Ghana: Cosmos Center for children with disabilities
The Cosmos Center is an institution of curative education in Dormaa Ahenkro, giving a safe home to an average of seven children with disabilities. Beside their regular meals and classes adapted to their special needs, the children also experience respect and learn to trust in themselves.
In Ghana (Western Africa), children who are born with a disability are considered bewitched and an evil omen for the entire family. It is said that these children are brought by the river. For this reason, they are called River Children, “Nsuoba”, in Ghana. The parents are advised to return the children to the river. The children are put at the banks of the river, where they then die. Some parents do not want to surrender their children to this fate. They then hide it in one of the back corners of their house, barely fed. There are still only a few institutions in Ghana that take care of children with disabilities. Francis Kyere Boake was born and raised in Ghana, but now he lives in Sweden with his Wife Susanne. They have three biological children in addition to whom they adopted a severely disabled Ghanaian child. A few years ago, Francis was visiting his home country; he had heard of the sad and deplorable fate of three children with disabilities and spontaneously decided to rent a little house and ask two Ghanaian women of his family to take care of these children. By now, seven children live in this little institution, where they are further cared for by Ayala, a young teacher and the housefather. Every year, a special education teacher from the Parzival School in Aachen goes there for several weeks and tries to show the people there how one can foster the development even of children with most severe disabilities. The Cosmos Center is happy if they can raise enough money for their everyday needs, such as one warm meal a day, counting blocks for class, or a small support for the untiring commitment of Ayala, the young teacher and housefather. The institution is also dreaming of building another house, to give even more children with disabilities a warm-hearted and, above all, safe place to grow up.