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Saturday, 31 October 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

International Children’s Care UK: Stephens story

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STEPHEN was born in a village with little educational opportunities in Ghana. His father repaired roofing to provide for the family. His mother stayed home to care for her five children. Then, all too quickly, life for Stephen dramatically changed. There was a faulty board in the roof rafters where Stephen’s father was working. He fell through the roof and died. Three months later, Stephen’s mother died of typhoid fever. This left the children all alone.

In Ghana, there is no large ICC Children’s Village. Yet, a man named Michael saw a need to help orphans in that country. That is why, in 1998, he worked with ICC to set up a rental home where a family might care for and support orphans. Because of limited funds, this project has remained small, yet a beautiful household of children are supported there.

In 2001, when Stephen was five years old, he and his siblings came to live at the ICC Ghana Children’s Home. Stephen got along well with the other children. Best of all, he didn’t have to be separated from his biological siblings, and he got to attend school. Stephen quickly became a kind and helpful member of the household. He loved math and often helped the younger children with homework.

By sixth grade, Stephen’s love for math expanded into a love for technology. He carefully studied computers and even repaired the home laptop as needed. Yet, Stephen never imagined that his love for technology would ever translate into a career. He didn’t know that jobs like that existed. Thankfully, the Information Communications Technology (ICT) teacher at school recognized talent in Stephen and began to encourage him.

Stephen gradually became more determined and confident in class. He worked hard in his studies and found a job at a media company after high school. Now, Stephen is a Computer Science major in university.

Stephen said:

“I made good friends at university. We are always writing codes and sometimes make fun out of it.”

Stephen and his friends have developed several programs for local businesses, and are working to start their own IT firm, called Perfect Media Consortium. The Computer Science department took notice of their hard work and skill. Because of that, Stephen and his friends were asked to represent the school in a ‘hackathon’ competition against other universities and software development companies.

In this competition, they had four days to develop a mobile application and web application for a specified problem. By day three, Stephen’s team was the only university-level team left in the running. While they did not win the competition, Stephen is proud that they were able to go as far as they did.

Stephen added:

“I deem it a great privilege to be part of this wonderful family of ICC Ghana. I have a dream of becoming a good computer software developer and a motivational speaker to bring joy to the faces of destitute people who want to give up in life. I really enjoy what I am studying.”

Because of people like you, Stephen is able to pursue his dreams. He also works to help others, just as you have helped him. Thank you for helping to provide Stephen with tools for success. Your support is a great blessing!

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