Henrike Plöger

Expert OPS Management Programs & Support

H&G Germany, Europe

Poverty

send a smile e.V.

Main aim of the charity

The non-profit association send a smile e.V. was founded in 2014. It is committed to improving the lives of children in this world. The primary goal is to implement projects that create long-term added value and enable children to lead a self-determined and secure life. A particular focus of our work is on close cooperation with local organizations and partners. This enables send a smile e.V. to act close to the needs and to follow the principle of "helping people to help themselves".

How the employee got involved and why

I got to know the founders of send a smile e.V.. They told me the story of the foundation, which inspired and touched me very much. I realized that I can be very grateful for my privileged situation and that I want to give a piece of it back. This motivated me to become part of the association myself and to actively participate. I am a member of send a smile e.V. since 2016.

What work does the employee do for charity

I am an active member of send a smile e.V.. Send a smile e.V. is a non-profit association for international development cooperation. With commitment and passion, the association works for the opportunities and rights of children, so that they can grow up in peace and receive the opportunities for a self-determined future. The Smile House is the current core project of the association. In the last five years, a place of hope for up to 50 street children from Ghana's capital has been created in Bosomabena, far away from the rough everyday life on the streets of Accra, offering them protection and a perspective for the future. The site of this project is located about 50 kilometers west of Accra. Surrounded by pineapple plantations, mango trees and palm trees, one finds a complex of various buildings - the Farm of Hope - in the middle of the greenery. The entire complex consists of a school building, a residential building, a warehouse, sports fields and play areas, as well as cultivation areas for vegetables and fruit. In 2015, send a smile e.V. launched the Farm of Hope project together with a partner association. Send a smile e.V. is responsible for the "Smile House", the management of the residential building for street children. For this purpose send a smile e.V. took over the planning, financing and coordination of the construction of the residential building, which was completed in 2020. It consists of 12 dormitories, 2 bathroom complexes, a small apartment for the caregivers, an office and a common room with a kitchen. Currently, 38 children already live in the building and have found a new home here. The partner association SCEF helps on site with the daily administration of the building. There are four social workers who take care of the children on a daily basis. The project is important to us because it gives street children a new perspective. In the capital Accra alone, there are more than 100,000 street children who are exposed to all kinds of dangers on the rough streets every day and therefore rarely have regular access to a school. In some cases, they beg and steal or sell products to avoid starving. Many of them, together with their families, usually do not have a solid roof over their heads, even at night. The way to a professional education remains mostly denied to them and they have very bad chances to escape from poverty by their own strength. Through the Smile House, a facility has now been created in which these children can experience protection and support, develop and feel comfortable. The children have a safe place to sleep and a place where they can spend a carefree and happy childhood. In addition, a secure future is made possible for them and the following generations through school education as well as health care. In the future, the children will also gain practical experience in agriculture and handicrafts through the support of local farmers and craftsmen who will teach them basic skills. In this way, the course is set for the children and young people to be able to lead a secure life in the long term. In order to finance the life of the children in the Smile House and to be able to guarantee comprehensive care, there is a sponsorship program. At send a smile e.V., I support the team "Smile-Förderung" and help to acquire funds for the implementation of the projects of the association.

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