Joginder Oroan comes from Bajiatoli, a village 1 kilometer away from the facility. He is 16 years old and studies in the 10th grade. Joginder was in the first batch of children served meals by Food for People, Bantoli in 2006. “I feel safe and at home here,” he says. Joginder tells me that he used to be very aggressive and would fight with his peers all the time. Awhile after he started coming to this facility, he found there was “some kind of quietness and calm” within himself.
We observe from the back of an open-air classroom the teacher announcing our arrival. Children, perhaps five years old, stand and sing a song they have memorized for class. They are learning to speak, read and write English to best prepare them for the future. It is soon time for lunch, and the students head to the outdoor sink to wash their hands. Each child receives a generous portion of rice, broth, vegetables and meat or fish. Patrick says they are growing like bamboo shoots. Most of the children arrive at CCF very stunted in height for their age with many health issues. They sit together at communal tables enjoying one another’s company instead of having to fight over food. The children have formed relationships of trust with one another. Their smiles and laughter are proof.
The guests enjoyed the meal, which consisted of grilled red fish, crispy chicken, two rice dishes, and mixed vegetables, all seasoned with delicious hot sauces prepared to the tastes of the local population. A luscious dessert of ice cream and fresh fruit topped off the meal.
“Everybody is excited and the whole village is wondering whether it is a dream or a reality. The inauguration of Food for People in Ghana will mark a turning point in the lives of the children of Otinibi. They cannot wait to see it open so they can have delicious and nutritious meals. People who walk and drive by wonder what is going on; and when they are told, they get very excited and amazed.” Kafuie Esi Adjei writes about the immenent opening of the third Foof for People Center in Otinibi, a village in Ghana near the city of Accra.