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The trip of a lifetime: stories from a Village visit

Employees from J.Marr (Seafoods) Limited pose with students in front of the SOS Primary School in Tema, Ghana
Employees from J.Marr (Seafoods) Limited pose with students in front of the SOS Primary School in Tema, Ghana

In June, Helen Carr and five of her colleagues from J.Marr (Seafoods) Limited travelled to Ghana to see how their fundraising efforts have been making an impact at the SOS Children’s Village in Tema. Below, she tells us about their trip.

“After many months of planning, a group of six colleagues set off to Ghana on the 11th June to visit the SOS Children’s Village in Tema which J.Marr (Seafoods) Limited has been supporting since 2014. 

Day 1

On the first day, we were welcomed to the SOS Children's Village by the Village Director, Isaac Ackon. He explained that the concept behind SOS Children’s Villages is that children grow up in a family environment and are looked after all through their childhood, and beyond into working adult life. 

Isaac gave us a tour of the Village, the SOS Medical Centre, SOS Primary School, new assembly hall and the sports field. We also visited one of the family homes and met SOS mother Esther who cares for 10 children in all.

Looking around the SOS Nursery, we were invited into one of the classrooms where the children sang us songs and showed us what they were working on. The children were all very enthusiastic, confident (and noisy!) and extremely excited to have visitors from overseas.

In the afternoon, we joined the children in a drawing class and then a reading session in the library where the children practiced their reading with us. They have a small but well-stocked library and we were very impressed with the ability of the children and their desire to read.

Day 2

J.Marr Village Visit
On 11th June 2016, six employees from J. Marr (Seafoods) Limited set off to Ghana to visit the SOS Villages Village in Tema, which they have been supporting since 2014.

Day two started off at the Children’s Village with a visit to the Nursery. Using the colouring books and coloured pencils that were kindly donated, the children enjoyed colouring in pictures to take home.

After refuelling on a traditional Ghanaian lunch of banku, fish stew, tilapia, okra and pepper sauce, we divided into two groups for an arts and crafts session. What followed was an explosion of loom bands, glitter, stickers and glue and a chance for the children to express their creative sides. The smiles on their faces confirm how much fun was had!

Day 3

Day three started with a trip to the SOS Children’s Villages national office to see the National Director, Alex Mar Kekula. Alex explained that during the 40 years of operating in Ghana, SOS Children’s Villages has transformed many children’s lives, and many of them are now lawyers, medical doctors and teachers.

In the afternoon, we were surprised with front row seats for an impromptu concert showcasing the musical talent the school has to offer, this included a saxophone performance by the musical director, a full choir performance, and the school rock band. After the performance, we sadly had to say an emotional goodbye to our new friends.

Thanks to SOS Children’s Villages, the needs of vulnerable children in Ghana are being met by the wonderful caring mothers, aunties, teachers and other staff who tirelessly care for, and educate them. They may not have had the best start in life but are now able to look forward to a positive future.”