Updated: Apr 23
March 19, 2021 was an emotional day for members of the Hope Training Institute (HTI) family on many different levels. The goal of the day was to visit the streets of Accra and share our blessings with 300 people (children and teenagers) as part of Village of Hope celebrating 25 years of saving lives and serving humanity.
The most moving part of that day’s visits to the streets was seeing three teens who had the opportunity for an improvement in their lives at HTI but chose to leave because the “call of the streets” was too strong and the structure at HTI was, in their opinion, too much to handle. One of them, a girl who already had one child when she was first admitted to HTI to learn hairdressing, now has her second child at the age of 17. One of the two boys, after running away from HTI, had lied to his friends on the streets that he had completed his training at HTI He tried all he could to run away from the area when the Village of Hope van arrived. The third boy, who could have been graduating with the Class of 2021, was looking wretched and unwell. It was disheartening to see these teenagers and think about what could have been.
HTI trainees heading to the streets
From 3 PM when we left the Ayawaso campus, we visited the National Theatre area, the Airport City area, the Ghana Standards Board area, Dzorwulu Junction, Mallam Atta market and Kaneshie market, all hotspots for those living the street life in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. The number of boys and girls who came out to collect packs of food, biscuits, drinks, nose masks and sanitizers was overwhelming and the team had to do a lot of crowd control in order to distribute items fairly. Some had wounds that needed dressing and those were immediately taken care of by the team. Others were high on drugs and, in that moment, nothing could be done about it.
HTI trainees interact with street kids
It was immediately obvious that there was a tremendous difference between those who had left the streets and those who were living on the streets but this did not stop the trainees of HTI from reaching out to their brothers and sisters and sharing what they brought with them. By the time we were back on campus, it was already midnight. If we could, we would have brought everyone back with us to the HTI campus at Ayawaso just to have a bath and a conversation about the future.
We have limited space and funding and can only shelter, train, counsel, and provide healthcare for 50 trainees at any given time. It is our hope that support from our donors will lead to an expansion of our facilities to be able to help more of our children.