Sarker Hope Foundation continues its mission overseas
Throughout the pandemic, the Parc-Extension-based Sarker Hope Foundation has worked across the community to aid those most in need. Since March 2020, the organization has helped residents with food, vaccinations, children’s education and aid to seniors. But that has not meant that it reneged on its engagement overseas.
The foundation recently completed a sponsorship effort with an orphanage in the town of Tamale in Northern Ghana caring for over 60 children. The non-profit organization delivered food, medicine, books and supplies to a children’s home that cares for local children who have lost their parents or who come from families that can no longer take care of them.
International outreach and charity work is after all the foundation’s primary mission and only took on local COVID-19 response as a reaction to local needs when the pandemic started. The organization’s mission statement outlines that it strives “to create a conducive living environment for children who are orphans, abused, and from underprivileged backgrounds, and to enable them to live a life with the hope of a better tomorrow.”
“We established the educational institution, where children are sheltered, where children can stay,” explained Mustaque Sarker, president of the Sarker Hope Foundation.
“They have a security guard, they have a classroom to attend, they have three meals a day breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they have facilities for taking showers and all the facilities that we take for granted in Canada,” added Sarker.
The facility’s coordinator Benedict Ebito Boyubie, as well as the manager Janet Ansu, were present at the children’s home to receive the donation of fresh fruits and vegetables, dried goods like rice and lentils and clean drinking water.
All materials distributed to the children’s home were paid for through private contributions and donations made to the foundation. The work done in Ghana is also part of a larger orphans aid program that helps similar children’s homes in Bangladesh and Cambodia
“In 1969, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which is under the Ministry of gender, children and social protection of Ghana opened the home and ever since then, they’ve been hosting orphans and vulnerable children,” said Vanessa Viel, a volunteer at the organization.
The sponsorship agreement between the Tamale Children’s Home and the Sarker Hope Foundation was reached this summer, thus starting the “Promoting a quality life for orphans” program.
Viel said that helping children in need was at the heart of the project. “These children are innocent at the end of the day and there’s no reason and it’s not right for them to have to suffer because of their situation,” she explained.
“A lot of them have no parents, a lot of them do have parents but their parents, unfortunately, can’t provide for them, therefore, they send them off to these types of orphanages,” she continued, saying that providing for their materiel needs at the home will help in their development and give them a chance.
Given a recent heavy rainstorm, the children’s homes’ roofs began leaking and will need to be replaced. This expense will also be covered by the Sarker Hope Foundation.
For Sarker, it is important his organization continues to make good on its engagements overseas while continuing its work in COVID-19 response in the local Parc-Ex community. “as a community, we have to help each other,” said Sarker pointing both locally and internationally.
“So this is our moral obligation and moral duty as a community to help our children, elderly people and vulnerable people,” added Sarker.
The Sarker Hope Foundation held a fundraiser right before the start of the pandemic in February 2020 where it raised $54,377 to fund its programs for orphans.