Notice: Undefined variable: catNameLink in /home/friendshipcharlo/public_html/wp-content/themes/friendship/functions.php on line 289
Update: Ties That Bind!
Living in Ghana and the Ties that Bind!:
When I moved here in 2016 to the village of Juapong, I had a very clear vision and Calling; create a Counseling and Social Work Centre in Frankadua for rescued girls from the Trokosi shrines, provide individual trauma and group counseling, teach “daily living” skills and conduct a weekly Business Skills Development class the 65-70 students at the Baptist Vocational Training Centre, Frankadua.
The way of living was unfamiliar to me; walking on the footpath to the roadside, greeting neighbors in Ewe, sometimes being called “Yavu” (Ewe for white foreigner), being awaken every morning at 3:30 to the sounds of chickens, 4:15 to the Muslim Call of Prayer, 4:30 to the Church that decided to do a loud speaker Sermon throughout the village, 5:00 by the Genny Fowls and 5:01 by my dog who decided he didn’t like the Genny Fowls.
Everything indeed seemed “foreign”. That word even now stirs up emotions. Yet, why was something that ran deep in my veins, invisible yet clearly seen by the color of my skin so unfamiliar. So, I have resisted that lack of familiarity. Instead making the unfamiliar familiar. Learning the comfort of riding 3 on a moto, being the “hand turner” when pounding fufu (though I confess preferring Banku), connecting the young ladies and young men I teach and counsel the familiar in the ties that bind and have bound us for over 400 years.
I have smiled in Ghana, I have laughed in Ghana and I have shed tears in Ghana. Yet, mostly I love and learn. From the simplest, like do not get on a trotro to Accra from Juapong with less than 5 people aboard (you won’t make to Accra, you’ll get dropped somewhere between Kpong and Madina) to the most challenging; learning a tonal language like Ewe, to the most empowering; hearing someone who was told they were not allowed to speak to them now sharing what they like about themselves, to the most endearing; being renamed “Kekeli” (meaning “Shining”, “Bright” in Ewe) in 2016 and the Elders calling me by that name with a certain unspoken expectation that I will live up to it…daily. It is my hope that I will continue to have the opportunity through your loving support and God’s Will.
Impacting Lives through Your Support:
I am an active member of the African American Association of Ghana, a member of the Counsel of NGO’s Against Child Trafficking, a guest Lecturer at the University of Ghana-Legon, Social Work Department and most recently graduated from Trinity Theological Seminary-College of Counseling and Psychology as a Provisional Licensed Counselor. I have made presentations to both the US Embassy-Human Rights Division that visited my program at BVTC and International Justice Mission. Yet, what I am most proud of is when these former Trokosi and students from disadvantage backgrounds can tell you the difference between an asset and a liability, create the scheme for a product that well sell, breakdown the parts of a Business Plan including 3-years of Financial Projections, develop S.M.A.R.T Goals and uncover the depth and brevity of having a voice, thinking critically and no longer succumbing to being a victim, enslaved or voiceless.
Ministry Now and the Future:
I continue what “I’ve Done…” (above). As well as having moved to Accra in August 2019 to grow the Continuum Missions Model of Sustainable Programming, developing the S.E.W. Project (Sowing Empowered Women) with the focus of education and advocacy for human trafficking/modern-day slavery, former Trokosi, and disadvantaged graduates of BVTC. The program expands from Accra to the Volta. Partnering with volunteers and NGO’s both Ghanaian and Western-owned. Teaching English literacy, Life Skills, Cultural, Spiritual and Business Development Skills to graduates as well as currently enrolled students. The focus and foregoing; continue to develop local and global initiatives that develop Christian beliefs, mentally and emotionally healthy and socially responsibly young people while linking BVTC graduates with internships/attachments and job opportunities.
Thank you for your continued Support and Prayers as my Church Family!
Your Servant in Ghana,