This is Baba. He was one of a group of boys that was friendly, helpful and always around. All of these boys are between 8 and 11.
This is Mawunyefia, aka "God is King." Isn't that a cool name? He's a really good soccer player and artist, and he speaks English very well.
This is Raul. For some reason, every time we saw him, we would all say "RAW-OOL! " He happened to be sitting with us one time while we were eating. The chicken had not been cut apart into identifiable parts, but rather into uniform-sized pieces, then grilled to a crisp. On some pieces it was hard to find any meat. We gave the last piece to Raul, then watched in amazement as he ate through the entire thing, bones and all. Must be how they get those gorgeous white teeth. (That, and the almost absolute absence of sugar in their diets).
Say hello to Paka. This is how he spells and pronounces his name, but we found out later that his name is Humfrey Parker, which means he speaks with a British accent. (Not uncommon, as Ghana was once a British colony.) He is funny and uncommonly intuitive about us Westerner visitors. (That's Stephen peeking out behind him.)
This is Kofi Richard. Kofi means "Friday-born." We met quite a few Kofis on our trip. Kofi Richard was very new to the Village of Life, but you would never have known it. In fact, it was almost impossible to tell in most cases, because the children adapt so quickly into their new environment.
If you donated to my trip, I want to say thank you for making these children real to me. The trip was life-changing to me, but I believe it will change the lives of those we touched, as well. And by we, I mean you too!
There are at least three ways you can further assist these children in the ongoing expenses of raising them to adulthood:
1. Remember them by name in your prayers, although these particular boys are some of the least at-risk.
2. Go to freedomstones.ws soon and purchase jewelry made at this facility by the 11 teenagers that were trained while we were there. (The staff at Freedom Stones probably hasn't had time to update the website yet with the new Ghana pieces, but they're beautiful, so keep checking, or contact them for more information.). Freedom Stones also works in Asia rescuing women from sex trafficking. The jewelry they offer from Asia is also really beautiful. (Freedom Stones is a non-profit organization.)
3. Contact Touch A Life and see how you can help with financial or other kinds of donations. (Touch A Life is also a non-profit organization.)
Thanks for taking the time to meet my new friends!