When Grace Cobinah’s story came to the attention of Pockets of Promise, she was living in Punpunie, a small fishing village in the Western region of Ghana, with her mother and four brothers. Her father had passed away when Grace and her twin brother were three months old. Grace’s mother has a mental illness that is incapacitating to the point that she is unable to work and provide for her children. For a while, Grace’s grandfather would care for the children, but when he too passed away, the family no longer had the means to continue her mother’s treatment or buy food for Grace and her brothers. Grace’s uncles were able to send some financial assistance to the tune of $10-$15 a month, which barely covered the family’s living expenses. The five children and their mother did their best to survive while living in their late grandfather’s one room apartment, sharing a bathroom with other families.
Their day-to-day existence was bleak. Their mother’s mental condition rendered her unable to provide proper care or supervision for her children. When Grace or her brother would cry to her out of hunger, she would stare at them blankly. Therefore, Grace and her brothers would beg on the streets for food in order to receive any sustenance. Their sporadic diet consisted of mostly gari (processed cassava root) and palm oil, with the addition of some fish during the fishing season. In addition, it was necessary for villagers in Grace’s neighborhood of Punpunie to buy water since their only water source produced salty water that was undrinkable. Since Grace and her family could not afford to buy water, they would drink water from a dirty pond near their home. Needless to say, the children’s clothes were in poor condition with no money to buy them new ones.
Fortunately, Grace and all her brothers were all receiving an education. Due to the generosity of the local primary school principal, the children were all in school through a need-based scholarship program. However, without additional assistance, many children do not complete their schooling in order to find work or beg for food for their families.
Pockets of Promise created the connection to match this family with sponsors. They took extra care in finding one for Grace, as she has had an undiagnosed eye disorder since birth and required special medical attention. Upon matching Grace with the perfect sponsor, their compassion and generosity has guided her to the treatment that she needed and her eyes have fully healed.
Through their sponsorships, the family has received new clothing and receives a monthly supply of food as well as money for water and other essentials. In addition, they now have a caregiver working at their home to provide assistance to both the children and their mother. They are now thriving and able to continue their education without concern for where their next meal is coming from, and are enjoying a much more optimistic future.