According to statistics from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), more than 1 million orphans live in Ghana; one-quarter of whom have lost their parents to AIDS.
The agencies believe that violent conflict, AIDS, malaria, cholera and famine have gradually turned Africa into a continent full of orphaned children and teenagers. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of orphans in Africa rose from 30.9 million to 41.5 million, and those orphaned by AIDS increased from 330,000 to 7 million.
Sadly, projections by the two U.N. agencies suggest that since 2010, 53.1 million children under 18 were bereft of their parents, 15.7 million of whom have had parents who died of AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
There had been several governmental interventions over the years in an attempt to ameliorate the sufferings of these vulnerable and underprivileged children in Ghana who are mostly left to their fate due to the passing away of their parents. This is aside the benevolence shown by the public and some non-governmental organizations towards some of these children in society.
Nonetheless, one such NGO, though still young, is the FLORDIBERT Foundation which is fighting child poverty particularly among orphans and rural areas. Founded in October 2010 by a group of young people in their early twenties who live in the Central Region of Ghana, FLORDIBERT Foundation seeks to better the lives of children in orphanages and less endowed schools in deprived communities across the country.
The organization, in the not too distant future, hopes to give thousands of less privilege children if not equal, but an ample chance of also competing with their counterparts in urban areas in terms of education and other life options that would enhance their development potentials. Currently, it feeds, clothed and pay for other expenses of about 40 children in the Central Region.
|Exec. Dir. Flordibert Foundation|
In the words of Executive Director and founding member of FLORDIBERT Foundation Kuupole Erubaar Ewald: “We aim at giving children a reason to continue in life and reduce the rate of children engaging in crime and other social vices that can jeopardize their future. FLORDIBERT Foundation has been running in its small way for three years now and provides support to orphans”.
Speaking to Savannahnews in an interview in Tamale, Mr. Kuupole stated that in the next five years, FLORDIBERT Foundation sees itself to be globally recognized and living no stone unturned in tackling issues not only at the national level but also those ones that attract global attention. “We’ll grow to create jobs that will be used as a conduit to fight child poverty particularly in communities where poverty levels are very endemic”, he emphasised.
Asked why a young person like him and his colleagues started an NGO, Mr. Kuupole noted that the group draws a lot of satisfaction from helping the less privileged in society particularly children and said, that should motivate others to join their course since there was more blessing in giving than receiving.
According to him, it was also the vision of FLORDIBERT Foundation to have a well resourced basic school in each of its project areas including the Upper West, Upper East, Northern and Central Regions which were all considered the poorest places to live in Ghana. Adding that, the organization would equip not less than two orphanages in any of its project areas with resources that would enable managers to generate their own income so as to wean themselves off public support.
On how they mobilized resources to run the organization, Mr. Kuupole disclosed that the group regularly embarked on fundraising and contributions from among members as well as sought the support of benevolent individuals and corporate institutions that shared in their vision.
The group also sought the support of organizations that could donate relevant books for children which help the NGO inculcate the habit of reading in their beneficiaries who hardly read a good book before completing school.
Born on October 2, 1989, Mr. Kuupole Erubaar Ewald had all his basic and secondary school education in Cape Coast in the Central Region. He studied Network Engineering with NIIT and currently works with the University for Development Studies [UDS] Central Administration as an ICT Assistant Officer.
He dreams of starting his own IT School in his native town of Nandom to train the youth in ICT and award them with accredited certificates to start life in a manner that would reduce the poverty rate in the area and also help bridge the development gap between the Northern and Southern sectors of the country.
|The Brains Behind Flordibert Foundation|
Mr. Erubaar Kuupole has a soft spot for young girls and women. Thus, he wished to educate more girls because they were always victims of early or forced marriage and teenage pregnancy which were evil forces that always truncated their success in life.
He believes in sharing and caring for the needy and his role models are his father Professor Domwin Dabire Kuupole, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and Dr. David Abdulai, Founder and Director of Sheikinah Clinic in Tamale. Mr. Erubaar Kuupole enjoys listening to music, love watching his favorite football club Chelsea FC play, loves farming and enjoys any local dish.