Day One of Reading Camp in Boate by Merle Holsinger and Carys Cox

Merle is a retired engineer and former Peace Corps volunteer. Merle has been a long time supporter of Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope. He brought his granddaughter, Carys Cox with him.

From Merle:

Monday, August 5, 2019. Botheau, Ghana.  This is the first day that we have actually worked in the village of Boate at the Reading Camp.

20190805_081147There were many children already in the school compound when we arrived early to organize the materials in the classrooms to do the day’s work.  They all seemed very excited to see us and know that the day ahead would bring new chances to learn and to meet old friends and make new ones.  We are all ready and anxious to help in giving these children a chance to learn to read better, knowing that this can and will help in the future to improve their situations.


I worked in the Art class room with Bruce Neumann and the Ghanaian teachers to present a visual representation of “How the Leopard Got Its Spots”.  This comprised of having the children come to the front of the room to dip their fingers in black paint and putting their fingerprints on the image of a leopard that Bruce had drawn and cutout for the class.  Some of the classes had not had time to read the story in their class before this, so Bruce summarized to book for them. The children also did “Friendship Bracelets” and played with spiral graphs to make geometric line designs on papers.


Seeing the children in this village and realizing that there is actually something that we are doing to help them gives a new perspective on the ability to participate in a program like this.  Sometimes the view of all the need in the world for improvement and the feeling of frustration that there is not more that can be done for more people can lead to paralyzing inaction or indifference.  When you actually see what can be done even in a small village with what seems to be a small number of children, it can be a catalyst to realize that we each can only take responsibility as God gives us the ability.  We can change the world one child at a time, knowing that we have done what we can at that particular point in time, and that God will use it to His purposes and in His timing for His good purposes.  We can show the love of Christ to these children even in this way.

Merle in front center with Carys behind him

From Carys:

Today was my first day at Reading Camp, Boate Village. In the morning while some children were being assessed, the other children played with a large frisbee we brought, while running over loose gravel and large stones. The kids were so excited to be at Reading Camp that many of them waited for two hours in the courtyard before we even came to the school.


I am very impressed with the dedication of the Boate Teachers. Last week they traveled for three hours all the way to Akramaman to attend the Teacher Training and Reading Camp instructions.


It is a wonderful thing to see them show up during summer break to help the children in their village and further enhance their skills as teachers.


Seeing the children’s eagerness to learn is wonderful, however, I am sad knowing there are so resources available to them. They are all so sweet and shy, yet eager to try something new.


I loved getting to know so many children today and I can’t wait to find out more about their personalities as the week goes on.

One response to “Day One of Reading Camp in Boate by Merle Holsinger and Carys Cox”

  1. Thank you Carys and Merle. It is SO true that the big picture is God’s job and His worry. Our jobs are to stay connected to Him (to the vine) and do with love and joy what He gives each of us to do. Imagine if everyone really did their part! The world would look/be different. On the last day He will greet each one of us asking us to account for how we responded to the opportunities He offered us.

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