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Children Inspiring Hope

Students From the United States

I liked how we got to know each other by our artwork and poems. Now we are like a big family. – 3rd grader, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, Atlanta, Georgia

That was the best thing in the world!
5th grader, Barnwell Elementary School, Jones Creek, Georgia

I realized that I can make a difference in the world!
8th grader, Summit Charter School, Cashiers, North Carolina

I enjoyed seeing all the happy faces and being able to share our Love.

– Katelyn, 3rd grader, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, Atlanta, Georgia

I feel like I am related to everyone in the world.
3rd grader, Summit Charter School, Cashiers, North Carolina

They are so creative! My friend is a good artist. I want to travel to meet him one day.
4th grader, Holy Innocents Episcopal School, Atlanta, Georgia

I just wanted to let you know how much this made a difference in my life. When Ms. Amy went to our school and showed us all the videos and pictures and children who just never seem to stop smiling it gave me hope that somewhere in this world there really is only happiness. My Ghana friend Mawufemor was the sweetest she wrote how happy she was to go on a field to trip, she drew me a flower, and she told me to please tell my family her greeting. Thank you Children Inspiring Hope.

-Karina, 7th grader, St. Andrew’s School, Savannah, Georgia

I love this program and when I saw the expression on the children’s faces when they got to go on their field trip, it just inspired me to do more things to help others!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful experience.

– Anna Caroline, 7th grader, St. Andrew’s School, Savannah, Georgia

From Ghana

One heart, one people, one nation, we are all one, joy is a flag flying high from the castle of our heart because we are one, We Are The Children of The World.
P6 student, Ho-Bankoe EP Primary, Ho, Volta Region

Dear Sis Amy, Thank you for coming and making us happy. We love you and hope to see you again soon.
P3 student, Ho-Bankoe EP Primary

From Teachers in Ghana

This programme is of great help to me as a teacher.  It helps me understand that each child the way they are and the need to live at peace with each other no matter their status. This project helps my pupils acknowledge the fact that the environment is unique and needs to be protected.

-RC Mixed Primary HO-Bankoe

They improved their learning and they were happy about your coming. It was very educative and interesting. It promotes unity and love. This program is creative.

EP Primary Ho-Bankoe

The program is preaching peace and love globally. The children are very much interested in the activities.

EP Primary Ho-Bankoe

Your projects brought peace throughout this village. The children wore their color pouches for weeks everywhere they went.

-Eyronam, Ziavi-Bamefedo P6 teacher

They liked the story very much! So, from today on, they will care for the environment.

-Rejoice, EP Primary Ho-Bankoe P1 Teacher

From Teachers in the United States

The second themed exchange really enhanced our school’s place-based & environmentally conscious curriculum. We also discussed global impact on our environment. This gave students a real world view of Africa & the problem we share.
– Ms. Leslie Rosenberg, Summit Charter School Art Teacher, Cashiers, North Carolina

As students watched slides and heard stories of the children in Ghana, they became more aware of the advantages they have in the United States. It opened up meaningful conversation. They began to have empathy for these children. They also began to think of ways they could have impact on other people.
-Mrs. Connor, St. Andrew’s School 3rd Grade Teacher, Savannah, Georgia

This was such a positive experience. It is truly inspiring!
-Mrs. Cara Martin, Riverside Middle School Social Studies, Evans, Georgia

Concretely connecting with people across the globe in the area of a shared earth as our home through children’s art projects has a community strengthening impact on all of us that are directly involved.

-Mrs. Kate Sidorski, Cliff Valley School Outdoor Classroom, Atlanta, Georgia

I knew that this connection was something special- from the beginning. We have loved every minute of our connection with students in Ghana and our connection to you, and we look forward to a continued relationship with our friends. After you left, the children asked, “When will Amy be back?” ” How long will it be before we can work on our projects for the students in Ghana?” “What will be be doing to send to our new friends in Ghana?”

They asked about the peace flame – the expected questions about “Will we light the candle again?”  ”How does the flame travel if it is not lit?” but they also asked, “Will we be able to light the flame
again when we need it for peace?” and “If they light the candle in Ghana, will we be able to know that they feel the same peace that we do?”  WOW -what an impact!!! I am so glad that they see the “candles of peace” each day in each of the classes that they attend. Small steps – but also really big ones!!
– Mrs. Jeanie Knight, St. Andrew’s School Middle School Teacher

From Teachers in Canada:

What an exciting day! Everyone so enjoyed the project, right from the kindergartens up to the grade 8’. The spirit of this peace flame truly touched us all! It was so touching.
-Mrs. Deina Bomberry, Kinomaugewgamwik, Parry Sound, Canada

From the Volunteers

I must say that the experience was electrifying and has touched my soul like few other experiences I have had in my photography and travel ventures. The children and the environment turned into a photographers dream of capturing happiness, joy, excitement and the deep inner souls of kids who had so little in the material world but had so much to share in the inner world of soul and spirit, it was a breath of fresh air. Now I had a deep understanding of why the project was labeled Children Inspiring Hope.
-Steve Chinn, Professional Photogrpaher, Ghana & US Volunteer

On my refrigerator I have some photos of me and the kids at recess. I have not seen a smile on my face as big as that since I was a kid myself. Whenever I see that photo, I thank the children for sharing their light and love and for showing me light and love too. Recess rocks!
-Christie Cramer, US & Ghana Volunteer

There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who ask, “What happened?” CIH is fully fitted in all these spheres. I have realized, the Leadership of Children Inspiring Hope has the capacity to translate vision into reality.Truly, opportunity dances with those on the dance floor. We must be the change we wish to see in the world. For the avoidance of doubt, I must admit it has been all joy as a volunteer with CIH.
Kelvin Delali Abba, Ghana volunteer

When I started as a volunteer, I will admit, I thought we were doing this to help those sweet children in Africa.  What I didn’t realize was the extent of growth opportunity for the children here.  This project isn’t about the African children, it’s about all the children.  I have no doubt that the seeds of love, compassion, and understanding that are planted now will blossom in the years to come through these children that have had this experience.  They might not even remember the details of this experience or point to it and say, “Yes, that’s where my desire to be involved in global issues started”, but with continued feeding and nurturing, these seeds will spread wide and far, plant themselves in communities all over the country and world, and bloom wildly.  It will just be a natural expression from the lessons learned through Children Inspiring Hope.
– Laurie Amerson, US & Ghana volunteer

The students in Ghana are the embodiment of pure joy. And volunteering with CIH has been an experience that brings that level of joy to me whether working in the classrooms here in the U.S. connecting the children or running freely with the Ghanaian children during recess in a dusty schoolyard. My humanity has been expanded and I know that the thousands of children who have been part of the programs have expanded in similar ways. CIH has developed a simple formula, a basic exchange between cultures and classrooms. But add in the impact of film and the integrity of the organization and it’s volunteers and you have a revolutionary grassroots campaign that imbues the hearts and minds of our future generations with a personal understanding of global connectedness. The exchange of projects that seems so simple, a drawing, a letter, a song have the power to carry the spirit of peace and kindness across the waters of our worlds. Each one of us really does have the power to make a positive change and none of us knows the global potential our efforts may have but the students of CIH are given an intrinsic understanding of what that power means and how to put it into action. I am proud to support CIH in their pursuit to reawaken and reinforce the basic human values in the world’s children that truly can make a difference.
– Ann McGinley, US & Ghana Volunteer

At the end of each day I ask myself, how many people have I helped help themselves.

John Agbozo, Ghana volunteer

It doesn’t follow logic to love first and ask questions later. But that’s what they do. Some are loud. Some are shy. But almost all of them throw their hearts at you with the full force of a cannon ball. And getting hit by a cannon ball is powerful. The effects can be messy. Returning home to the US, where people guard themselves more carefully, was a little bit painful. To be embraced physically and know the meaning of the embrace is love, appreciation, thankfulness; well that’s something I don’t get often enough. But what I’ve been given by these kids is the inspiration to light my own fuse. I also have a powerful love to give. Maybe even as powerful as a cannon ball.

Nicholas Livanos, US & Ghana Volunteer

From the Parents

“You must know that they were about to jump out of
 their skin -
fighting over who could read the letter first to me in the car!
 Their emotions and love were genuine…  the goose bumps covered my skin as I
 listened to each word in the responses (letters from Africa).   How wonderful for your students to be privileged to participate in such an amazing project.   We have the letters (in sleeve
 protectors of course) and plan to save them forever.”
Jan, Parent of St. Andrew’s School students, Savannah, Georgia

Our 12 year old son, Phillip, has been so moved by the letters from his friend in Ghana-he cannot stop asking questions, exploring the website, looking for ways to help, etc.
Laura Gunder, Parent of Riverside Middle School student, Evans, Georgia

My child has been so excited to work on the projects with Children Inspiring Hope! Although we have been learning about the country, culture, and people of Ghana, my children feel connected to the students in Ghana because they are fellow children. In the exchanges we have done, his letters focus on finding the similarities of family, foods, games, and pets. As a parent, I have been most touched to witness that simple, blind, beautiful faith that only children can have, that truthful acknowledgement that children are the same everywhere.
-Lisa Gerardot, Parent of 4th grader at CT Walker Magnet School, Augusta, Georgia

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