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  • Katie Emerson

A boy named Kelvin

Kelvin (Pen to Paper Ghana)

For a couple of months, a teenage boy kept walking past co-founders, Katie and Richard’s home; always greeting them with a friendly hello, accompanied by his usual question, “can I wash your van for you?” After declining a couple of times, Katie and Richard decided to chat with him and Kelvin revealed his story and why he wanted to clean the mobile library:

Kelvin was born in Ivory Coast and whilst being very young, his parents brought him to Ghana to visit his grandmother. Something that many parents couldn’t imagine ever doing – they then left him with his grandmother, and he has not seen his father since, and very rarely sees his mother.

With his grandmother being retired and having to also look after his brother and sister, she was unable to afford for Kelvin to go to school and so he spent his youth hanging around the neighbourhood, trying to earn money where he could. Unfortunately, his grandmother passed away and since then Kelvin has been really struggling. Luckily a lady in the same area took guardianship of him and was able to provide him with food when she has some left over and he’s been sleeping in the outside porch of her home on the cement floor. His brother, who is now 13 years old, moved to live with his auntie and is currently learning to be a mechanic.

Kelvin is 16 years old (or so he was told by his auntie, but he doesn’t know his date of birth) and although he was looking for cash in return for washing the mobile library, it was intended for a very good reason! To pay for school. Kelvin was adamant that he wanted to gain an education.

After Katie and Richard heard his story and visited his home nearby, they felt they had to do something to help Kelvin.

The story unravelled further when they took him to the local school to talk about fees and what class he’d be in. It appeared that Kelvin was a familiar face for the teachers; he had been there a few times with people who had said they would fund his education but never did! The sheer determination that Kelvin had shown in order to gain an education caused Katie and Richard to also be determined that he would not be let down again.

With the help of a sponsor family in the UK, Kelvin has now been attending school for the last three months. Pen to Paper Ghana have also provided him with a mattress to sleep on, school equipment and food to ensure he no longer goes hungry. They’ll be following him closely on his journey to reach his full potential.

Kelvin is unfortunately just one of many in this situation. For as little as £20 a month, you could transform a child’s future. Get in touch with us at to see how you can make a real difference.

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