In 1997, August, J.M.J. Children’s Fund received a request for assistance from Sister Monica Otoo of the Convent Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus in the Diocese of Wa, in the Republic of Ghana. This request was supported by Bishop Paul Bemile, Bishop of Wa, who succeeded our friend, Most Reverend Gregory Kpiebaya, then, Archbishop of Tamale. Bishop Bemile wrote of the great burden placed on parents to provide all materials for their child’s schooling. He urged JMJ Children’s Fund to support Sister Monica who is helping children to remain in their families.
Sister’s letter was poignant: “Ours is a backward environment, and getting anything done is extremely difficult. There is no communication system and no transportation system that connects us to most of the villages, so I had to go around myself to the parents of the concerned children, and found sixty – some are on a waiting list. The cases are all genuine and needy ones, and it is difficult to eliminate any.
At that time JMJ Children’s Fund was already supporting children in India, Malawi, Haiti and in other areas, so we agreed to take on only3 children. Among these was Elizabeth whom Leo Modderman and his wife Theresa have been sponsoring since 1999, when she was a little girl in Elementary School. In 2011, Elizabeth graduated from a prestigious university in Ghana with a degree in Math and Science. Kweku, the second child, has also entered university and wants to complete his studies in America. The third child is finishing secondary school.
In 2007, because of the generosity of our sponsors, JMJ was able to take on another 15 of Sister Monica’s children. Since 2011, JMJ is also sponsoring young twins whose mother died in childbirth. They are staying with the Sisters and attending Kindergarten which the Sisters opened in 2010. The twins are considered cursed by the local people because of the death of their mother.