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Our Story

At Mako Children’s Fund, we believe every child deserves to grow in a safe and supportive environment–to be protected enough to create a brighter future

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Our Beginnings

Our journey began in 1995, when local mother and teacher, Elizabeth Gbone, started an outdoor school for at-risk children in her rural village of Gbi-Wegbe, Ghana. She called it: Happy Kids. Elizabeth and her two sons, Emma and Godsway, dedicated their lives to the group’s growing needs–offering shelter, food and water from their own home.

 

In 2010, a group of Americans began

working with them to create a long-term partnership. Together, they established the Happy Kids Foundation to more sustainably grow their operations. Over the next decade, Happy Kids empowered hundreds of disadvantaged children in the region by building and running a school, dormitories, extracurricular programs and much more.

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Our Evolution

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, our organization faced insurmountable challenges. We lost 50% of our donors, saw growing inflation in Ghana, food shortages and school shutdowns. Children we typically kept safe and fed were isolated out of our care. This difficult time highlighted the divide between children with some survival resources and those with none. In 2021, we made sweeping changes to our organization to keep the most vulnerable children from falling through the cracks. We left the Happy Kids partnership and returned the school to Elizabeth Gbone. The US Board and two Ghanaian leaders prepared for a new chapter of child advocacy and charity work.

 

We called our new iteration: Mako Children’s Fund.

Today, Mako is dedicated to the children who are at risk of being forgotten, going missing or being forced to endure trauma without intervention. With the support from donors like you, we are able to fund and manage programs that bring long-term education, safety, health and individualized care to children who need it most.

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Our Mission & Vision

Our mission and vision provides a continuous approach: caring for disadvantaged children from a young age through early adulthood. We bring them education, housing, nutrition, income-skills training, mentorship and a whole lotta love. This includes strong values:  

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Consistency

Incremental changes make sustainable impact

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Heart

Our children show us love and courage; it is our duty to uphold the same

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Integrity

Working with honesty and accountability is in our DNA

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Love

We care profoundly for each other, our children and the mission

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Determination

We step up and we do not give up

Meet Mako’s Leadership & U.S. Board of Directors

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KNOX ODUMAH

Executive Director

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CHRISTINE JOSEPH

Vice President

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THERESAH AHIABOR

Child Experience Manager

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CHRISTY MAHAR

Director of Sustainability and Communications

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CASSIE ROSENGREN

President

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PAUL NEEDELS

Director of Finance

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SAMANTHA GRAVES

Director of Child Development

Together, we can build a brighter tomorrow

Every dollar counts in providing continuous care for our kids. Become a member of our EveryChild and Scholar Collectives, make a one-time donation or get involved as a volunteer or board member today.

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