If you ask me what the best interests of care leavers are, I will answer by saying: “pay close attention to them, because they need more than food, clothes, and a roof over their heads. They need role models and helpers.” You may be holding this book for a couple of reasons: probably because you want to satisfy your curiosity about care leavers or because you love care leavers and want to identify with their needs and wants. For whichever reason you are holding this book, I need you to know you have made the right choice. I need you also to know that it does not cost much to change a care leaver’s life. Yet, to them, your decision can mean the difference between life and death. No one knows how hard it was for me to write this book. For some reason, I found it more difficult writing than sharing the story orally. I did not want to write an inspirational book. I wanted to give people something real and hard-hitting to help them appreciate the ‘life beyond the orphanage’. I stopped writing many times because I had to retreat to let go of the humiliations and pains and release forgiveness to people who caused me great hurt. I agonized over relieving my heart of the pains of those experiences, and I wept for joy that I did it. While some of the memories brought a renewed sense of happiness, some brought depths of tears to the surface, and yet others brought to mind precious moments long forgotten. As you read this book, I invite you to pray with me and all care leavers.
Beyond The Orphanage – Hard Copy
This book creates awareness of care leavers in Ghana, that is, young people who have left care homes to live on their own. For too long, our focus has only been on supporting children in residential homes and not entirely on care leavers. In this book, the author brings to light the grim truth that without society’s support, the future of care leavers’ is unpleasant.
The let-it-all-hang-out honesty made her writing not only accessible but relatable, for beneath all the scenes and fantastic stories were recognizable human characters and emotions. This book is highly original. I think it makes the weather on so many vital topics, such as the real scuffles of care leavers.
While it may make some people (including experts and the media) uncomfortable, we need not just read, but listen as well. The book blends timeless and relevant knowledge, in the here and now, and ahead of its time.
Through honest communication and tenacious playfulness, Deborah boldly and bravely seeks, through her writing, to be the voice of the numerous care leavers in the world.
I am privileged to write the foreword for Deborah, a close friend, and someone who inspires me to work harder.
Dr. Kwabena Frimpong-Manso
(Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana)