The founder of the INTERNATIONAL UNION OF WESTPHALIAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGES IN THE
WORLD, the late Freidehelm Bertling was born in 1931 in Paderborn , Germany and died in Ghana on
21st January 2007.
From 1948 to 1951, he was trained as a gardener. From 1951 to 1959 he took up a
further study of "architecture of parks and gardens". From 1959 to 1960, he took up an appointment
as a Director the second SOS-Children's Village in Germany .
His experience at the SOS-Children's Village persuaded him to establish the
WESTPHALIAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGE in 1961, which has a different Concept.
The Westphalian Concept recognizes married couples with their own biological
children, a kind of fostership, as families, as compared to the SOS Concept which has only single
mothers and by the concept not permitted to be with any children of their won, as families in
charge of their homes. Whereas the SOS Children Village has only one "Father" in charge of their
Village, the WCV has a complete family, a mother and a father as couples in each of their homes.
This, however makes the WCV Concept unique but very expensive, since it takes partial care of the
foster families too.
In 1977, THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WESTPHALIAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGES was
established to enable foreign nationals who had expressed interest in his Westphalian concept of
the Children's Village, to establish their own in their respective countries. Hitherto, the
constitution of the Westphalian Children's Village in Barntrup , Germany limited both material and
financial assistance to ONLY the Westphalian Children's Village in Germany .
Prior to the promulgation of the constitution of the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION
OF WESTPHALIAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGES in 1977, one Mr. Alex Baidoo, a Ghanaian had established "the
Westphalian Children's Village , Ghana branch in Offinso , Ghana in 1973. This followed with the
establishment of the Westphalian Children's Village in Turkey , "VESFALLY A COCUK KOYU".
IN 1977, The Canadian Association of Westphalian Children's Village was also
established. During the same year, "The Westphalian Village of India ", The Westphalian Children's
Village in Togo and in Spain were also established, bringing the number of the newly established
Westphalian Children's Villages outside Germany to six. Due to some unforeseen problems almost all
the newly established villages outside Germany , except that of India could not survive.
With the cooperation of Mr. Sampson Owusu-Boampong a new INTERNATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF WESTPHALIAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGES at its present premises in Marienloh, Paderborn was
established in or around May 1983, with Mr. F. Bertling as the President and Managing Director and
with Mr. Sampson Owusu-Boampong as the Vice President.
In 1986, due to some serious problems, the project at Oyoko was brought to the
brink of collapse by the then Managing Director, Mr Owusu Bempah. As the fate of the Oyoko project
grew worse and was heading towards a total collapse, the President and Founder of the Association,
Mr. F. Bertling persuaded the then vice President, Mr Sampson Owusu-Boampong to relocate to Ghana
from Germany and take over the Oyoko project, which he did at a great cost. He had to abrogate his
PhD degree in Education he was about to complete, leave his lucrative job as the ONLY accredited
interpreter for the Ghanaian language "twi" for the courts in Berlin and for the Federal Office for
political Refugees and above all, leave his family with two kids behind.
Currently, there are only three of the Westphalian Children's Villages in
existence throughout the whole world. They are the Westphalian Children's Village at Oyoko in Ghana
, established in 1984, the Westphalian Children's Village in Sernegia, Peru established in 1986 and
the Westphalian Children's Village in Kerala in India established in 1977.
Thanks to the Almighty God from the existing three Westphalian Children's
Villages in the world now, evidence is abound to suggest that the "Westphalian Children's Village"
at Oyoko in Ghana under its Executive Director, Mr. Sampson Owusu-Boampong has made the most
significant progress. The attached "JUBLILLE CERTIFICATE from the board of Directors of the
International Association attest to this fact.