Members and friends from Oswestry Rotary have responded to an urgent appeal for funds to support the homeless in Ghana.
So far, the club has raised £1,200 to help the St Anna’s Family Home in Winneba, Ghana created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The appeal was prompted by Oswestry local Gabby Haigh, who in 2004 spent three months living in Winneba on Ghana’s coast. She was there with university friend, Lara de Klee, when both became aware of the large number of homeless children living on the streets.
Children from poor families were also missing out on an education because they could not afford the school fees.
With the full support and guidance of the Ghanaian authorities, Gabby and Lara built a house where some of the homeless children could live and which could also be a school for the poorer children from the surrounding area.
Children from poor families were also missing out on an education because they could not afford the school fees.”
For 10 years, since the first children took up residence, the project has grown, and now provides a home for around 20 children, as well as a primary school for over 200 children.
St Anna’s operation is supported by a UK Charity set up by the pair so that 65% of the home’s running costs are funded by the income from the school, with capital costs being provided by fundraising from Gabby, Lara, as well as their friends and family.
When Ghana went into lockdown in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools were closed causing a devastating effect on St Anna’s finances. This was compounded by an almost doubling of numbers of the children to be accommodated in the home.
In her appeal to the Friends of St Anna’s, Gabby says: “Thankfully, all of our children and staff in St Anna’s Home have remained in good health since the start of the pandemic but with the school closed this leaves us with a rather significant deficit.
When Ghana went into lockdown in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools were closed causing a devastating effect on St Anna’s finances.”
“The uncertainty of when the school will be able to open fully again, and exactly how many pupils will return, also makes it very difficult to future planning.
“We have 32 children living with us in the Home at present, and at a minimum we require £700 per month to cover costs of food, clothes and staff salaries.”
Gabby’s father Ian, who is Secretary of Oswestry Rotary, asked club members for their help and they responded quickly.
“Although we do have a letterbox, an anonymous donor managed to squeeze an envelope containing £100 in cash through our fully draught-proofed door jamb!” said Ian.
“Throughout Gabby’s involvement with St Anna’s, she has qualified as a doctor from the University of Liverpool in 2009, found the time to marry and raise two pre-school children, and is currently is on rotation as a paediatric Senior Registrar at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.”
“I am sure that Gabby will be very relieved by this prompt reaction. Thanks to members and friends for their generosity,” added Ian.