We can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone. – Ronald Reagan
This week on Naya’s Column, we are swimming in the line of non-governmental organizations in our country. With specific emphasis to the ones which have been established with the aim of taking children off the streets of Ghana.
One of such foundations is The Street Children Educational foundation (SCEF) headed by Paul Semeh, our figure of motivation this week a former street child who once sold on the streets of Lapaz. He started this foundation after graduating from the University of Ghana in 2009.
“As a Christian, my basic Philosophy in life is to give back to people who cannot give back to me. Back when times were hard, I still found means to support people who were in the same situation as me. My childhood was tough and mainly characterized by extreme hardship. I lost my father when I was only two years of age; so my single mother was left to raise six (6) boys by herself. Myself together with some of my brothers had to go through the hustle and bustle in the city of Accra in order to reduce the intense pressure on our mother. We sold polythene bags on the streets of Kaneshie, makola, Lapaz and at almost all the city centres you can think of. I sold almost throughout my life; when I gained admission into the University I partook in the trade of tilapia at the mini markets on the side-walks of the Lapaz highway. I never got to experience the fun in a typical African childhood as normally expected but today I can look back and say it was all for a worthy cause.”
Paul had his basic education at Mallam D.A Primary school followed by New Gbawe jhs for his junior secondary education. After coming out with distinction in his basic education certificate examination (BECE), he gained admission into the Accra High Senior Secondary school and later pursued to read philosophy and sociology at the University of Ghana. With the story surrounding how Paul was raised, he could be easily described as the Jesus of our time because he was raised in a sheep’s pen made of mud.
The creating of the SCEF dream was quite hectic and disappointing. Many doors were shut in his face as he went door-to-door to solicit for funds from the general public; not every understood Paul’s burning desire to take street children through school and many people saw it as a mere dream.
Currently, SCEF under Paul’s management has been able to see over one two hundred through school right from the basic education to secondary level. The SCEF premises has created a recreational and a learning centre which is opened to all children (both on and off the streets) to come and learn while they play. Paul’s dream was to allow every young child on the streets experience what he was denied as a child.
I really admire the fire in the soft heart of Mr. Semeh because he dared to reach out his hands into the darkness to pull out other hands into the light and that should be the aim of all humans. We should desire to light the path of others dying in the dark.
He advised, “Your future lies in your hands so regardless of your situation, just find means to push forward. Street children may not live next door to us, but they are still our neighbors and it is our duty as humans to be each other’s keeper.”
To find out more about Paul Semeh and the Street Children Educational Fund, kindly listen to the audio below.
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