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New educational facilities for Ayikuma orphans, vulnerable

BY: Ezekiel E. Sottie
Rev. Fr.  Bernard Heistakamp (3rd from right), Aktion-Lichtblicke-E. V. Ghana, being assisted by Richmond Tetteh Agamlorh (left), the acting Director of Rays of Hope Centre and other dignitaries to cut the tape to commission the facilities
Rev. Fr. Bernard Heistakamp (3rd from right), Aktion-Lichtblicke-E. V. Ghana, being assisted by Richmond Tetteh Agamlorh (left), the acting Director of Rays of Hope Centre and other dignitaries to cut the tape to commission the facilities

Rays of Hope Centre (ROHC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that cares for orphans and vulnerable children, last Friday inaugurated new educational facilities for the beneficiaries at Ayikuma in the Shai-Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region.

The facilities, valued at GH¢1.2 million, which include a one-storey learning hub, skills training centre, workshop, guest house and dormitory, are for rehabilitation, reintegration and education of street children, abused children and trafficked children. Other centres of ROHC are at Ashaiman, Tema, Dodowa, Ayikuma and Somanya.

ROHC

Giving a brief history of the centre, the acting Director of the NGO, Richmond Tetteh Agamlorh, said in 1997, the Founder of ROHC, Rev. Fr Konrad Lienhard (OSFS), in partnership with the John Bosco Institute near Tema, established the centre purposely for the rescue and rehabilitation of street and needy children.

Mr Agamlorh said the centre which became autonomous in 2009 had impacted the lives of over 400 children, some of whom had graduated from senior high schools and tertiary institutions across the country and were working, and that fulfilled the dream of Rev. Fr Lienhard.

He said currently, 75 beneficiaries were at the Ayikuma centre, with some of them pursuing studies in many fields, including Medicine in and outside the country.

Reassurance

The Funding Partner of ROHC, Rev. Fr Bernard Heistakamp of Aktion-Lichtblicke - E. V. Ghana, who led a delegation from Germany to the inauguration of the facilities, testified that their contributions had been put to good use.

“I am proud of the project and will ensure some volunteers from Germany report here in Ghana in September to assist in promoting the growth of the centre,” he added.

A Catholic Priest of Saint Agnes Church at Dodowa, Rev. Fr Christopher Sackey, entreated the board members of the ROHC to ensure they did not compromise on issues that would negatively affect the beneficiaries of the centre.

A member of the board, Mr Robert Mensah Gbley, lauded the benefactors for their sacrifice and assured them of the board members’ commitment to ensure the facilities were maintained for the intended purposes.

A Lecturer at the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development of the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr Ernestina Korlekie Tetteh, who chaired the programme, praised Rev. Lienhard and the partners for taking keen interest in the welfare of children, especially the vulnerable and those on the streets in Ghana.

She encouraged the beneficiaries to remember others when they became independent, adding, “Remember the principle of paying forward.”