In 2011, our co-founder Courtney Bullard felt God calling her to build a home for girls in Ghana, Africa. It would be a refuge where the girls could be nurtured physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. And it would be called The Pearl House, inspired by the words of Matthew 13:45-46, “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
For the next two years, Courtney and her husband Steve prayed, researched, planned, and raised funds to make The Pearl House a reality. In 2012, they found the woman who would live and work at The Pearl House as CEO, International Operations, Courtney Garland was a longtime youth minister with a heart for Ghana, and the opportunity was one she had been praying for since 2009. Together, the team worked in the U.S. and Ghana to find the right space, the right staff, and the girls who would become our first “pearls.”
In July 2013, The Pearl House opened and became home to 20 diverse, incredible girls. Less than three years later, the group moved into a larger house to better accommodate staff, allow for more girls and provide rooms like the beloved Sara Walker Library, where the girls spend hours together reading and studying.
Today, The Pearl House is thriving. But countless young girls in Ghana still have nowhere to turn. They are living in extreme poverty and facing two bleak possibilities: being given away in marriage at a young age or fighting to survive on the streets of the nearest city.
At The Pearl House Academy, we provide a safe space for quality education, preparing students to be Christian leaders in their communities and their nation. The Pearl House Career Center provides vocational training to young women, equipping them with the professional and life skills they need to succeed. At Esombo, we are providing economic opportunity and employment for skilled women in Ghana, breaking the chain of poverty and improving the nation one woman at a time.
With continued support, we plan to care for even more girls—first in the existing house, and soon by opening additional houses, schools, and career centers. These goals align with our mission to protect, educate, and disciple at-risk young girls in underserved communities around the world. And they bring us one step closer to our vision of empowering young women to change their families, their communities, and their nation.
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