My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Today...I fell in love!

Ever since I moved to our village of Doryumu, I have noticed the large number of physical and mental disabilities among us. The number adds up every day and I am simply surprised by the sheer quantity of them all.

It has been my goal to be able to welcome EVERY student into Faith Roots this upcoming year. I want to be able to support every learner. I know that this year, it will be difficult, as we are working with a staff that has not taught this kind of curriculum and has not taught in this manner. And yet, today, I had the opportunity to show some love to a little girl with Down Syndrome in the form of offering her an education.

Pamela came, all dressed up, to register for school, but when we told her of the school fees, her mother, a single women who sells things to make money, was worried that she wouldn't have enough to make ends meet. She was concerned about her daughter, telling us that she still hasn't started to speak (at 5 years old) and that she is very stubborn at times. I could tell that the mother was desperate to believe that her daughter would be alright. She just wanted her to be given normal opportunities.

Pamela's mother asked a friend to help her pay her school fees and the man was quick to accept, wanting to give Pamela opportunities that wouldn't be offered to her in other places or other schools.

I asked Pamela to come and she ran to me, bright and cheery with a quick smile on her face. She came and chatted with me, making sounds that weren't familiar to me. I am looking forward to the joys and the challenges of the year ahead as we teach this little one how to communicate, learn, and grow! She will be joining our preschool class this year and I'm excited to see what God does in and through her!

Pamela needs a partial sponsor. If you would like to help us sponsor her, please contact me autumn@cityofrefugeoutreach.com.


  1. thanks for sharing Autumn! I can't wait to see how she grows throughout the school year!

  2. What a cutie! My mom taught special ed for years (she's now a speech path), and I grew up with kids like Pamela. In high school, and for a few years afterward, I worked with both children and adults with special needs in group homes. I was so moved by the number of children with Down's syndrome in Doryumu. I have never seen another child in Ghana with Down's, but I have heard some terrible things that happen to kids with disabilities. Something different is happening in Doryumu, and it's good.

    Thanks for the work you are doing! I know you will be granted all of the tools you will need to work with these kids. I can't wait to see what you're doing in November!