“Why the Volta Region?” I have been asked this question many times. I will try to answer it in this piece which is dedicated to all those who share in the vision of our foundation.
It was one of those evenings when I had finished presenting the Sport 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, check what’s new before I finally leave for home.
As I kept scrolling through my messages, I came across one message that caught my attention. For the purpose of 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 will 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 honour 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 comes, 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, travelling 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, 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 want 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 did not only get 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? Personally, 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.