We are a Christian organization that desires to bring hope and a future to the children and all the people in the Traditional area of Nsoatre, Bono region in Ghana. We work for the poorest children and the community in the town of Nsoatre and the area of about 700 km ² around it.
A brief history of our work – the early years (1997-2007)
In 1997, our founder and director, Mr. Solomon Boateng of Nsoatre, had graduated from teacher training college. He was inspired by the quote from the American president Abraham Lincoln, quoted by president John F. Kennedy: ‘you have to think of what you can do for your nation but not what your nation can do for you’. When he returned to Nsoatre, he noticed the needs of the poorest of children. Especially he noticed that many children were roaming around on the streets from a very young age, while their parents were working. Most of these children did not receive a proper meal even once a day. Solomon decided to take action and with the help of his family and church, the Presbyterian Church at Nsoatre, he established a daycare for the youngest (2 to 6 years) and poorest of Children at Nsoatre. They built a small structure as a class room for the older children.
Within 3 years, this work grew out of hands reaching to more than 300 children and providing education and food for them.
In 1999, Solomon decided to reach out to organizations outside of Ghana and ask them for assistance in the work that he had started. Many letters were sent, but no response. Until one of the letters was sent to a Dutch organization that was running a Christian bookshop at Accra. It was called Dutch Reformed Tract Society. The letter Solomon wrote reached the general secretary of that organization, Mr. Willem Hammink from the Netherlands. He and his wife were touched by the letter and decided to respond.
On the first of July 1999, Mr. Hammink and his wife visited Nsoatre for the first time. They sent a report to one of the relief funds of their church organization on what they noticed there. The organization responded by sending a sum of money to help with improvements and extension of the work, however they decided this would be a one time donation. Mr. and Mrs. Hammink, though decided they wanted to investigate if they could privately contribute. Therefore they visited Nsoatre a second time later that year. Especially the zeal with which Solomon and his team worked to improve the lives of so many children impressed them. Mr. and Mrs. Hammink decided to start supporting Solomon and his work from their private funds.
The next year an agreement was made between Mr. and Mrs. Hammink and the Presbyterian church of Nsoatre and Solomon, to start building a new structure for improvement of the work. The Presbyterian church of Nsoatre donated a piece of land just behind their church building. They would also provide local oversight of the work as a comity was formed with several people from the church. Mr. and Mrs. Hammink provided the funds to construct 2 new buildings with classrooms. A kitchen was also constructed with the funds received from the Dutch relief organization.
In 2002, the construction of these new facilities were completed after building 2 more buildings. Altogether the buildings had 8 classrooms. The base of the work of our organization was established.
In 2003, a wall was constructed around the buildings to provide protection. Also a borehole was drilled to provide for clear drinking water.
In 2004 the decision was made to construct a new building for the primary school. The first floor of the building was constructed in 2005. The second floor was completed in 2007. On the terrain around the Presbyterian church of Nsoatre 5 different schools were located of which most did not have their own building but were housed in the church building or other wooden structures. Mr. and Mrs. Hammink decided to assist as they brought the funds together with the help from friends and other relief organizations.
Later that year the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Hammink, Johan, also visited our work at Nsoatre and he donated some goods for the Daycare.
In February 2005 the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Hammink, Eric, also visited Nsoatre together with a friend to install equipment on the playground of the Daycare and also help with some other improvements.
This new playground was greatly enjoyed by the children.
In 2005 a decision was made to extend the work and include a Children’s home where orphans could be accepted and cared for. By the end of 2005 the construction of a new building was started. One part of the building would be a dining hall for the Daycare. The other part of the building would be a Children’s home.
Because the work was growing through the years, the population of Nsoatre asked to also have an official opening ceremony. On the 22nd of July 2005 everyone gathered in the building of the Presbyterian church. Also many government officials and friends from Accra attended this official opening.
From then on, our work was known under the name ‘Presby-Dutch Children’s home Nsoatre’.
In may 2006, the new building for the dining room of the Daycare and the new Children’s home was completed. with these new responsibilities we focused on the startup of the Children’s home for some time. In the years following we were able to provide a home for 20 children in total.
With this, the home base for the work of Heart for Children Ghana was completed and our foundation was ready for the next stage.
Reaching out to the villages (2008-2015)
In 2007 we started to explore the area around Nsoatre. The first village we visited together with Mr. and Mrs. Hammink, was the village of Aduonya which was located about 15 km north of Nsoatre. There was no borehole to provide for fresh water and no school at all in this remote village. We decided to investigate possibilities of helping the people of Aduonya.
In 2009 we were able to drill a borehole and construct a 3 classroom building for the primary school that would be started.
In 2008 we also visited some villages south of Nsoatre, among which was the village of Kwabenakuma. We noticed there was a clinic there but it’s structure was not good anymore and needed a replacement. In 2010 we were able to construct a new clinic (CHPS building) and drill a borehole for the people of Kwabenakuma.
Through the following years we were able to further extend the work of Heart for Children Ghana. This includes the following projects:
- Repairs of several of the Primary Schools and Junior High Schools located in the area near our main compound. (2010-2014)
- A borehole and toilet facilities for the Primary schools (2011)
- Toilet and shower facilities at the Nsoatre clinic (2011)
- A guesthouse at our main compound (2011)
- A clinic (CHPS compound) at Aduonya (2011)
- A borehole at the village of Kyerekrom in the Aduonya area (2011)
- A borehole at Adamstown, one of the areas a little south east of Nsoatre (2012)
- A clinic (CHPS compound) and borehole at the village of Adae-Boresu (2013)
In 2013 the Presbyterian Church of Nsoatre offered us a 25ha area of land at the east side of Nsoatre with a request to use it to also start a Senior High School. With the help of many sponsors this work was started and the first block with 4 class rooms was completed in 2014 together with toilet facilities. In 2016 the second block with 4 class rooms was also completed.
On our main compound the needs for both the Daycare as well as the Children’s home we increasing. At the same time we also looked into the possibilities of opening a Daycare for handicapped (physically or mentally) children. To facilitate this, in 2015 a new building was constructed for the Daycare with a new dining halls as well as a big room for class 1. This allowed us to free up the class rooms previously used for Daycare 1 and start a Daycare for the handicapped children. The renovation needed for the handicapped children was completed in 2017. At that time also the extension of the Children’s home by creating new bedrooms in the old daycare dining hall space was completed. This change in the Children’s home was meant to prepare for accepting new children up to a capacity of around 30 total. Also we would now have a possibility to accept even babies into our care.
Recent developments (2016-today)
In 2016 we unfortunately had to say goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Hammink as they reached an age where continuing the work of our sister organization in the Netherlands, Kinderhulp Ghana, because too much for them. Their eldest son, Johan, though was asked to join the board of Kinderhulp Ghana and he gladly took up the role of project coordinator. At the same time, the activities of Kinderhulp Ghana in the Netherlands also extended as many business people joined the work as partners. This opened up further possibilities to extend the work.
Because of the growing work of our foundation, we also needed to be more clear on our focus areas. In the years following, with the help of our Dutch sponsors, many projects were made possible in Nsoatre and the surrounding villages.
Because of the growing work with the Handicapped children’s daycare, the decision was made to extend the building in which this part of the work was located and make it fully available for the Handicapped Children. The extension of the building was completed in 2020. Also to free up further space in this building, a separate house was constructed for our director and his family.
We continued the construction of some additional Clinics (CHPS compounds) in the villages as well as drilling boreholes. This resulted in the following:
- Borehole for Aduapena (January 2016)
- Borehole for Kwantaso (January 2017)
- Boreholes for Wontrefo and Maamestiakrom ( January 2018)
- Clinic at Kantro (2018)
- Boreholes for Adaekrom, Adampakrom and Dwenewoho (January 2019)
- Clinic at Kwantaso (2019)
- Boreholes for Akrobosua, Asikasu and Akosakrom (January 2020)
- Clinic and borehole for Nkran-Ketewa (2020)
- Boreholes for Akuafohenekrom, Ameyaarkom and Aduonya North (January 2021)
In early 2020 our board received a request from the board of the Nsoatre clinic with a request to consider assisting in the upgrade of the clinic to the Hospital status. It was noticed that the provision of a total of 6 clinics in the villages around Nsoatre was of great help and has provided life saving healthcare to many people. However, as a result now many people for which these clinics were not able to provide the necessary care we send through to the clinic at Nsoatre. Therefore it was identified as necessary to extend the facilities. With the help of our Dutch sister foundation Kinderhulp Ghana, a plan was made and funding activities were undertaken. This resulted in a decision from the board of Kinderhulp Ghana in 2020 to assist with the upgrade of the clinic. After finalizing the plans, the construction of the first buildings (Consulting and Maternity buildings) were started in 2021.
In mean time also the president of Ghana, his excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, decided to assist this project after leaders of the Nsoatre community visited him and requested the assistance of the government. The Ghana government is constructing the building for the operating theatre and will also provide the building for recovery.
In the coming years, we also hope to be able to further assist with extension of the facilities with wards for Children, Women and Men as well as the provision of furniture and medical equipment.
At the village of Aduonya, things were getting much better with a clinic and primary school available. Many people also moved to that area, which increased the need for further education possibilities. This moved Heart for Children foundation to prepare for extension and upgrade of the facilities. In 2016 a new 6 class room building for the Primary School was completed. In 2017 the existing 3 classroom building was upgraded to be a Junior High School. Besides this a school kitchen and toilet facilities were also constructed. In 2020 the construction of a 2 class room building for KG completed the project at Aduonya.
At the Senior High School premises further facilities were needed. With the help of people from the village of Den Ham in the Netherlands, funds were gathered to construct an Administration block for the SHS in 2018. The people from Den Ham even came to Nsoatre with 2 groups of 45 young people each to help with the construction. In 2019 an Assembly Hall was also constructed.
At the village of Nkran-Ketewa, a Primary School existed, however the facilities were collapsing as it was only a wooden structure. Therefore the board of Kinderhulp Ghana Foundation decided to assist with the construction of a new Primary School. In 2019 2 buildings with a total of 8 class rooms was completed for the KG and the Primary School.
Throughout the years we noticed that may students of Junior High School need to prepare for ICT exams, although most students do not have any access to computers and therefore need to do exams purely based on what they learned from books without any hands on experience. The board of Kinderhulp Ghana Foundation decided to also assist with a solution of this. In 2021 a Junior High ICT Center is established next to the Presby-Dutch Junior High School. This Center will provided hands on ICT education by supporting all Junior High Schools in Nsoatre. This project is done in cooperation with Maxim Nyansi IT Solutions, a Ghanean organization that helps Ghana and its people to grow in ICT and was founded and supported by people from the Netherlands
Employment and Vocational Training
In 2016 discussions about the long term plans of Kinderhulp Ghana Foundation in the Netherlands lead to an extension of our work with the area of Employment and Vocational Training. With this we want to start Vocational Training in different subjects which can training people and provide a stable future for them.
In 2018 we started with planting teak seedlings on the land next to the Senior High School. This was the first step in a 3 year plan of starting a teak plantation. At the same time the Staff team of the Agric department of the Senior High School suggested to start Seedling production. This idea was agreed upon and Seedling production was also started.
In parallel with the start of the Teak Plantation, the preparations were done to start Vocational Training in Agriculture. Different courses were prepared. In September 2018 the first group of students attended the classes. The students are farmers from the Nsoatre area. Since the start every year a group of 150 to 200 students is attending our classes and receives training in production of several crops and animals. While this project needed initial funding for startup during the first 2 years, in the meantime it has become fully self sufficient as the lands owned by our foundation provide the possibility for growing crops that are also sold. This provides an income for the teachers.
Recently our Vocational Agric team was also contacted by organizations around the country who asked for assistance and were planning to follow the example of our Vocational Agric to do set up the same in other areas of the country.
In 2020 an additional classroom block with 4 class rooms was constructed specifically to be used for the Vocational Agric training and later for other Vocational training.
In 2019 also the first steps were taken in preparation for a Vocational training for wood production. This in line with the teak plantation, although it will probably take at least 15 years before the first trees from the plantation are ready to be used. The chief of Nsoatre decided to give us another piece of land at the West side of Nsoatre next to the main road. In 2021 the construction of facilities have started on this land. A team of Kinderhulp Ghana Foundation is also preparing machines and tools, which will be sent to Ghana once the facilities are ready. We hope to get production started in early 2022 and Vocational started later that year.