, draw and craft, read and generally have fun playing and talking with one another. Slowly the older Eugemot kids that were in Senior School trickled in and soon we had a full house for the holidays.

The children spent much of the week before Christmas praying and worshiping. Christmas day itself started slowly enough, with porridge for the kids and Christmas music playing in the background. As time went on the caretakers at Eugemot worked hard to prepare the special Christmas meal that all of us were looking forward to.

Continue reading

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Children’s Profile: Michael

We have another profile for you on our Kid Testimonial section. If you are interested in assisting the children at the Eugemot Foundation please visit our “Ways to Support” tab and Sponsor a Child today!

In the meantime, here is Michael!

Background:
Q: Under what circumstances did Michael arrive at Eugemot?
A: Michael came to the orphanage when he was 8 years old. Michael’s mother was a petty trader that did not have the means to take care of him and his father died of a stomach ulcer when Michael was only a small child. Michael’s mother turned over his care to his grandmother when he was 5 years old, but his grandmother was also not able to provide Michael with the food and care needed to grow into a healthy young man.

Michael has turned into one of the brightest and most engaged young minds at Eugemot, excelling at all of the subjects in school. He is also playful, witty and never far off from a laugh or a joke. Here are some words from Michael himself!

If you want to know why he is wearing that mask, you will have to ask him yourself.

Here is a list of my favorite things…
Q: What is your favorite food?
A:  Fried Rice with Chicken

Q: What is your favorite movie and music?
A: Funny movies and gospel music

Q: What is your favorite subject at school?
A: Mathematics

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of school?
A: I like to play football, draw, paint and go swimming.

Growing Up!
Q: Who is your hero/someone you would like to meet?
A: Vincent Van Gogh (Pronounced by Michael Vincent Van Goth)

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I would like to be an artist.

Fetching water with friends.

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Volunteer Profile: Marcella McFall!

You may remember hearing about Marcella McFall from our “Party Time” post, but we have also decided to feature her as the inaugural interviewee on our Volunteer Testimonial section. So, here is Marcella!

Marcella and some children enjoying the party she organized

Decision to Volunteer at Eugemot

Q: How did you first hear about the Eugemot Foundation?
A: I volunteered with Cross Cultural Solutions in January 2008 for 3 weeks and was placed at Eugemot Foundation.

Q: What made you decide to come to the Eugemot Foundation versus all of the other volunteering options available?
A: Once I was placed at Eugemot Foundation I decided that 3 weeks with these wonderful children was not enough for me so I returned in 2009 for 3 months and have since returned a further 3 times.

The staff at Eugemot made me very welcome and included. I knew instantly that I could work with them to help the children both at home and at school. I had loads of fun and laughter with the kids and I enjoyed making their lessons engaging and fun.
I did not want to go home after one visit and never see how the kids would grow up – I wanted to keep in contact with them and work to improve their quality of education. I strongly felt that this is what would give the kids the best chance in later life.

Role at Eugemot?

Q: What do you with the kids at Eugemot?
A: At school I have assisted the teachers and also taught English, Continue reading

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