Last Christmas we wrote about a new school in the twinned villages of Tungan and Zagkpee. This summer, some of the trustees had the wonderful experience of visiting the completed school. To see the impact of this Christian school in a place where there have been generations of poverty and darkness is a privilege indeed.
Among the excited children thronging around the unusual visitors on that memorable day was a subdued young boy. His name is Goufaa. He lives about 15 minutes’ walk from the new school in a house built in the traditional style: several ochre coloured huts scattered together, all connected by a perimeter wall and surrounded by maize. It is an attractive scene – yet deceptively so, for Goufaa’s family have a hard life farming their small plot of land without any of the conveniences of modern technology. They are excited about the new school for their children and all the possibilities that it opens up. But their lives are overshadowed by a terrible and distressing problem.
Under the tree in the central courtyard of their house, as chickens wandered around, the parents explained their predicament: a problem which was obvious from the first time that we met Goufaa. He has had a tumour on his face since he was very young – causing significant, life-threatening problems and badly affecting his eyesight. They have no possibility of accessing the necessary healthcare.
One of the founding principles of Savannah Education Trust is that our concern extends to all of the children in these villages, no matter how poor, whatever their background or disability. In conversation with the staff team in Ghana we agreed to help this little boy and his family. For Goufaa this has meant sponsoring a long (and no doubt daunting) journey down to Ghana’s second city of Kumasi for surgery. The surgeons believe his operation has been a success, although there may be a need for a second operation and possibly, if available, some reconstructive plastic surgery.
Goufaa is just one among some 1700 children currently being educated in the Christian schools that have been created by Savannah in this remote part of northern Ghana. But it was particularly moving to see him crowding in among the other children at the commissioning ceremony and service for Tungan-Zagkpee Baptist Primary School. Each of these children will receive a meal each school day. Goufaa’s favourite food is rice and stew. This was a rare treat in such a poor village. Now he eats it regularly as his mid-day school meal.
Tungan-Zagkpee is our sixth school. Child by child and school by school, communities are being transformed through the Christian education being provided. During the year construction has continued apace at our seventh school in the village of Boo. We look to the future with the hope that we might be able to build more schools – enough schools to provide every child in this area with an education. This includes an additional school that, if the Lord will, we hope to start building in 2019.
In our support of Goufaa and his classmates, as well as in the building of schools like the one at Tungan-Zagkpee, we are reliant on our kind supporters. Our letter at this time of year gives us a very welcome opportunity to thank you for your prayers and support during another year. We are very grateful to you, and very conscious that our future plans depend on the continued kindness of our loyal supporters. Having obtained help of God, we continue unto this day.
Our friends in Ghana join us in expressing our gratitude. Each of us wish you a very happy Christmas and the Lord’s blessing for 2019.
On behalf of the trustees, and with our very best wishes,