An investment for the future04.01.2011- A computer training center has recently been built and equipped for a Beninese orphanage partnered with Mercy Ships Switzerland.
Since 2008, Mercy Ships Switzerland has partnered with an orphanage in Abomey, in Benin. The House of Hope is a safe haven for orphans.
In Benin, when children are placed in foster care, it is common for them to be treated as servants, even though they are in the family of a relative. Benin also has the unfortunate reputation of being one of the worst countries in Africa where Child Trafficking still takes place.
Rebecca Pratt, a former volunteer for Mercy Ships, cofounded „Orphan Relief and Rescue“ with her husband to provide help to the numerous orphans of Benin. Given the enormous needs of these unfortunate children, her dream had always been to build an orphanage for them.
But it is only when Pierre Christ, member of the Board of Mercy Ships Switzerland, decided to take charge of this project that the dream became reality. Karen Olesen, who already worked among the children of Abomey, chose to join the adventure and Daslin Small-Oueounou, former executive director of the Anastasis, an old ship of Mercy Ships, accepted to become the orphanage director. They all came together to form a Board of Directors and find the funds needed for the construction of the building.
In October 2008, 31 children were welcomed and the official inauguration of the House of Hope took place shortly after on February 14th, 2009. This new orphanage can house up to 80 children at a time, children who are fatherless and motherless. The building is comprised of two large dormitories, a meeting/dining room, a kitchen, two storage rooms, and an annex with eight rooms for the personnel and visitors, all of which is built on a hectare of land donated by the mayor of Abomey.
In 2010, a new structure was specifically built and furnished with the goal of offering orphans the ability to learn how to use computers. All computers have been sponsored by a member of the Board of Mercy Ships Switzerland. Now, the childre