Saturday, March 19, 2011

What is going on?

I wrote THIS POST about an particular orphanage in Kasoa Ghana, almost 3 years ago. Three years ago this home was in desperate circumstances. I know that for many months assistance was given by AAI families. In fact, money was raised to create a bore hole on the property. I saw the pictures of it going in. I also saw the photos of actual food (not a money donation) being delivered to the home each month. But that was 3 years ago.
Now it's 3 years later. We work with a different coordinator in Ghana than we did 3 years ago. Our current coordinator has no relationship with this home, and therefore no children in our program currently come from this home. Still, I see several parents in the adoption community who are adopting from this home.
What I don't understand is why, three years later, there are still constantly pleas to assist the children of this home because of the deplorable conditions. WHY IS THAT?! There is a commited group of volunteers that work hard to run a volunteer and sponsorship program for this home, and yet very recently I read a story about how very basic the school STILL is (3 years later, after dozens of adoptions and a commited group of volunteers). I even read how the home still does not have clean water and they are collecting money for it.
It doesn't register. It would seem crazy to me that an agency/facilitator would be "working" at this home, and not be sending a decent percentage of the adoption fees collected to support the home. [Maybe they are?] It seems crazy to me that all of the kids still look so pitiful, and the home is in as bad a condition now as it was three years ago.
WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?!?!?!?! Is it not getting to Ghana? Is it getting to Ghana but not to the home? Is it getting to the home but not to the children? I just can't be quiet about this anymore. Something is wrong with this picture. I don't know what it is. I don't know if anybody out there reading this can help. I just know I can't be quiet about it one more second.
In adoption we talk about how nobody should profit off of children. Absolutely! But at least, with all of the fees collected, the CHILDREN SHOULD BENEFIT!!!!!! I am in no position to have a clue what is going on there. Maybe you are. If you are, I encourage you to speak up on behalf of these children and do your best to figure out why the children are STILL left in deplorable conditions after this long. It shouldn't be this way.
Let me use my friend John's home (CKO) as an example. When I first heard about CKO it was from an email list having nothing to do with adoption. There was this guy with this small orphanage where the kids had been kicked out of their home. They had no place to go. They had no funds to get anywhere, and were eating very little. Some parents were able to help. Others helped as well. Two years later "CKO" is a very recognized orphanage within the Ghana adoption community. Two years later (although they still struggles sometimes) John and the kids are in a LOVELY large home, with a bright and happy in-home school. Not only are the kids eating a decent diet and clothed well, but the director (and children) reach out to minister to those less fortunate in the community. Orphans--ministering to those "less fortunate!" John, although not perfect (nobody is) has come from a horrible place, to a place where the children are thriving and able to give to others out of their abundance.
Two homes. Both homes previously "unknown" but through adoptions have become known to the community. Both homes who have loving individuals commited to help the children and make change. One is thriving two years later. One is still deplorable three years later.
What is going on?
Okay, off my soapbox.


fullplatemom 7:55 PM  

Hmmm ... reminds me of another orphanage that had a committed group of parents adopting from it, but also had deplorable conditions. Those committed parents dug around and found where all their money was going. Sad. Coincidentally, that orphanage isn't very far from Kasoa.

Keep standing on your soapbox, Anita. This is the stuff parents need to hear.


A. Gillispie 7:59 PM  

Ugh. I hadn't even thought of that Becky. =-(

the H family 8:37 AM  

You know my mind went exactly where Becky's did. It is maddening and frustrating and a lot of other -ings. If anything, conditions were WORSE after families started helping there.

Thank you for asking hard questions, Anita. Honesty is always appreciated, even when it brings unpleasant answers.

Heather 9:27 AM  

Well, I can tell you that when *I* was at Kasoa, I dropped off two suitcases FULL of donations, mostly because Percy said that the orphanage was in such need. Moreso than others. And it was indeed in horrible shape. But I *still* remember seeing the a list in the office with tons and tons of donations listed. And I was wondering at the time if my donatino was really needed because it seemed like they had gotten SO MUCH recently. But I passed it off because it LOOKED like it needed the donation.

Kristin 7:29 PM  

We too, visited this orpahage a couple of times with lots of donations and nets for each bed as this is where Fia and Kwame came from and picked up malaria(you can actually see Fia hiding in your picture with her hair standing up). We did NOT trust them. Daron said she was either a saint there or a Mrs. Hannigan and unfortunately our guts both said the latter, but we had nothing to base it on, so we kept quiet on that. It's sad. It should not be this way.

A. Gillispie 8:23 PM  

Wow Kristin. I would have never recognized Fia in that photo. You know she wins the award for "most changed" in my book. =-)

Fortunately, when we were involved there we had the usual checks and balances so we could see most things actually being used (giving food, not money for food, etc.). I know it is not unheard of in Ghana for clothes, nets, and other things given to orphanages to be resold on the market. I've been told to take tags off of new clothes for that reason.

You know it just makes me sick--just the thought of it. The thought of the loving volunteers giving their time and money to help raise up these children.

Someone asked me today why I didn't tackle this head on if I am concerned. Honestly, there are just so many things I want to tackle at any given time. I get tired of being a bad guy and putting people on the defensive. I hoped that in just putting my thoughts out about this that maybe someone currently involved (or with time to GET involved) would take this one on. Maybe there is good reason for they way things STILL are. From where I'm sitting, I just don't get it. =-(