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LAMISE AKUNDUO

Hello, my name is Lamise Akunduo. I am a Ghanaian, born and raised in a small village close to Sandema in the Upper East Region. In my late adolescent years, I moved from Sandema to Aburi in the Eastern Region with my husband, Charles Akunduo. We have eight children and one beautiful grand-daughter. Six of our children are our biological children and two are children of my late older sister.  Six of our children are now young adults and the youngest two are attending Junior High School in Aburi.

My interests include sewing, cooking, watching movies, growing my own food and being a helping hand in the church I attend. I am currently working as a trader and work part-time for Children of the Light (CotL) as their cook. I enjoy cooking and have become skilled in cooking large amounts of healthy meals for the children that attend CotL.  All our children have attended the CotL program and I have seen first-hand how the program has helped each one of them.

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BELINDA ANUKARU

My name is Belinda Anukaru from a small village called Dibisi in the North East Region of Ghana. I am from a large family of eleven siblings and I am the sixth born.

I completed Secondary School at Navrongo Senior High in the Upper East Region and am currently a 3rd year student at Tamale University studying Mathematics.

Growing up in the village had its challenges, but it taught me to work hard and persevere to see a job complete. It also gave me a great respect and love for the land. As the main means of transport in the village are bicycle, motorbike and boat, I learned to ride a motorbike and row a boat at a very young age. I vividly remember spending many school holidays on the farm with family and friends or out fishing with my brothers. I enjoy sports, especially football, and I love taking part in our cultural dance.

I speak four languages and it was through my gift of languages that I met the Children of the Light (CotL) team in November 2020. I was working as a kayayo (street porter) in Accra at the time and was introduced to them by a friend. On meeting the team, I was asked to be an interpreter for the street program which I willingly accepted. Since the early days of meeting CotL, my work with the organisation has come a long way. I was officially employed as a temporary worker in July 2021 and I am now the first point of contact for all the work that CotL is doing in the North East Region of Ghana. It is a joy to work with the organisation and exciting to be helping children achieve in all areas of learning. This I know, will not only help them as individuals, but the entire village and the Nation as a whole.

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ESTHER AWURI

Hi, my name is Esther Awuri from Ghana. My parents are from Navrongo in the Upper East Region, and I was born in Gyankama in the Eastern Region. I am from a family of five.

I attended High School at Awe Senior High Technical School in the Upper East Region. My hobbies and interests include reading, writing, arts and crafts, watching movies and athletics, especially football. In Senior High School I played defender in the school football team.

I joined Children of the Light (CotL) as a staff member in 2021, but prior to this, I was a CotL student all through Primary and Junior High School. I have many fond memories of growing up in the organisation. My love for reading developed through the annual Reading Month Competition. The performances were also fun, as I was often given a lead role. I’m excited to now be an assistant teacher in the organisation. I enjoy working with the children and I treasure the on-going art projects we do, as these give me a chance to help the children express themselves through art. CotL is a united team and I’m so happy to be a member of this organisation.

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PATIENCE AKUNDUO

Hi, my name is Patience Akunduo. I’m a Ghanaian who was born in a small village close to Sandema in the Upper East Region. I moved to the Eastern Region when I was very young and grew up in Kitase, Aburi. I am from a large family of ten.

I completed Senior High School at Aburi Senior High Technical, and I will soon graduate from Jackson College of Education in Aburi as a Certified Teacher. My interests and hobbies are reading, mathematics, cooking, vegetable gardening, football and hiking. I have been hiking around several places in Ghana and my toughest has been the tallest mountain in Ghana, Mount Afadjato at 885m.

I started working at Children of the Light (CotL) in 2014. My work there involves the teaching of older students, working in the library and assisting in the office. The organisation inspires me to do my utmost to help all the students I work with to succeed. I aspire to be a teacher that my students look up to.

Working with Children of the Light has given me many opportunities that have included travelling to remote places in Ghana and working with children that are extremely under-served. It is a joy to be involved in an organisation that is giving children a brighter future.

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SARAH APAW MOXON

My name is Sarah Apaw Moxon, a Ghanaian from the Eastern Region, Kwahu to be precise. I grew up in Aburi with my family of six and I’m a mother of one. I completed Secondary School at Great Lamptey Mills and attended Montessori Training Institute for my Tertiary Education. My hobbies and interests are cooking, listening to music, playing table tennis, reading, painting, indoor and outdoor activities, arts and crafts, public speaking and online research.

I started working with Children of the Light (CotL) in 2010. My current position is the lead teacher of the younger children, working in the library, liaison person for the parents of the children who attend the program and the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for all the special programs we hold. I enjoy my work at CotL as it gives me the chance to create. The program is unique, and I appreciate the reasoning behind what we do. We are a dedicated and committed team and are all passionate in seeing the children we work with succeed. It is through CotL that I have gained a great amount of experience and knowledge and have had the opportunity to meet some interesting personalities from Ghana and other countries.

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SHARON KOHLER

Kia ora/Hello/Akwaaba

My name is Sharon and I am the Treasurer for ‘Children of the Light, Ghana’.  I am a born and bred New Zealander with a mix of English, Irish, Swedish and just recently discovered Norwegian heritage. In 1986, I travelled to the USA and spent 6 months travelling around California, across parts of Canada and down into Florida where I lived with friends for 3 months. I then travelled to New York and onto London, England where I lived for 2 ½ years working as a secretary for various companies. I returned to New Zealand in 1989 with Stephan, who I met while working for a Swiss company in London. We married and had our identical twin daughters who are now aged 25.

I enjoy dancing, yoga, spending time with my daughters, movies, being creative, travelling abroad and road trips around beautiful New Zealand. I have been a Secretary at an Auckland High School for the past 20 years and enjoy working in the ‘Education’ sector. My role within the ‘Children of the Light’ organisation is that of Treasurer, overseeing the donations made by New Zealanders and assisting in the editing of documentation for social media purposes and correspondence.

I am enjoying learning more about Ghana, its people and culture through ‘Children of the Light’ and feel privileged to be associated with this amazing organisation thanks to my life-long friend and Founder, Jeanette Opoku.

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PAULETT V. OPOKU

My name is Paulett Opoku. I was born in Jamaica, West Indies and migrated to the United States of America in 1969. I initially lived in the State of Connecticut, attended Hartford Public High School and graduated in 1969. I subsequently moved to New York City and attended Bronx Community College where I attained my Nursing Degree. I got married in 1974 and I was blessed with three sons and now have three grand-daughters. I first travelled to Ghana in 1980 and subsequently moved part and parcel to Ghana in 2008.

I started volunteering with Children of the Light (CotL) in 2013 and have taken on the responsibility of Board Secretary. In my past employment in the USA, I was the coordinator and nurse of a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Currently, I facilitate the Teens Program at CotL. This is a subject that I am passionate about. I’ve seen first-hand the changes that can come about in a teenagers’ life when they discover that they have something valuable to contribute to society and when they are given the tools to help them make informed choices; teaching them that it’s okay to say “No”.

Overall, living in Ghana at this stage of my life, I’m learning new ways of doing things.

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Jeanette Mary Brown Opoku

HELLO/AKWAABA/KIA ORA
My name is Jeanette Mary Brown Opoku. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and am the Founder and Director of Children of the Light (CotL). I have been living in Ghana, West Africa since 1994. I have three children and one adorable grandchild. My three children were born and raised in Ghana. I attended Marist College in Auckland. After finishing school, I completed a hairdressing apprenticeship with Winter’s Hairdressing. Once graduated, I travelled the North Island of New Zealand and worked a variety of jobs, one being on orchards picking fruit. After some time, I moved back to Auckland, worked for the New Zealand Post Office as a postwoman, saved and travelled abroad. While overseas I spent most of my time in London working as a waitress. It was during this time I visited Ethiopia. Upon landing on African soil, I was intrigued by everything I experienced and prayed that I would one day live there. On my return to New Zealand, I applied to study nursing and was accepted at Carrrington Polytechnic. On graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1994, I worked for a short time and then packed up and moved to Ghana. I met my husband (now separated) and had 3 children. It was when my children were young that I started the CotL program. This was due to the lack of fun programs for children in the area we lived. It was in the second year of starting CotL that I was offered a job as a Preschool Teacher at the American International School in Accra. I stayed for seven years and then later moved to the Liberty International School and worked there for almost two years doing multiple jobs. The CotL program continued during this entire time, and I gained vast experience working in these schools. In January 2015, I took on a full-time managerial/teaching position with CotL. I enjoy walking, hiking, gardening, visual and performing arts and I am passionate about environmental issues. My desire for CotL is for all children to have a fulfilled and happy childhood, to acquire the skills needed to reach their full potential, and in return, be inspired to give back to humanity and the world at large.
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