Friday, January 1, 2010

Holiday Celebrations in Ghana

In Ghana, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. In addition to our own children residing at Eban House, many more children benefitted from this year's Holiday Project donations. Anita Gillispie, AAI Ghana coordinator, sent in the description and accompanying photos of the celebrations that took place last week.

Mema Mo Afe Nhyia Pa!!!

"Merry Christmas, and May You Have a Blessed New Year!" This is the traditional greeting in Ghana this time of year. Christmas and New Year's are the two most significant holidays of the year in Ghana--both considered "religious festivals."

This year, through the generous donations to the AAI Holiday Project, four groups of children in Ghana had a very special holiday.

The small but thriving group of children benefiting from Family Preservation sponsorships received new clothes, shoes, socks and underwear, as well as a new toy, cookies, and soda. The families also received rice, oil, and other supplies in order to have a special Christmas dinner. Muna Saeed, administrator of Eban House in Ghana said, "The generosity of donors/parents has enabled AAI to make a difference in the lives of children through the humanitarian projects. Donors/Parents through AAI donated hundreds of dollars to support these less privileged children and their families. The plan of setting up humanitarian projects in Ghana will never go in vain. Rather bring up a smile in a child's face."

The Anaba Foster Home (a foster home that cares for about 10 foster children) received a large donation of everyday food, gifts for the children, and the supplies needed for a feast on Christmas Day. This home did not previously have a table and chairs to eat on. The house father was delighted to receive this special gift. The director of Anaba Foster Home said, "I want to thank you and the sponsors so much for this wonderful donation. The dining chairs are beautiful, as you can also see in the pictures. May our good Lord expand the life of AAI and all of us."

Charity Kingdom Orphanage (a small orphanage with mostly much older children) also received a very generous donation through the Holiday Project. At this home they received basic food items, gifts, and items needed for their Christmas feast. As you can tell from the photos, this is a home exploding with laughter and joy! The director of CKO said, "We really had a nice Christmas by the grace of God and by your help through Eban. We have got some goat, fowl, rice, oil and other things that helped for the Christmas. We have also appreciated the gifts for the kids received from Eban House. Thank you very much and love to you all out there."

And now for the festive holiday celebration at our own Eban House (where AAI currently cares for around 20 children in a semi-foster care environment). At Eban House the children all received new (beautiful!) hand-sewn clothes, new shoes and socks, and a few personal gifts to open. In addition, the staff members each received a large bag of rice for their holiday dinners, and material to make new dresses. The day at Eban consisted of going to church first thing in the morning. That was followed by a feast that included Goat, fufu and light soup, chicken and rice, cookies, sodas, and ice cream. The children decided upon the menu! Of course there was much dancing and game-playing after the Christmas dinner. Muna said, "The staff and children send their Christmas wishes to donors/parents and to you for their contribution towards the Christmas bonuses and parcels."

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