Post written by Joe Neuerburg, Managing Director, Missouri and Kansas
In the summer of 2016, my wife Robyn went on a medical mission trip to Ghana, Africa. Her team treated over 500 people in three days.
A member of the group in Ghana that assisted the medical team was a young man named Isaac. Isaac had a dream of coming to the United States to go to college and pursue a degree in photography and graphic arts design.
Coincidentally, Robyn and I had previously discussed hosting a foreign exchange student. Upon her return, we considered options for Isaac and decided to start a non-profit to raise money for his education.
We concluded, however, that if we were going to start a non-profit, we needed to dream much bigger. We continue to try to bring Isaac to the U.S. but his visa has been denied three times. In the meantime, we’re assisting with his education in Ghana.
While we were dreaming bigger, Robyn recalled a day they spent treating children in a small, remote village named Ahiavekope Village near Yeji in the Lake Volta region.
This area of Ghana has a high rate of child trafficking, where families essentially sell their children, believing they will go away for a few years to be educated. In reality, the child spends the vast majority of the day working on a fishing boat. If education was a local option for families, then they wouldn’t feel the need to send their children away.
In November 2016, Robyn traveled back to Ghana to discuss building a school with the village elders. They were thrilled with the idea and by December 1, 2016, we launched our Isaac’s Dream website and were able to start taking tax deductible donations.
We broke ground on the school, Prosperity Academy, in February 2017. The Ghanaian contractor hired men from the village to assist in construction, helping the local economy.
The school is essentially complete and we are in the process of obtaining desks, books, supplies, etc. to open the school in 2018.
Other plans in the village include two wells, a health post and housing for the teachers. Initially, 50-75 children will be educated in Ahiavekope Village and the number could get as high as 300 within two years.
Once this project is completed, our next goal is to build a shelter where children rescued from slavery can be treated and properly reintroduced into society.
We’re traveling to Ghana over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Stay tuned for an update…
To learn more, visit www.isaacsdream.com.