Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas recently released an investigative piece which shows how inmates at the Echoing Hills Village Orphanage are badly treated and forced to live under inhumane conditions.
A lot of issues on what the inmates go through and how they are treated at the orphanage were featured in Anas’ documentary. The most prominent of the issues which got many people interested was the incident of an orphan eating his own faeces in the home’s artificial prison.
Anas after premiering the documentary has been posting a series of write-ups with regards to the investigation on his website and his Facebook page.
He has posted four write-ups so far. They write-ups are titled:
“When A Man Of God Decides To Kill In An Orphanage. When Your Saviour Is The Enemy”, “When Sodomy, Sexual Exploitation, Other Inhuman Treatment Take Over Rev. Lamina’s Orphanage”, “When Reverend Lamina Steals Food For Orphans And Sells For His Personal Gains, and “Orphan Child Eats Own Faeces, Man of God in Abuse Galore”.
Below are the issues Anas featured in his investigation:
The General Manager of Echoing Hill Village Orphanage, Rev Lawrence Lamina, was captured in a secret camera attempting to stab one of the children of the orphanage, as caretakers restrain him.
Knife-wielding Rev Lawrence Lamina was seen being held back and at a point pegged down into a chair by some of the caretakers who tried desperately to prevent their boss from carrying out his threat to kill one of the children in his orphanage.
Inhuman Punishments on Inmates
In a related incident, Reverend Lamina and some of the caretakers were filmed meting out various forms of inhuman punishments on the children. These callous acts included Rev Lamina asking some kids to slap themselves, caretakers hitting children with sticks, knocking kids in the head and detaining children in cells for long hours and sometimes, days.
Child Labour and Negligence
The General Manager and the caretakers of the home often subjected the inmates to child labour for their personal gain. Some of the children in the home are made to carry concrete blocks or firewood while others are employed to push trucks loaded with sand from the home to clients outside, with the money going to the taskmasters; the General Manager and the caretakers. Some of the children, especially the physically challenged, when they soil themselves, could be left with the mess for hours.
Children with physical conditions that require that they are spoon-fed are usually left to feed themselves and they end up spilling a chunk of the meal.
Caretakers and Inmates Raping/Sleeping with Girls in the Orphanage
In a conversation that was secretly filmed, an inmate of the home by the name Kushi narrated how he continuously had sex with one of the girls in the orphanage and how the same girl graces the bed of a caretaker of the orphanage also.
According to Kushi, he usually sleeps with the girl in question by the name Nana Akua (not her real name) in some of their classrooms after everyone had left the premises. And this sometimes takes place after a long wait for Nana Akua to emerge from the house of Joseph, the rival Nana Akua once disclosed to him that he gave her 2 Cedis after a particular escapade.
There were also instances where some of the boys were accused of practising sodomy which led to Rev Lamina ordering them to slap each other several times amidst beating them with a stick as their punishment. One of the accused boys explained that some of the boys have been practising this act in the chairman’s room and they lure other kids into doing it.
Neglect and Inhuman Treatment
In a related development, the home that was supposed to provide some comfort and relief to the disabled and needy children is gradually turning into a den of maltreatment and neglect as some of these disabled children are neglected to their own fate to the extent that some of the children even defecate on themselves and carry the mess for hours. This situation usually arises when the disabled children are detained in a “cell” for some wrongdoings for a period of time, usually between a day and 4 days.
General Manager Steals Donations and Sells for his Personal Gains
Reverend Lawrence Lamina, the General Manager of Echoing Hills Village and pastor at the Hope Community Church, has been secretly filmed stealing and diverting items donated to the home to his private shop for sale to the public. In what can be likened to pouring water into a leaking pot, food and other items donated to the home by philanthropists are carted away almost as soon as they arrive, thus leaving a permanent hole in supply. The kingpin of this syndicate, ironically, is Rev Lawrence Lamina, General Manager of the home.
In a related development, the village meant to be home for the homeless, abused children, the neglected and the disabled, is gradually turning into a boarding house where some parents pay boarding and tuition fees to the general manager to get their able-bodied children to stay in there.
Orphan Child Eats Own Faeces
In an incident, an orphan was seen eating his own faeces in the home’s artificial prison. The victim, the reason for whose detention wasn’t known, was captured in a secret filming eating his own faeces from what looked like a diaper spread in front of him. It was a sad spectacle of total chaos as the other child inmates looked on in amazement while others run around beating the weaker ones.
Donation from Orca Deco and Latex Foam
From the investigation, it was realised that Echoing Hills Village enjoys a lot of goodwill among charity organisations and individual philanthropists, on the evidence of the donations that pour in almost every day. For instance, it was one of five orphanage homes chosen by Orca Deco for a bedroom furniture donation during the company’s 15th Anniversary celebration. It also received mattresses worth GHS 12,750.00 from Latex Foam.
About Echoing Hills Village
Echoing Hills Village was established in 1994 at Madina by Reverend Cordell Brown to aid the survival of the homeless, victims of child abuse, orphans and neglected children including children with disabilities and special children the Ghanaian society.
You can watch the full video Anas’ website, jesuisanas.org.
source: Anas Aremeyaw Anas