Emmanuel Effirim

Village Director Asiakwa SOS Children's Villages in Ghana


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In 2007, I was transferred from SOS Children’s Village Asiakwa to take the responsibilities of a youth leader who had resigned from his post at SOS Children’s Village Tema. About a month down the line there was a request from the national association on the data of all integrated young people.

There were no data to that effect when we went through the records. We contacted one of the integrated young people who manages a barbering salon about one kilometre away from the village for support. He gave his consent and lists of the integrated young people were provided. He provided us with some of the needed information.

The request was then to ask for the following information:
  • Total number of integrated young people
  • Employment status of each young person
  • Marital status of each young person
  • Home or abroad
  • Living or dead, etc.
It became very difficult moment for me as a new person in that seat who had little or no information about the integrated young peopel at that location. Thinking of even how to approach these young adults with such questions like “are you single or married?” etc. But with the support of the barber and some of the SOS mothers, we were able accomplished the task given.

A few months later a student from University of Ghana pursuing a PhD in Social Work interview the integrated young people as part of his project.

Another journey began again; an arrangement was made with these young people. Some accepted and others declined to grant the interview.

Finally after the exercise the student gave us the report on the feedback; some aspects were positive and others very negative. We studied the report and an arrangement was reached to hold a dinner for the integrated young people in appreciation for the support given to the student and also as a reconciliation and reunion of the young people and the village.

A number of the young people and some members of the senior management team were invited to the great and emotional event. For some of them it was a memorable day because that was the first time visiting the village since they were integrated several years ago.

During the event, these young adults gave life to an association that would be called SOS Old Children Association. The aim among others was to bring all integrated young people together, support each other through networking, support the village through various means and also serve as role models to young people in the villages.

Emmanuel Effirim

is Village Director at SOS Childen’s Villages Asiakwa in Ghana.


I am a teacher specialized in technical education. I have 26 years of working experience at different levels and locations. I joined SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in 2002 as a basic design and technology teacher. In 2005 I became a youth counsellor (youth leader) and later, the national youth development coordinator. 2007, I moved to SOS Children’s Village Tema to support our youth development programme. There I headed the formation of SOS Old Children Association (SOCA) with the aim to bring all the young adults (re-settled) together to serve as role models for the younger ones in the villages.

Born in 1961, I was raised by a single parent in a coastal town called Winneba in the central region of Ghana. I am married and we are blessed with three children – two boys and a girl. While our eldest son lives and works in Accra, Ghana, my wife, I and the other children live in Asiakwa, Ghana. The youngest son, 12 years, spends most of his time with SOS families, especially house 8 in Asiakwa.

I am active in our Christian Methodist church community: From patron of the Methodist Junior Choir at Asiakwa, to member of the church building and fundraising committee. I take time to render teaching services on basic design and technology to the students of Hermann Gmeiner College in Ghana. This is my contribution to seeing they come out in flying colours in their final exams.

As I come from a coastal town, I enjoy swimming and beach soccer. During festive occasions and national holidays, I enjoy visiting national park gardens, together with all the children, young people and the caregivers. Our favourite is Arboretum Gardens where there is a canopy walkway which is about 40 meters high and 300 meters long.