The First Reformed Church of Bethlehem supports three missions. Two are in Oman: 1) Rev. Aaro Rytkonen, executive director of the Al Amana Centre and 2) Rev. Joshua Bode, pastor of the Protestant Church in Oman. The third mission we support is Kekeli, Inc. which was started by a member of our congregation and works with marginalized children and adults in Ghana, West Africa.
Kekeli, Inc. – a mission in Ghana
supported by First Reformed Church of Bethlehem
Carrie Brown with Rosamond, one of triplets, two of whom were born with hearing impairments.
Carrie Brown grew up in our church, having attended since she started coming with her parents at the age of six. As she went through school, her great joy was in her art classes, especially photography. During studies for her master’s of art degree, she had the opportunity to do an internship in Ghana, West Africa where she spent six months documenting life in a fishing village. She fell in love with the country and the people and was determined to return. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked and saved to go back and volunteer, teaching photography in three schools. It was there that she met some students with special needs. She realized the stigma that these children and their families faced every day, and she felt drawn to working with them.
In 2008, she started the nonprofit Kekeli, Inc. and went back to Ghana. Over the past twelve years, her mission has grown and changed from teaching photography to helping marginalized children and their families learn about their rights and advocate for them. Her dream is to establish a model inclusive school where disabled children can learn along with their non disabled peers.
The first step in achieving that dream occurred on February 14, 2019, with the commissioning of the Resource and Assessment Centre where children can be assessed for their physical and cognitive needs and receive speech therapy, physical and occupational therapy, and other forms of assistance. Plans are being made for two more buildings: one for nursery-kindergarten and a second for grades 1-6.