Dormaa Ahenkro2 Header Cosmos Children 01 Header Cosmos Children 03
Your Site Name

Cosmos Centre

Cosmos Centre

Relief projects for handicapped children in Ghana

My name is Francis Kyere Boakye, born in Dormaa Ahenkro, Ghana, where I grew up. Since the year 2000, I have been looking after handicapped children, first in Norwegian Tromsö, then in Jarna, Sweden. In the spring of 2008, after training as a remedial teacher for five years, I completed my studies.

For many years it has been my dream to look after handicapped children in Africa, in order to improve their chances in later life. From this dream the plan has developed to start a self-sufficient home with therapy possibilities, a school and a workshop for the handicapped in Dormaa Ahenkro. My wife, Susanne Wärnhjelm, will also work at the centre; as a children's doctor she has been treating handicapped children in Sweden for many years. During a visit to my home village, Dormaa Ahenkro, three years ago, I made my first contacts with families with handicapped children. It was then that I got to know Ataa, 11 years old, with cerebral paralysis, and another child with Down's syndrome.

In the following years, I have repeatedly visited my village, and have been able to convince my Ghanaian neighbour Ama, Ataa's foster mother, and her son Kwabena, of the necessity of my relief project. The political leader of Dormaa's district, as well as the mayor of the village support my plans. The project would be classified as an NGO (non-governmental organisation).

I got to know little Kwame a year-and-a-half ago when I brought Ama's foster-son, Ataa, a wheelchair from Sweden; this helped Ataa to attend a perfectly normal school. In the course of time, young Kwame, who also suffers from a serious cerebral paralysis, got a new pram. At this time both Ataa and Kwame were being supported financially by me. Circumstances have permitted me to adopt Kwame and thus to be able to make a better life in Sweden possible for him. Since Kwame's sufferings are unfortunately not an isolated phenomenon, a relief project must be started soon in Ghana itself. My project has already shown a first sign of hope: for the erection of Cosmos's home a good plot of land by the border river of the state, which I inherited some time ago, is intended. It will be possible to expand this plot for our needs whenever necessary.

Aims of the project:
- children's and staff accommodation with its own solar energy;
- a guest house for local and foreign colleagues;
- wells for fresh water;
- an ecological cleaning plant for waste water;
- an ecological kitchen garden for fruit and vegetables;
- buildings for ecological animal care (chickens, sheep, cows, horses and a donkey);
- a park with a playground;
- a meeting hall;
- a therapy centre;
- a school house;
- a handicapped workshop;
- a shop which will sell goods produced in the home.

I now ask you to support me in fulfilling my dream of opening up new perspectives for the future of the children in Dormaa Ahenkro.



Kwame

Kwame was born under difficult circumstances in 2005; since his birth he has suffered from cerebral paralysis, which has resulted in an underdevelopment of his bodily motor activity. In addition he is hindered in his speech capacities by a too short tongue frenulum. Kwame has been brought up by his grandmother as, after his birth, his mother disappeared. His father blamed Kwame for the family's poverty and his family has a number of times tried to kill him by keeping him short of food or drink.

In March 2009 Cosmos was able to intervene in an attempt to poison him with drugs, and save him. Since in Ghana it has not been possible to organize a suitable home for Kwame, and since his father does not want to see him in the village of Dormaa Ahenkro, Cosmos and Susanne will adopt him and take him back to Sweden. There he will receive the medical and therapeutic care he needs. In Sweden they will operate on his tongue, and he will be cared for by a speech therapist and a physiotherapist. Later he will go to school.



Nsuoba

 

In Ghana there are families who have not been sufficiently educated to understand their children, and thus are unable to help them sufficiently. Because of the overriding poverty in Ghana, medical treatment for these children is not always easy.

Often they are blamed for the family's misfortune, since people believe that the children are damned and bring shame to their families. To give birth to a handicapped child means normally that a member of the family has broken a rule and thus brought damnation upon the whole family. People say that handicapped children are carried by the river. Thus in Ghana these children are called river children, 'Nsuoba'. The families are advised to return the children to the river. This means that the children are laid in the riverbed where they die. In the bed of the river, the story goes, the children are changed into a fish or a snake.

Many parents do not want to let their children to be left to such a fate. They hide their handicapped children in their house. There are no possibilities for the mental or physical development of the child.

Up till now there have been few institutions in Ghana which concern themselves with handicapped children and which might help them to be reintroduced into the village community. The home village of little Kwami would, with your help, become a place for Ghanaian families with such children.