Ghana – April 9 2018

SOS family gives Kwame space to discover himself

From a young age, Kwame* had a sense of the life he wanted to live. He imagined something bigger and better was waiting for him. However, the dire situation at home often left him feeling frustrated.

“My life changed completely after my father died. As the sole bread winner his death put a huge financial strain on my mother, who was a stay home mum,” recalls Kwame. “My siblings and I went to school for a while, but when she could no longer afford to pay for our school needs I was forced to drop out,” he adds.

Kwame was struggling when the team at SOS Children's Villages Ghana found him. At 11 years old, he had lost sight of his dream and his priority was simply finding food to survive. He was placed in the care of an SOS family in Tamale, in northern Ghana. In his new SOS family, Kwame would get to go to school and have a chance to shape the future he wanted for himself.

But settling down in his new home was not easy.

 “I met my SOS brothers and sisters and it was strange at first because I only had four siblings and now there were about nine of them,” explains Kwame. “But with time, when I understood that I had been given an opportunity to achieve my dreams, the deep sense of loss changed to a deep sense of relief.”

Kwame, who is now 16 years old, is back on track to achieving his dream. In 2017, he became the first child from SOS Children’s Village Tamale to gain entry to the prestigious Ghana International College. Now Kwame recognises that, as a role model, all eyes are on him.

“The fact that many children and my siblings are looking up to me is a constant reminder that I have to perform and be successful. I encourage my siblings to give their best and expect something great in life. I try to live a life that can be emulated,” he explains.

Kwame attributes his success to hardwork, and the supportive environment in his SOS family that has allowed him to be himself.

“In my SOS family I do not have to worry about food or any of my needs. I have space to discover myself, and to find my strenghts,” explains Kwame. “I have had a good childhood and time to do the things I love like assembling Legos, going to school, reading storybooks and playing a lot of football.” He hopes to one day become an automotive engineer.

“If my SOS family had not taken care of me, I would probably be somewhere I do not like,” adds Kwame. “My SOS family has brought out the good in me and transformed me into a different being all together. I am now excited about the future more than ever before.”

*Name changed to protect the privacy of the child.