HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF JSFUND FOR HOPE

The organization was first known and registered as JS FUND in August 2007, but the idea to form an NGO was hatched as far back as 2000 from the unbelievable discovery of the life conditions of our compatriots in the rural settings. It all started when William Kudzo Gati, at the age of twenty six (26) was posted to Mafi- Agoe, a remote village in the North Tongu district, after completing his initial three-year professional training at Mt. Mary Training College, Somanya, in September 1989. Whilst organizing the pupils and youth for sports and church activities in the surrounding villages, he discovered more bizarre scenes about the lives in rural communities. Bad drinking water as humans and livestock share the same pond of water, no access to primary health care, no electricity, children being sent to farm instead of going to school, young girls being "married off" here and there and new born babies dying after some few hours of delivery. More often than not the next news to be whispered among the elders is "the mother too could not make it". He even saw in a village of about 150 inhabitants out of which about 90% was infected with guinea worm. Most of the children between the ages of 2-4years move about naked and dirty. The impact of poverty is really great. Life in those communities was really miserable. He saw similar lifestyles as he was transferred and posted from one village school to another, in his nineteen years experience as a teacher and a parish organizer for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) all in deprived communities in the southern part of the Volta region.

This deplorable livelihood haunted him ever since. In his bid to avert this trend of misery and hardship, he narrated the situation to his Ghanaian mentor domiciled in the US who in turn introduced him to one Mr. Hideo Yamashita, Japanese, who accepted to support the project with a fund he claimed he has. This is how the organization came to be known initially as JS FUND. After some months of constant daily communication, no word was heard from him again. Whilst waiting for this financial support, he discussed his intentions with his wife, Celestine Ama Dedzoe, Ms. Edouardine Amegee, a deputy director of education and Ms. Theresa Ama Bruku, a district public health nurse and together they formed a benevolent group encouraging parents to send their children to school by donating school uniforms, food items and sponsoring sick children at "critical stages" to access primary health care services. The group was financed from the monthly contributions made by the founding members. William through the internet in 2009 came into contact with one Dr. Maria Tonnerova, based in Italy, who readily agreed to assist him to solicit for fund to support the project. Unfortunately that same year she became incapacitated due to a motor accident she had earlier which resulted in a complicated spinal disorder.

Surprisingly, these predicaments rather solidified the passion of members to work harder to "give hope of survival" to as many children as they can afford. The name of the organization was modified to JS FUND FOR HOPE to reflect our new vision in 2010.

The organization has grown in strength mainly through the support of the mandatory monthly contributions of the founding members who are now automatically the Board of Directors. In addition to this, the yearly donations from Torwogbe Social Club-Akatsi, a registered social group of over 100 members founded by William, Individuals and also Minamatsi Welfare Scheme, a local micro-finance scheme also co-founded by William which has a membership over 200 made up of local artisans, traders and farmers.