[Pictures + video ]: Volta Home Orphanage gets  brand new bath towels and bed nets 

Each child at the Volta Home Orphanage at Vedeme in the Volta Region of Ghana has received a set of brand-new bath towels and insecticide-treated nets. The gesture is by Exclusive Towel Boutique and the  National Malaria Control Program of the Ghana Health Service.

The owner of Exclusive Towel Boutique, Miss Harriet Ashong, donated fifty assorted bath towels to help promote hygiene conditions at the orphanage.

Towels absorb a lot of water and can remain damp for hours, making them a perfect breeding ground for germs. This is why towels need to be washed and changed often, especially towels used by children.

The presentation of 100 insecticide-treated bed nets to the Volta Home, is part of a nationwide campaign to reach a zero-malaria target in Ghana and to achieve the global target of the MDG goal 6, which aims at eliminating malaria, HIV, and other diseases.

According to the WHO, malaria remains a major cause of illness and death in Ghana, particularly among children and pregnant women. The disease remains the highest expenditure in the National Health Insurance scheme.

Joy in Giving Charity Ambassador,  Miss Tina Muulikaa, presented the bath towels and bed nets to Volta Home Orphanage coordinator, Mr. Charles Annabi. Click to watch the video version.


[VIDEO] : Food for the soul -a way to end the year

Christmas is a time when Christians all over the world remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is also a reminder that the current year is close to an end with the expectation of a new year .

The season comes with various celebrations and the exchanging of gifts, hosting of parties, sharing of food and drinks,  buying of new dresses and toys, and many other exciting and memorable activities. But most of these gifts are perishable and will soon be forgotten as the days go by.

For the children at the Volta Home Orphanage, however, their Christmas gift in 2019, will remain food for the soul. No child will reject a party, especially a Christmas party, so our foundation organized one for them. There was plenty to eat and drink. The children danced, clapped, and laughed. These were made possible by the kind courtesy of the Joy in Giving team who stirred up the atmosphere with joy and love.

The ultimate gift, which will not perish but will contribute to the spiritual growth of the children, was a Bible. Courtesy of the foundation’s partner, Patrick Quainoo Global Ministries, each child received a Good News Bible- a Christmas gift they will own for life. The children must have food for their physical survival but they also need the word of God which is food for the soul as captured in Mathew chapter 4 verse 4-

Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ (Matthew 4:4, NIV).

We are thankful to all our partners, sponsors, and volunteers who helped us to end the year 2019 memorably.

Enjoy watching the videos below.


[VIDEO] Why we are blessed to receive

Do you know that the one who gives and the one who receives are all blessed?

Yes!  There’s a blessing in both giving and receiving.

The Bible has so many verses about being blessed when you give or better put; verses that promise a reward for the act of giving.

But let’s look at this one verse in Acts 20:35  “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  This verse does not only encourage us to help the weak but goes on to remind us about the exact words of Jesus – “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

It’s obvious that two acts are being compared here: to give and to receive, using the comparative adjective “more blessed than”. This simply means, there is a blessing in giving and in receiving but comparatively, the giver is more blessed than the receiver. Well, that to me means, give and receive.

I am therefore excited to know that the orphans and needy children in Ghana who benefit from our foundation are as blessed as any other receiver.

Courtesy of three of our donors, who would like to remain anonymous, the children at the Volta Home Orphanage have been treated to two different birthday parties back to back this year alone.  The first party was in June and the second one followed in July where the children enjoyed drinks and sumptuous meals.

That is how God can bless anyone with “double” at any given time. It’s a blessing to receive!

The truth is, these parties were never a part of our calendar of events but once the request came from our sponsors, we went ahead to organize them and the children had so much fun.

Today these children are blessed to be at the receiving end but one day, I know they will also be able to give.

After all, in this dispensation, we are blessed to give, and we do it with joy, straight from our hearts.

Click to watch the video


A little big smile

Welcome to the month of April, the month that Christians or followers of Christ all over the world, observe the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I love Easter because God demonstrated His love for mankind by giving His only begotten son to die and to redeem us from sin and its punishment as captured in John 3:16.

So, we can learn by also giving out of love. Let’s put our love into action this month of April by spending a little of our time thinking about the less fortunate children in our societies and how we can be a blessing to them.

Why children?  The answer is simple. This foundation has a special interest in children. But if you want to extend your thoughts to include all other less fortunate people in our communities, that would be awesome. The Bible mentions in Proverbs 19:17 that “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”
Any action that puts a big smile on the face of a needy child can mean so much to both that child and the giver. And we should not limit our love for the needy to just the month of April. It will just be nice to continue to keep the smile on the faces of such children all year round.

The street is home to many needy and orphaned children

According to a UNICEF study, there are more than 200 million street children in the world with an estimated 153 million orphaned children worldwide.
Now let’s shift attention to Ghana where our foundation currently works. I don’t know who to blame for the children on our streets or at the orphanages. In fact, will anybody even own up to it? My agenda is not to apportion blame.  I would rather want to commend those who have provided homes and shelters for some of the orphans and needy children.

Truth is, some of the children we call orphans have been abandoned by their parents.
In common usage, an orphan is a child who has lost both parents to death. But that is not the case for every orphan in Ghana. I am told the parents of some of these orphans intentionally left them at the doors of the orphanages when they were still babies. Reasons for the irresponsible actions include poverty, divorce, abuse, fear, and even traditional beliefs.
And what about the many children surviving on the streets? Such children are exposed to the vagaries of the weather and all manner of criminals.

I still remember the sound bite from a story I did in 2011 on a street child for GTV.  A boy about the age of seven, and loitering at Circle now called Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, told me he was on the street because in his own words, ” My dad says he won’t marry my mum again.” He also told me, that he was out on the street to get some food and money for his ailing mother and siblings.

As sad as this boy’s story may be, it is about the same for many of the children on our streets. Figures on street children in Ghana are always disturbing with the capital Accra alone, estimated to host more than 90,000 street children.

The “fortunate few” who are being catered for at the various orphanages usually depend on the benevolence of philanthropists, organizations, churches, and individuals with little or sometimes no support from the government. UNICEF reports that more than 4,000 children in Ghana live in residential homes, often labeled as ‘orphanages’.
Apart from food, toiletries used clothing, and shoes that are usually presented to the orphanages,  the children also need basic amenities like potable water, educational materials, clean rooms, and beds to sleep on.

We can’t be everywhere every time. Certainly, we can’t solve the problem of streetism in a day nor can we meet all the needs of orphans at once.
But you and I can still make a difference, even if it is one child at a time. Our little contribution can put a big smile on the face of an orphan, a needy, or a street child. That big smile can be our best gift. Happy Easter!


Malaria prevention: Ghana Health Service partners Joy In Giving Foundation

The National Malaria Control Programme of the Ghana Health Service has donated 100 Insecticide Treated  Mosquito Nets, ITNs, to Joy In Giving Foundation in Accra.

The gesture is in support of the foundation’s upcoming project, which will ensure the orphans at the Volta Home Orphanage at Ve-Deme in the Volta Region have a good night’s sleep in a conducive environment.

A good night’s sleep means no chance for mosquitoes to bite thus preventing malaria at the orphanage.
Controlling and preventing malaria is in line with the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. This is why the National Malaria Control Programme is aiming to get about 80% of the Ghanaian population to sleep under treated bed nets.

Charity Ambassador Tina Muulikaa (Right) receiving the bed nets

A Charity Ambassador for Joy In Giving Foundation, Miss Ernestina Muulikaa, received the bed nets.

The treated bed nets will help in achieving the overall objective of the foundation’s project which includes renovating the dormitories of the Volta Home Orphanage which are currently in a very poor state and also providing bunk beds with accompanying bedclothes.

See more pictures


Help! I can’t give because I don’t have

Let me start by asking this simple question: Can you give what you don’t have?
To answer this question, let’s look at that inspiring story in the Bible where a lame beggar (unable to walk from birth and lives on begging ) gets healed at the Beautiful Gate by disciples Peter and John. The lame beggar had specifically asked the two disciples for money or coins, but Peter looked at him and said – “Silver and gold I do not have ; but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”.

Peter and John had no money and they did not hide that from the beggar. To me, they had something more than money and that is the healing power of Jesus Christ. And that is what Peter gave to the beggar, which saw him rise and walk for the first time in his life.

Wow ! that’s a miracle. (Please Read the full story in Acts chapter 3).

I’ve often found myself at some places where I’m asked to give but I’m unable to do it because I did not have. Have you also experienced that before? I’m talking about being at that place where you hear so much about giving but you seem helpless not because you don’t want to give but because you just don’t have what they are asking for, in most cases, money. And when you don’t have something, it’s just impossible to give it.

Well, I want us to take a second look at our giving so we don’t feel guilty or helpless when we don’t have what they are asking for.

I’m sure you have heard this verse before or are familiar with it ‘ Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” -Luke 6:38 and this other one as well in 2 Corinthians 9:7- ” Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.

These verses are among many in the Bible that encourage us to give. But none of these verses mentions what specifically to give. I am yet to come across a verse in the Bible that specifies that our giving should always be money. If you find one, kindly let me know.

I, therefore, take it that giving can be money, items, or any other good gifts that one possesses as was demonstrated by Peter at the beautiful gate. Peter had the power to heal. This notwithstanding, if you can give money at any time to support a worthy cause including the work of God, providing for the needy, contributing towards a community project, or supporting a family member or sibling, do it willingly and out of your heart.

But when you do not have money, ask yourself this question – what do I have? Time, ideas, talents, energy, and even a smile are some of the valuable gifts one can give out of their heart as well. What about those clothes that you bought but realized you do not need? The shoes, bags, books food, etc can all be given to someone or persons who need them.

Last year, one of our volunteers, Jemima surprised me when she willingly took up the assignment of decorations. By this, she used her talent in ribbon design and decorations to save our foundation money that would have been spent in hiring the services of a decorator.

Another volunteer, Sylvester, was constantly in touch with the team in the Volta Region to ensure that we got our project completed on schedule and according to specifications.

Apart from Jemima and Sylvester, let me add that each of the volunteers can be acknowledged for dedicating their time and making great suggestions,  All these acts are forms of giving that can also come out of a cheerful heart.

So the next time you find yourself at a place where you can’t give money, I suggest you stop worrying.

Offer what you have because, after all,  you can only give what you have. And remember your giving must always be out of love not out of compulsion or pressure. You can read more about giving out of love in my book Straight Outta Love“. 

Let me conclude by encouraging you to give always when you can because giving is not only beneficial to the recipient(s), but it can be deeply rewarding for the giver as well.


Our Volunteers – our priceless gifts

Let’s talk about volunteerism today. My interest in this subject goes way back to when I was a student.

But let me begin by showing appreciation to all our volunteers including myself, they are the reason why I am writing this piece.

Our volunteers live busy lives, yet they sacrifice their time and sleep for a worthy cause.

They share love and joy with the kids we cater to.

They volunteer for the Joy In Giving Foundation and they are our priceless gifts.

I was always looking for an opportunity to volunteer when I was a student Journalist, but I think I did not search too hard, so I never got that chance.

Later, in life, I remember going online to search for organizations that I could volunteer for. I found out from my search that there were so many such voluntary offers available outside my country and that involved incurring some costs including application, flight, and accommodation among others if I wanted to proceed. But not having the money to sponsor myself, I did not pursue it.

The good news is, now I am a volunteer. Are you surprised?  Well, I am the founder of the Joy In Giving Foundation, but I am also the number one volunteer because, at our foundation, every team member is a volunteer.  Again, I think through this foundation, I have the chance to do what I had always wanted to do when I was a student volunteer.

The blessings, satisfaction, and joy we derive from serving the less privileged are enough rewards.  Maybe I can explain it better by quoting what Harriet, one of our volunteers, said after visiting the Volta Home Orphanage for the first time-“The experience was amazing…..It is time we all come together to support these kids who are our future leaders

This may probably be the reason why a lot more people have expressed interest in volunteering for our next project. Welcome aboard! You will enjoy it.

So, who is a volunteer?  According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, “A volunteer is a person who does something, especially for other people or for an organization, willingly and without being forced to do it or paid to do it.”

This definition is not different from what the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, captured in its 2015 Annual Report which states; “The terms volunteering, volunteerism, and voluntary activities refer to a wide range of activities … undertaken of free will, for the general public good and where the monetary reward is not the principal motivating factor.”

The UNGA goes on further to explain that volunteerism, while universal, is multifaceted, and can be organized and managed formally within structured organizations, especially CSOs, and within governments and the private sector. It can also be run informally, and millions volunteer within informal structures and groups, outside of formally recognized institutions; it is often practiced within the communities where people live and work and can be a lifelong commitment

Well, I did not limit myself to dictionaries and Annual Reports but consulted my bible and I was amazed at the number of scriptures and verses that relate to or support volunteerism. For this article, I will use only three of the verses I came across. 1 John 3:18 admonishes us to demonstrate our love not just by words but by our actions; “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Galatians 6:9  encourages us not to be tired of or give up on doing good;  Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap if we do not give in.” And Titus 3:14 cautions us against becoming unfruitful but rather dedicate our time to do good works; “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”

The truth is, a lot of people especially the young ones are volunteering for organizations or institutions without being aware. Internships and offering a service at any organization without monetary reward at one’s will can be described as volunteerism, right?

For us at Joy In Giving, that sacrifice of one’s time and service is a priceless gift.  It is a gift our volunteers give to the foundation and the children we reach out to. And we do not take this gesture for granted.

In Ghana, some universities and tertiary institutions have included volunteerism in their curricula. I believe this is to teach the students or better still,  inculcate the spirit of giving and serving one’s community without expecting anything in return. In other countries, men and women who occupy very high positions in society, even make time to volunteer.

I will therefore encourage you as you read this, to make time out of your busy schedule to volunteer for a worthy cause. If on the other hand, you are not too busy, perhaps you are even unemployed now, be productive by offering yourself to be a volunteer at any organization that is willing to take you on. It is an activity that must be captured boldly on your Curriculum Vitae, CV, or Resume. And you must be proud to talk about it anytime. Remember today you may be doing it for free but hold on because very soon, that gesture will pay off to your surprise.


From Accra to VeDeme and why you shouldn’t give up

“Why the Volta Region?” I have been asked this question many times. I will try to answer it in this piece dedicated to all who share in our foundation’s vision.

It was one of those evenings when I had finished presenting the Sports news after a long day. In what had become a practice, I will unwind by logging in to my Facebook account on one of the newsroom PCs, checking what’s new before I finally leave for home.

While scrolling through my messages, I came across one message that caught my attention. For this piece, I have captured that message here:

“Hello, sis Joyce. I have been watching you on television. I live at the Volta Home Orphanage in the Volta Region of Ghana and I would be happy if you could visit us…….God bless you for the work you do always”

I read the message sent on the 28th of September 2010, repeatedly; excited as always when I read nice messages from friends and admirers I have never met before and may probably never meet.

The sender of the message wanted me to visit the orphanage. Touching as it felt, I was not sure if I was going to honor that request especially as the location was out of Accra.

Not to let this “friend” feel bad, I responded, promising to do that during the Christmas period and that meant just about three months from the date he had sent the message. My response got my “friend” sending me more messages,  sometimes telling me about how he was faring at school and also sharing with me some interesting activities at the orphanage.

So, December 2010 came, and I did not fulfill my promise. How bad of me!   All I remember is that, though I had a strong desire to visit the orphanage, traveling to the Volta region was not on my to-do list, coupled with my busy schedule at work.

Fast forward to September 2017, and that was when I stepped foot at the orphanage for the first time. Hmmm! Seven years after I made a promise, right? In between, this boy would not give up. He consistently sent me messages to remind me about my promise. He also made me aware, of how disappointed they were at the orphanage as I kept postponing my visit.

To compensate them, I got some food items delivered to the “unknown boy” and all the children at the orphanage in 2016.

Though excited with the gesture, he would not hide the fact that the children at the orphanage wanted to see me. This will force me to plan my trip to the Volta Region in September 2017, but I wasn’t going to travel alone. I went with the Joy In Giving team and that trip was made even grand with the kind sponsorship of Partners of the Joy In Giving Foundation, the Melcom Group, Patrick Quainoo Ministries, and the Mothers of Africa.

The four-hour trip from Accra to VeDeme began very early in the morning. The road is full of patches and potholes.  VeDeme is on the way to Hohoe. I remember the driver of the bus whom I had been assured was very familiar with the Accra -Volta road missed the turning at the Ve junction.   We had to make a U-turn after driving on for about thirty to forty-five -minutes with no sign of the orphanage insight.  With the help of one of the volunteers who hails from the Volta Region, we finally found the Ve junction that leads to the Volta Home. A few minutes’ drive saw us reaching our destination- the Volta Home Orphanage.

That is when I met my “unknown friend“ for the first time. He is Charles Annabi. His parents are the owners of the orphanage.  He was in Junior High School when he first contacted me through Facebook but has now graduated from Senior High school and is currently pursuing further education at the University.

The 2017 trip to VeDeme was my second time in the Volta Region. My first was somewhere in 2008 and that took me to Tapa Abotoase in the Biakoye District, where I did some human-interest stories for news and the Breakfast Show.

I was however happy to be back in the Volta Region.  I not only got the opportunity to meet with the owners and matrons but also had a good time interacting with the children -thanks to God and Charles, the boy who refused to give up.

So, my question is, how long have you been expecting something that seems to be taking forever and how long are you willing to wait?  I have learned a lot from this story and I will encourage you never to give up because giving up won’t speed up the process anyway.

Today, we are helping the orphanage meet its numerous needs through the Joy In Giving Foundation and its partners.

What I know is that, after several years of excuses and disappointments, the visit to the orphanage finally came off and it has resulted in a stronger bond between the Volta Home and Joy In Giving Foundation, which hopes to benefit the children positively.


“Joycome” to our foundation

“Joycome” to our foundation

You are here! You made no mistake at all. You are here because you either love charity, love to give, want to know more about giving, or perhaps want to learn all about this foundation. Whatever your reason may be, you chose to be here.

This is the blogging page of the Joy In Giving Foundation. On behalf of the team, I say “joycome” to our website in general and this blogging page. We hope to serve you interesting stories on what we do and more.

It has been a busy yet relaxing year for the Joy In Giving Team. Yes! We all made time in the face of busy schedules at our various workplaces and even homes, to also make sure that our project for 2018 is implemented. 90% of the work was done through communication on the phone. Thanks to today’s technology. And now I can gladly report that we have presented fifty dual desks and four whiteboards to the Volta Home orphanage at Ve-Deme in the Afadjato district of the Volta Region. Did you miss any of the stories carried online or broadcast on TV? I will post some links at the end of this article just for you.

It was our second official trip from Accra to the Volta Region. For some of the volunteers, however, it was their first time visiting the Volta Region and they looked forward to the trip with so much joy. They will share their experiences with you later.

The Volta Region of Ghana is famous for political reasons. It has been tagged the “World Bank” of one of the big political parties but this is not my focus as I welcome you here.
So back to our trip, I’m sure you must be wondering why we traveled more than four hours from Accra to Volta Region and why that orphanage in particular. The truth is, you are not alone. Many people have asked me the same question several times and even suggested orphanages in Accra and other regions to me.

Well, let me give you the answer in our subsequent posts. Just make sure you frequent this page for all the gist. For now, we only want to “joycome” you and this special welcome is also straight from our hearts