Point Hope

Christmas on the Equator

I happen to know this because a big part of my heart remains in Ghana, where my charity, Point Hope, does good work bringing food, water, education, skills training, and medical resources to the people there. It’s also where I was blessed to meet five of my children.

This Christmas, the children in our Point Hope program would like to share a blessing with you. Below is a recipe for a special Ghanaian Christmas treat:

Bananas Ghana

8 bananas
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons apricot brandy (or use 3 more tablespoons of orange juice)
4 tablespoons shredded coconut and/or groundnuts (peanuts)
4 ounces sour cream, with 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut 8 medium bananas lengthwise and then in half.
Combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon in a shallow bowl. 
Coat banana pieces in cinnamon sugar. 
Place coated pieces cut side down in a 9 inch ovenproof dish. 
Mix orange juice and brandy together and pour over the bananas.
Bake 20 minutes, periodically basting the bananas with the juice.
Remove bananas from oven and sprinkle 4 tbsp coconut and/or peanuts on top.
Optional: Blend together 4 oz. sour cream and 1 tbsp brown sugar (sweetened sour cream), serve as garnish on side.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas, or as it would be said in just a few of the 100 languages spoken in Ghana: “Afehya Pa” (Akan); “Brunya Name” (Ewe); “Burinya Tami” (Siwu, the language spoken by not more than 100,000 people, including Point Hope Ghana’s National Director, Chris Amuzu-Addo).

May your Christmas be filled with deep thankfulness for each blessing you have! To learn how about how you can help build a village and a forever family home for these children, please visit PointHope.org.

Point Hope Ghana's work with Food Security

Food insecurity (lack of food) is a HUGE problem among households in rural Ghana, West Africa.  Point Hope partners with Point Hope Ghana to provide nutrition (food) and agricultural training to stem the tide of hopelessness, helping to provide a hand-up for vulnerable people. #avoiceforforgottenchildren

Point Hope Nutrition

One of the primary areas of interest is that of nutrition. We focus on children and adults who our are malnourished or starving; using the UN's guidelines to make our determinations. A variety of tools are used to bring the under or malnourished up to a healthy state of being.

For over 12 years Point Hope has been providing healthy, hot, nutritious meals for malnourished and starving children. Much of the food we provide we raise in our organic farm; vegetables, poultry, eggs, fish and goats are all raised organically and the foods prepared for the children, the vulnerable, and disabled adults. 

Using my own farm in the US as a testing ground, I learn and apply new and better farming techniques which are then adapted for Equatorial climates. Nationals in Ghana and throughout West Africa are then taught how to grow their own organic healthful food! It's all about independence and sustainability.

Get to know Point Hope

Our mission is to be a voice for forgotten children domestically and abroad. We want to shed light on the fact that right now there are half a million kids in foster care throughout America – and less than five percent of those children will ever have permanency thru adoption. Through Points of Hope Chapters, which you can start in your own area, we host programs that raise awareness and donations for local foster kids as well as events to help raise their spirits and inspire them to dream big.

We also work very hard to care for poverty-stricken families and orphans in Ghana, West Africa. In fact, I founded Point Hope after discovering that 140 acres made up a Liberian refugee camp which was home to more than 60,000 people living in poverty and without hope. The camp, located in the middle of a village called Buduburam, was only equipped to handle 4,000 people. What I saw when I first stepped into the dirty camp broke my heart. It was over-crowded, full of litter, without fresh water or proper sewage. The people often struggled for just one meal a day, and too many of them died from malnutrition or disease. I was motivated to take action and help.

One of our biggest initiatives was to produce a source of fresh, flowing water inside the camp and the surrounding Buduburam village. Residents were relying on dirty drinking water trucked in and sold at a high cost or they would try to “filter” rainwater and other runoff from gutters, gullies and trenches through sand and rock – drinking water that was unsanitary and disease-ridden. Point Hope constructed a water tower, a pumping station and laid underground pipes to pump fresh water to spigots throughout the camp. It took four years, a lot of time, money and volunteers to see our project complete, but the improved health and smiling faces are worth it!

That’s not all. Point Hope worked with Ghana Health Services and other partners to supply the camp clinic with doctors and nurses to treat more than 500 people a month – who otherwise would have no access to healthcare – and have supplied enough equipment that surgeries can now be performed at this location. We pilot a garden project to produce fresh vegetables for our nutrition feeding program as well as train the parents of malnourished children to farm and feed their families and provide a means of income. We provide additional skills training for sewing, baking, beading, fabric art, and carpentry to men and women. We run a nutrition program for foster kids and three daycares for malnourished children where they get at least three meals daily. We care for pregnant and nursing mothers, and also send hundreds of children to school, equipping them with the proper educational tools to succeed.

Liberians are no longer “official” refugees, the war in their country is over and many people have returned home. Many people, however, don’t have a home to return to and are now displaced – but Point Hope is still on the ground trying to help them build a future. And we have bigger plans. We have purchased 40 acres of land to build Point Hope Village. It will be home to widows, orphans, children rescued from human trafficking, abandoned babies, unwed teen mothers and children with chronic illnesses and special needs like my son Sammy whose story you will read about later this week. We will continue doing all the things we have been doing and more. We want to build a progressive, sustainable, healthy community for the next generation.

Go to PointHope.org and get to know us a little better, and learn how you might be able to help us care for those in need. If you do nothing more than forward an email, or post about us on your Facebook page or spread the word about us to others, that blesses us more than you realize.