Newlove is a name that has come up in our announcements and prayers.
This is some of his story:
Newlove Atiso was born in Ghana, West Africa, the second of three sons,
who were followed by two daughters, five children in all. Newlove
received his name from his father Bob, and he later took a middle name,
Bobson, to honor his father. His mother came from a village in the
neighboring country to the east, Togo.
When Newlove visited Togo as a tourist, he felt at home. He decided to
move there and work for the needs of the poor. In 2008 he learned about
People to People International, which was founded by Pres. Dwight
Eisenhower to foster personal contacts around the world. Newlove and
his friends founded the PTPI-Togo chapter in the capital city of Lomé.
Soon after that, Newlove asked PTPI for a sister chapter in the U.S.,
and the Los Angeles chapter answered the invitation. (I was president
of the chapter then, and Leslie Kearney is the president now.)
Our first project together was to repair a school roof that had
literally collapsed onto children in a country village. Half of the
money came from LA, and PTPI-Togo volunteers did all of the labor. (The
school’s neighbors would not work without pay.)
In 2014 our members Joan and John spent a week in Togo, enjoying overflowing
hospitality. Among many adventures, they saw the school roof, built back
better than new. Beyond that, a Swiss official had recognized the
volunteer work and had caused the construction of a sturdy new building
with two much-improved classrooms. Then, a Turkish foundation learned
what was going on and contributed a well and a water pump so that the
children always have clean water to drink. All of this happened because
Newlove’s big heart had responded to children in need.
In the years since then, another member of PTPI-LA, Natalie Besse,
visited Togo and Ghana and personally underwrote a library and a water
storage unit. Also, we heard from a PTPI member in Delaware, Ed
Tucker. Ed visited West Africa on a cruise and, having only one day in
Lomé, sought out the PTPI chapter and became a friend and supporter of
Newlove. The Delaware chapter raised $2,300 to buy school supplies and
pay school fees for poor children in Togo.
Newlove stays in touch by emails and short phone calls, although both
are unreliable and expensive. He is a passionate advocate for
poor children, hoping that they can bring about a better time.