In Somanya, the capital of Yilo Krobo District
in the Eastern Region of south Ghana,
Aunty Lydia provides a safe home for
16 vulnerable children and 6 single mothers
delivering crucial communal support and care
to those most in need.
In our evolution into a more equitable world,
communal care sits at the forefront of change.
Gold Host are committed to upholding and extending
existing structures that work to serve greater society.
Aunty Lydia is an incredible example
that we are keen to support.
We are committed to establishing and maintaining
a corporate partnership between
Lydia's House and a UK-based organisation
in order to both sustain and grow the programme -
bringing lasting benefits to both parties.
While Lydia and the children express a lot of joy,
and love to dance and play,
their situation is difficult,
with extremely poor living conditions
and volatile access to education.
Against all odds, Lydia has managed to see
many of her children into adulthood,
with four of them have received
senior high school education (SHS) -
prior to free SHS being rolled out nationally.
Aunty Lydia is a bofrot (a type of Ghanaian donut) trader, and uses the little money she gets to provide food and shelter to 16 children, some with single mothers present and some without parents at all. She affectionately calls them 'her children'.
Aunty Lydia's house, Somanya, Ghana.
The initiative has been running for 13 years, starting when Aunty Lydia lost her husband.
Aunty Lydia provides for her sixteen children, feeding them every day and paying their school fees until they grow old enough to become independent. They each have medical insurance, however, this rarely covers the total costs when a child becomes sick, generating intense pressure among the group, and usually impacting the food intake.
Lydia, the women and some of the children work together to sell bofrots, water sachets, snacks and nuts, making around 50 cedis per day (£6.27). This is then shared among everyone, to cover the costs of food and school fees.
As such, the existing income to support Lydia's House is extremely limited, making the initiative difficult for her to sustain both financially and energetically. Although she sometimes feels unwell, Aunty Lydia remains responsible.
While there is a roof over everyone's head, the house is in disrepair with many sleeping on hard floor, without a fan or mosquito nets. There are in excess of 5 people per room, often intended for single occupancy.
Sanitation facilities are shared among a much wider community, with limited toilets. There are few lights inside the house and limited space for study.
While schools have been shut during Covid-19, the children have not received any home schooling at all, given that Aunty Lydia and the other mothers remain under intense pressure to make an income.
Our aim is to support and empower Lydia's House initiative to become as efficient and sustainable as possible, extending the kind of support to those already at Lydia's House and expanding the initiative to reach more vulnerable children and mothers, both in the present and the future to come.
1. Connect this initiative with a corporate partner.
2. Raise awareness through a social impact campaign.
3. Fund the three following areas of investment at Lydia's house:
Providing enough beds for everyone to sleep above ground in a safe and comfortable environment.
Providing a projector and sound system for all to enjoy.
Supporting and growing Lydia's existing revenue streams, including the bofrot business and her new lotion business, providing crucial capital to achieve economies of scale and maximise profit.
4. Establish a system and keep an eye on the ongoing benefits and how we can make improvements in years to come.
In the future, Aunty Lydia would like to grow her businesses so that they support the initiative for years to come, turning the existing accommodation into an 'Enterprise Centre' and relocating Lydia's House to a safe, secure and comfortable environment for the children and mothers - those here now and those to come.
We believe this is possible - we just need your help to get there!
Please get in touch if you would like to partner with this initiative.