Four months have passed since TPRF announced plans to establish a Food for People center in Ghana. These four months are comparable to the pre-production period of a movie. All of the careful planning is complete. Now the real show is about to begin. With the necessary permits in order, TPRF has made a grant of $250,000 to the local charity, Prembaf Ghana. The land is already being cleared so that construction can begin.
The first steps are now under way:
- Completion of architectural drawings
- Fees for government review of drawings
- Rental of a bulldozer, wheel loader, and tipper trucks to clear the site
- Construction of a temporary office and storage facility for the execution of the project
- Clearing and marking the building location
- Initial excavation
The Otinibi Villagers await this “miracle of mercy” with optimism, despite past discouragements. Linda Pascotto, President of TPRF, explained, “There have been promises of humanitarian programs before, but in the end, nothing happened. Villagers understand that this time is different, and they are eagerly anticipating the time that FFP Ghana will be opening its doors to help their families.”
The immediate result of this wave of enthusiasm throughout the community has been a rise in school enrollment. The long-term benefits of the program will be measured incrementally as children continue their education and go on to help their families emerge from the grinding grip of poverty.
Something like this has happened only twice before, in small villages, like the one in Otinibi, in India and Nepal. In an unkind, cynical world, the Food for People program seems out of place, too good to be true, an impossible dream. Yet it is happening—step by step—an oasis of opportunity manifesting in a desert of poverty and despair. The people of Otinibi will get their chance to stand up again, proud and strong, to live happy, productive lives.