OAfrica was founded in October 2002 by Lisa Lovatt-Smith in Ghana. In 2002 she decided to volunteer in a children’s home in Ghana. More than a hundred needy and neglected children lived there. Often the children were left in the home because their parents were ill or did not have the means to care for them. This experience was so dramatic for Lisa that she gave up her life in Europe and moved to Ghana. She founded her own non-governmental organization (NGO) with the aim of saving children from growing up in such institutions.
2002-2005: The first years - focus on orphanages. Initially, OAfrica operated under the name Orphanage Africa with the intention of making children’s homes more loving, friendlier and healthier places. But over time, she realized that even well-run orphanages cannot replace growing up in a family. Near Ayenyah, OAfrica bought land, built a children’s village, a school and a health station. The work included projects for better education, better health care and basic infrastructure in the field of agriculture.
2006-2012: Paragdigm change in the care system. OAfrica also began to implement the so-called Care Reform Initiative (CRI) in accordance with the guidelines of the United Nations, together with UNICEF and the Ghanaian government. In 2010, new principles for caring for orphans and vulnerable children were introduced across Ghana. OAfrica is the only private NGO in Ghana that is listed in the NPA as the official implementer of the strategy.
The children's village in Ayenyah currently has a total of 29 children, eight of whom are our "special needy children": children with very special needs because they are mentally and/or physically disabled. In our children's village we have therefore placed a special focus on the care and support of these children. In total, four foster mothers look after these eight children, three of whom are always on site at the same time. The mothers were specially trained in the exercise of physiotherapeutic measures for these children, including: by Christiane Christiansen, a German physiotherapist who has come to Ghana for these purposes several times in recent years (and will continue to come).
Read the latest Report 2023
After the loss of a parent, children in Ghana (as in other developing countries) are often given to orphanages. Other family members who want to care for them often lack the means to do so. A lot of money goes into better equipping orphanages and so in a desperate situation these often represent the only access to food, clothing and education. This leads to families leaving their children there because they see no other alternative and settle there hope for a better life for them. But as long as orphanages are seen as the only solution, the real problem of orphans is no longer fought: namely that the children have to grow up without a family. Instead of supporting the orphanages, from our point of view it is more important to give the people in the villages access to food, clothing and education so that they can pay for their children themselves.
Needy children: OAfrica currently supports 12 children with various physical and mental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism, as well as severe mental disorders.
Young Adult Support: The aim of the program is to support young people in finding their personal and professional path.
Resilience Advocacy: Training for OAfrica’s (foster) parents. These training courses take place on a regular basis and ensure that the participants are given the best possible information about parenting practices in general and specifically about dealing with traumatized children.
Family Support Services: Financial support, Food subsidies, Housing allowance, School fees & material, Advice & training, Health insurance.
Maxwell is a third year journalism student at GH MEDIA SCHOOL. OAfrica organized a 2 hour communications and media session for 5 of our students who have been in a waiting period for the last few months.
Martha is 16 years old and in Junior High Secondary 2. Since the temporary shutdown of school, Martha has been spending her late afternoons studying with a private tutor at home. It has helped her to stay up to date with her studies.
With different campaigns, we collect donations for OAfrica e.V. Our current goal is to collect 50.000 USD within half a year, in order for OAfrica to survive. We want to give children and families in Ghana sustainable perspectives. Purchase Our products to HELP OAfrica e.V.
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We want to work in a world of globalisation and profit maximisation for people who are unable to participate in it. We want to give children and families in Ghana sustainable perspectives. With monthly donations we make it possible. Be a part of it.