My name is Joy Allen. For many years, I have illustrated & written children’s books for various publishers including Penguin Putnam Random House, Little Brown, Dial Books for Young Readers & a host of others building a library of Seventy published books. I also license various artwork for many companies.
As I approached my retirement years, I wanted to use my talents to help make a positive difference in the world. I learned of Bright Water Foundation and its mission to bring safe water! I was hooked!
I have since helped put together Bright Water’s training manuals so that the local village SWE’s (Safe Water Experts) can be trained and then train their own villages to Teach, Test & Treat their supply of water. I also have created a children’s book and flyer called Kisi & Kofi All is Well!
This year, I visited Ghana. Here is my diary of one of the 6 schools I was blessed to visit:
“Got to go to my first school today! It was so precious! Children so polite, crowded in every nook and cranny peeking through the windows and doors- anxious to see the “obruni” (white person). They’re really aren’t windows, but openings where glass could be. Little eyes peeking over the ledges.
The children listened intently (three to a desk) and giggled at different parts of the story. I explained who I was and that I had written and illustrated many books, but now I wanted to do something special-I wanted to write a book for the children of Ghana so they could grow up healthy and strong! They clapped & thanked me. They loved the story time and we added some fun songs in too.
The “politeness” soon gave way to complete chaos when I started to give out the flyers of the story to each child. They all clamored together-hands reaching out to have one & to get a fist bump from me! I was surrounded with these beautiful, little ones! Someone tried to take a picture and one of the kids grabbed my glasses off my face! We all laughed! Such an experience!
I can’t completely describe what it’s like to experience these beautiful children. They surely deserve to grow up strong and healthy. May I only say, for me, it’s life changing!