FAQs

  1. What is the Stanley Francis Foundation and what is their relationship to HCC?
  2. How do you get your funding?
  3. What does it cost to run your program?
  4. I have books, computers and clothing that I would like to donate. Do you accept these items?
  5. Why are there no girls living at HCC?
  6. Are many of the children at your Centre orphans due to HIV/AIDS?
  7. What happens after a child finishes school?
  8. I am interested in volunteering for a few weeks in the summer. How can I get more information?
  9. Tell me more about Sandema.

 

What is the Stanley Francis Foundation and what is their relationship to HCC?

In the early years, managing Horizons in my spare time was an overwhelming responsibility. I knew that acquiring charitable status was an important step in adding legitimacy to HCC. Yet, I was discouraged to realize that this process can take many years. When I approached my uncle, Stanley Francis, for advice about this, he readily offered to help me prepare the application. Stanley has a longstanding commitment to development work. In 1999, he successfully established the Stanley Francis Foundation as a registered Canadian charity to support education projects in developing countries.

Stanley contacted CCRA and received their approval for HCC to operate under the umbrella of his Foundation. Over the years, this partnership has been a real asset for HCC. Stanley has managed the tax requirements of our program, including tax receipts and CCRA reports, with great skill and dedication. Most importantly, we are free to take on other HCC responsibilities, leaving tax matters in his capable hands. He is one of the unsung heroes of our program. For more information on the Stanley Francis Foundation, please click here.

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How do you get your funding?

All of our funding is from family and friends. Over the years, many kind people have organized fundraisers for us (see Organizing a Fundraiser), and most of our donors give faithfully each and every year.

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What does it cost to run your program?

It costs approximatly $500 per child per year to support a HCC Child.

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I have books, computers and clothing that I would like to donate. Do you accept these items?

Clothing

We are often in need of clothing items for the children. We accept clean, gently used clothing and shoes in boys' sizes (Small, Medium, Large) and men's sizes (Small, Medium, Large). New underwear and socks are also appreciated. Please contact us to find out when the next shipment of clothing will be taken to Ghana. If you have clothing that you wish to donate, please contact Derek Menezes for more information.

Books

We are always happy to expand our ever-growing library of books for the children. Our long-term goal is to set up a library in Sandema for children in the community. We are very selective with the books that we send over. Here are some guiding criteria:

  • Books that are an easy read with a positive moral message, and content to which children in rural Africa can relate (i.e., not birthday parties, fantasy creatures, etc.)
  • Non-fiction texts (high interest/low vocabulary) about astrology, weather, science and technology, biology/ animals, and sports played in Ghana (soccer, volleyball)
  • Books with repetitive sounds/letter combinations
  • Short chapter books with appropriate cultural content for some of our older kids (Grade 4-6 level books)
  • Stories that show girls and women in non-traditional and leadership roles

Computers

From time to time, we are in need of laptop computers for the Centre. If you have a laptop that you are not using, please e-mail us at heather@horizonscentre.org and we will provide you with the basic specifications that we require.

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Why are there no girls living at HCC?

Since HCC started as a project for street children, boys naturally became the first group of residents. This does not mean that girls do not experience profound poverty and suffering. Simply put, most girls are too valuable to a family to be allowed to live a life on the streets. HCC is not large enough to accommodate both boys and girls. For now, we are supporting girls through our HCC Girls Scholarship Program. We will continue to explore ways to help girls in the community and give them the opportunities they need to succeed.

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Are many of the children at your Centre orphans due to HIV/AIDS?

It is difficult to say what the cause of death is for some of the parents of our children. Premature death, often from preventable diseases, is a sad reality in Sandema and its surrounding villages. Sicknesses often go untreated as people cannot afford to pay for hospital care. At times, sicknesses are misdiagnosed as 'malaria'. While it is likely that some parents have been affected by AIDS, there is no official documentation to confirm this.

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What happens after a child finishes school?

The transition from schooling to employment is an ongoing challenge for HCC. Our policy is that we support children fully (accommodation, food, etc.) as long as they are enrolled in an education program. Once they have graduated, they are expected to find work and accommodation on their own. Sadly, unemployment is a major problem in a small town like Sandema and job opportunities are scarce. For those with technical skills, we do our best to link them up with contractors in their field. For those in the academic stream, we try to provide the maximum academic support so that they gain admission to college and university. These higher learning qualifications open many doors.

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I am interested in volunteering for a few weeks in the summer. How can I get more information?

Volunteering is a serious commitment. In order to get the most out of your experience, we strongly recommend that you set aside a minimum of 4 months for volunteering. The reality of culture shock means that it is very difficult to achieve any project results in a few weeks time, let alone develop the friendships and working relationships that make your volunteer experience meaningful. In rare cases where someone has extensive international travel experience coupled with a valuable skill set (teaching children, computer skills, etc.), we can consider short-term summer placements. Please contact us at heather@horizonscentre.org for more information about this.

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Tell me more about Sandema.

Sandema is located in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It is a rural town with a population of approximately 7,000 people. Most people in Sandema and its surrounding villages are subsistence farmers belonging to the Builsa Tribe, and speak Buile, a local dialect. Sandema has a local District Education Office, and a District Assembly, which is the municipal government office. Other notable institutions include the Sandema hospital and the recently established community radio station (Radio Builsa 106.5 FM)! While Buile is the most frequently spoken language of communication, English is quite commonly spoken and is the language of communication in schools and local government offices.

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