Mr. Edson da Graça, the SOS Children’s Villages in the Netherlands Ambassador, has expressed his willingness to use his activities to raise more funds to support SOS projects in Ghana.
Mr. Graça, who is a well-known stand-up comedian, presenter, and actor, said he would appeal to his followers and fans to help raise money for the SOS Villages in Ghana.
He said this at a news briefing when he paid a working visit to the SOS Children’s Villages in Ghana to interact with project participants in a bid to draw attention to the work of SOS Children’s Villages.
Prior to the briefing, he visited two of the SOS’ youth employment projects, ‘Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities’, (GrEEn), and ‘No Business as Usual’ (NBU/YEC).
While ‘GrEEn’ focuses on creating labour market opportunities for more than 5,000 young people, women, and returning migrants, the NBU/YEC (No Business as Usual/Youth Empowerment Centre) promotes youth employment and socio-economic growth in Kumasi.
Mr. Graça said it was his aim to make a difference by helping the SOS Children’s Villages make a real change in the lives of their beneficiaries instead of just putting money into the projects.
He expressed satisfaction at the dedication and level of work put in by the Ghanaian staff of SOS to ensure the sustainability of the livelihood of beneficiaries even when the project they were on ended.
He said it was evident from his visit that more funds needed to be raised and up-scaled to touch more communities and empower more families.
Ms. Arian Buurman, the Managing Director of SOS Children’s Villages in the Netherlands, indicated that her team was happy to have Graça as its ambassador to inspire getting more funds for the project, indicating that it was most important due to the hardship people were in.
Other members of the visiting team were Marjon Durang, Portfolio Coordinator for Ghana and Guinea-Bissau; Janet Tuinstra, Head of Communications and Fundraising; and Nadja van Winden, Communications Coordinator.
Mr. Alexander Mar Kekula, the National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Ghana, said SOS has four villages in Ghana located at Tema, Asiakwa, Tamale, and Kumasi, adding that it was supporting over 7,000 children both in the centres and in communities.
Mr. Kekula said his outfit currently had 51 family houses in villages across the country, a number of them in the communities, explaining that they had rented houses for families in communities.
He said to empower vulnerable parents to care for their children and not to abandon them, SOS had family strengthening programmes that provided income-generating training and set-ups for them to earn a living.
SOS Children’s Villages operate in 138 countries and territories worldwide, with a programme reaching 2.5 million children and families worldwide.