Ghana Together works with our Ghanaian friends of Western Heritage Home, a Ghanaian-registered and managed non-profit, to improve social, educational, and health conditions in Axim, Ghana. Together we accomplish projects, connect WHH to resourceful individuals and organizations, and create sustainable programs. We make a real difference to real people in a local, grassroots effort. Our website at tells our story.

Dec 16, 2009

First Student Completes Extensive ICT Course in WHH Computer Learning Laboratory in Axim, Ghana

Ivy, seen here with her WHH ICT teacher Maxwell Quarm, is a very special lady! She is the first bona fide student to complete the Academy's newly launched Information, Computing & Technology (ICT) program. Ivy is a graduate of Badu-Bonso Senior High School in Agona (about 25 miles from Axim). It was her Father who urged her to register for the courses. He wants her to be computer literate and suitable for the job market, he says, and has been fully supportive of Ivy's determination. She will finish the course Friday this week!

WHH provided Ivy accommodations in the Women's Hostel on the 2nd floor of their facility, near the Computing Laboratory. Ivy prepared her own meals in the WHH facility's kitchen (thank you Kirkland Rotary for funding the kitchen!).Without this assistance, this computer training would have been beyond the reach of Ivy and her family. We congratulate Ivy on her major accomplishment and also Maxwell who has been with her every step of the way.

Starting with a small set of used laptops donated by Claudine and Mark Rubin of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Inc. (bless you!),  the Western Heritage Home Academy has launched a Vocational Computer Learning Laboratory on the 2nd floor of its facility in Axim. The Lab is aimed especially at young adults who have finished school or at working folks needing ICT skills as Ghana's economy modernizes. Starting from humble beginnings with just two students, the Academy is now actively registering students and will be fully operational in January 2010.

Leif Pederson, Ghana Together's VP for Planning and Technology, has actively mentored this new program. Frank Cudjoe, a Ghanaian friend from Axim who works professionally in IT in Accra, has helped out during trips back to his family home in Axim Town. Pat and Bill Gick provided coordination and logistical support. Maxwell Quarm, an experienced ICT teacher, joined WHH in early Fall 2009. Maxwell has prepared a curriculum, and joins with Ariana Amarh, WHH Manager, in marketing the program to the greater Axim community. Maxwell also mentors the WHH Scholars and neighborhood friends with the One Laptop Per Child computers, aimed at the "little guys" (and bless you, all your OLPC'ers out there!).

WHH's dream is to create a center of excellence for computer learning in the Axim area. From these humble beginnings, their dream is becoming reality!

Nov 18, 2009


Jerome Chander, retired Skagit Valley College instructor, conducted three week-long science workshops for Axim junior high science teachers.  The classes were held in the conference room at the Western Heritage Home Community Learning Center. In spite of challenges---heat, humidity, overheated overhead projector, transportation difficulties---more than 30 young science teachers participated. The closing ceremony featured young women dancers, residents of the Children's Home, who had been practicing their traditional dances, complete with drummers. An unforgettable experience for all involved.
Jerome has put together a website with more photos and stories at

Nov 11, 2009

Joana Goes to School

Joana, the next to newest child to join the Western Heritage Home family, started school two weeks ago! This photo, taken on her very first day, obviously shows how much she loves going with all her "siblings" down the path to the Manye Academy where she is enrolled in the nursery class. Barbara Davis, the Home Mother, reports that she especially loves her new blue uniform---so proud to be just like all other children!

Joana was brought to the Home by her very elderly grannie some months ago, when her family situation became untenable. She has joined the Home at the request of the Nzema East District Social Welfare Department. Suffice it to say that we of Ghana Together feel a great deal of satisfaction that, thanks to the WHH Children's Home, dedicated staff, and support of friends, this precious little girl has a chance at life!

Oct 1, 2009

Western Heritage Home Hires New Manager

WHH has hired Ariana Amerley Amarh as Manager. Ariana is a graduate of University of Ghana-Legon with degrees in sociology and history. Her prior experience includes work in sales and teaching, She did her national service in the Department of Social Welfare, Sekondi, as an Assistant Hospital Welfare Worker. Welcome Ariana!!

In the photo, Peter proudly shows off his One Laptop Per Child computer to Ariana while Barbara Davis, WHH Home Mother, works on the office computer in the background, with help from Eric. Twenty-two children currently are part of the WHH family. WHH also runs programs in senior secondary tutorial and exam preparation, vocational computing, and supports health and sanitation projects in the town of Axim, Ghana. Ghana Together partners with WHH and supports their work. For more about WHH, please see:

Sep 27, 2009

Axim Welcomes Science Workshop

Our last post was about Jerome and Paul going to Axim, Ghana. This photo of the welcoming banner says it all! Meanwhile the Engineers Without Borders team arrived safely home yesterday. Soon we'll post a few photos of their work on Axim water resources.

Sep 23, 2009

Science Workshops in Axim

Jerome Chandler, Professor Emeritus, Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA will conduct three week-long workshops for 66 JHS science teachers in the Axim, Ghana School District. With the generous assistance of many friends, Jerome has assembled an impressive set of low-cost materials, mostly built out of ordinary household materials, to demonstrate the principles of physics. He is basing his workshop content on the Ghanaian Dept of Education JHS Science Curriculum.

For example, shown here is a portable tripod, used to support a pendulum, which he says "perfectly demonstrates the scientific methodologies of observation, measurement, and repeatability." Another innovation is the use of two ordinary "slinkies" at about $1.50 each, sewn together with copper wire, with which he can demonstrate all kinds of compression, and wave action, including surfs, tides, currents, etc. (Axim being on the Atlantic Ocean, this is very down-to-earth). He made a simple jigsaw puzzle to show continental plate tectonics, and has various other simple devices to show electrical currents, ultraviolet light, and other natural phenomena. Jerome found a good used overhead projector and assembled dozens of visual materials---creating them himself or through the generosity of Skagit Valley College Science Department. On each overhead transparency he indicates the exact spot in the Ghanaian Science Curriculum that contains the concept he is conveying. All of the materials will be left with the Nsein Senior High in Axim to be available to teachers throughout the district.

The workshops are an outgrowth of conversations between Ghana Together visitors to Axim, and the science curriculum leader there, Mr. Sarfo Hayford. The teachers asked us to find a creative teacher to help them figure out how to teach their curriculum with simple local materials they can afford---not a simple request in a severely strapped community, where the basic teaching materials are blackboard, chalk, and exercise book!

Jerome is accompanied by his son Paul Chandler, who will assist him and also work with the children at WHH Children's Home on One Laptop Per Child Computers and teach them how to play harmonicas!

The workshops are sponsored jointly by Western Heritage Home (Ghanaian NGO), and Ghana Together in conjunction with the Nzema East Education District-Axim.

Sep 7, 2009

Engineers Without Borders-NW Washington Chapter Heads to Axim

Two years of planning...countless meetings...numerous phone calls to Ghana (not easy given the erratic phone service and the unfamiliar accents!)...FINALLY, the Bellingham-based Engineers Without Borders Team is heading to Axim, Ghana.

Led by Ravyn Whitewolf, whose daytime job is working as a lead in the Bellingham City Engineering Department, the team includes 5 civil engineers, plus a professional surveyor. They are heading to Axim to work with the Ghana Water Company. Their mission? To work with Wilson Kwadam, Axim Water Company Manager and his engineers to assess the inadequate water supply now available to the city of Axim and formulate a plan for increasing it.

Ravyn also is a Ghana Together Board member. We are thrilled that we, together with Western Heritage Home, our partner NGO in Axim, are able to help with communication, lodging, transportation, and other logistical aspects for the EWB team.

The team has created a blog to forward news while they are in Axim. To learn more about their project and follow their progress, please click on:

May 21, 2009

Ghana Together Brings OLPCs to WHH Children's Home in Axim, Ghana

It's a long story...
MIT Media Labs decided to design a computer especially for children in emerging countries. So was born the One Laptop Per Child computer. To jumpstart the program and introduce the computer, it was offered to Americans on a BuyOne/GiveOne program. Ghana Together suggested via blogs and news sites that some who had enjoyed their OLPCs for a year or so might want to donate them to the children for whom they were designed. And so, miracle of miracles, folks donated, and in April, three of our GT team brought 24 to Axim, Ghana and taught the children in the WHH how to use them. And further miracle: there were enough so each child had one of his/her own! Well, talk about fun...

Leaders in Ghana Together and Western Heritage Home are both so proud that we introduced these technological breakthroughs to out-of-the-way Axim where not much new ever comes to town! And if you're reading this, and have one sitting on a get the idea.

But we won't go on and on. Would you like to see some photos? Click here and maybe a further miracle will occur and photos will actually appear!!

Mar 12, 2009

Western Heritage Home Launches Remedial Classes for Senior Secondary Graduates at the WHH Academy in Axim, Ghana-Updated as of 5/11/09

Western Heritage Home (WHH), Ghana Together's Ghanaian partner NGO, has launched its second major program: The WHH Academy. The Academy operates on the newly finished 2nd floor of the WHH Children's Home/Community Learning Center facility in Axim, Ghana. Thanks to a grant from Boeing Community Relations (West Africa), there are two medium-sized classrooms and one very large conference room that can be divided, plus a small computer learning lab. Donations from family and friends of Ghana Together funded chairs, blackboards, and some tables. All were constructed by local craftsmen.

The FIRST initiative of the WHH Academy is the launch of a remedial program for Senior Secondary School graduates.

After a little more than a month in operation, 33 students are registered and are receiving remedial tutorial classes to prepare for their secondary school exams. These students have graduated from senior secondary school (equivalent to our US high school), and now must pass a set of rigorous exams to compete for a slot at university or polytechnic level. Most have taken the exams in a dozen or more subjects, and have passed many but not all. They typically study for up to six months to prepare for the second round. Currently, WHH is hosting classes in English, math, physics, biology, government, and literature. Others will be added depending on students' needs.

The program is the only one in the Nzema District, with population of some 150,000 in all. It is much-needed because only about 3% go on to to tertiary education from Nzema District. Until now, students had to travel to one of the major cities, an impossibility for most both in terms of distance and expense. Suffice it to say, this program is generating a lot of local enthusiasm. WHH has advertised by radio "jingles" throughout the Western Region.

The WHH Academy's aim is to be self-sufficient financially in terms of operating costs. Students pay 20 cedis per subject per "term"--about 2.5 months (about $15 US). Classes run Monday-Friday, 3:00-6:00 pm. Although many students are from the Axim area, some have come long distances, involving 3 hours or more bus rides. WHH has space for a women's hostel to accommodate up to 15 women in the WHH Facility, and has rented an apartment to serve as a hoStel for up to 15 young men. Students cook their own meals. Families sacrifice much to give at least one of their children this opportunity.

Teachers, called "Masters", are the most senior teachers from the local Nsein Senior Secondary School. Mr. Donald Kingsley Amokwaw, Senior English and Literature teacher, is the "Head" of the Masters, who work on contract, and coordinates schedules, etc. Patrick Kwofie, Asst Mgr of WHH, coordinates the program on behalf of WHH.

The Academy will add additional initiatives after the remedial program is well-established and running well. The WHH Board approved the following Mission Statement in early 2009.


WHH Academy is initiated by Western Heritage Home (WHH), a Ghanaian-registered and managed NGO based in Axim, Ghana, to aid in the actualization of the dreams of our forefathers Dr. Anton Amo, Paa Grant, Kwame Nkrumah and others, insuring that the citizenry of Nzemaland in particular develop fully to lead the good life and that the Western Region in general continues to project its accolade “The best is in the West!”

To provide a variety of educational opportunities and academic facilities for young and old.

1. Offers remedial classes for secondary students so senior high school leave-takers can learn on weekdays and Saturdays
2. Provides information, advice, and counseling---health, academic, personal, and career---to youth
3. Through its Reading Institute, sponsors Reading Camps and Forums, and provides a basic library of reading education resources for everyone
4. Offers adult literacy and self-improvement education
5. Offers classes in computer literacy and ICT training

The WHH Children’s Home/Community Learning Center provides state-of-the-art classrooms, a computer laboratory, a conference room equipped with conference-style seating, a career/business and literacy library and reading room, and a temporary hostel for non-residential students.

Ghana Together offers our congratulations and support to our WHH friends! We're so proud of them and of our own contributions to making this dream come true.

Jan 6, 2009


On the 8th of December, 2008, The Adventist Church Pastor in Axim visited the Home. He went into prayers with the children including all the staff. His concern was how to build the children spiritually and he thought of organizing all the pastors and elders of various churches to conduct home prayers with the children on every Sunday.

The children are on vacation and they are all set in the home with their usual household chores. The children at times go to the cassava farm to weed under the young plants, the uprooted cassava are being replanted by the mother and the children.

Awulae Attiburukusu (Omanhene of Lower Axim Traditional Council, aka “Chief”) celebrated his 20th Anniversary on 14th December, 2008, at his Palace and he invited the Western Heritage Home children to the programme. He donated a 20”inch colour television to the children. A silver collection was made for the children and they had GH¢150.00.Emmanuella sang and it touched some of the chiefs and the congregation’s heart. She got an amount of GH¢ 51.00.

Three of the chiefs pledged to give the children rice and oil for the Christmas.
Mr. and Mrs. T have pledged to take care of Emmanuela Dein’s eye problem.
Mr. and Mrs. P from Takoradi have pledged to give the children 2 bags of rice and a gallon of oil.
Dassebre K, President of Central Regional house of chiefs will give 2 bags of rice, a gallon of oil and 200 cedis.

The-Omahene [Chief] of Cape Coast Traditional council pledged 2 bags of rice.

On the 21st of December, 2008, visitors from the U.S.A, relatives of Miss Polley, who an Axim retired teacher and Board member of Western Heritage Home, visited the home and presented 18 towels to the children and they all sang and thanked them in appreciation for what was given to them by the Couple.

Again all the staff and the entire members wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

A wall is being created with flowers as a hedge around the home on the 25th December, 2008, and it is almost completed.

Jan 5, 2009

Engineers Without Borders Approves Axim Clean Water System Extension Project!

After a year of extensive research and compiling information, including resources from two additional trips to Ghana, an application to Engineers Without Borders for the Axim water project was made in September 2008. Acceptance of the project by a new Engineers Without Borders chapter called the Northwest Washington Professionals in Bellingham, Washington provided the final momentum for the submittal to take place. November 10, 2008 brought official word of approval of the project application with comments that the project scope “seems well-researched “ and that the “The project team seems well qualified to carry out this project. “

With the acceptance by Engineers Without Borders, fund raising for the project has begun in earnest. A grant application was made in December, 2008 that will fund about half of the project. In addition, the project design of the improvements needs to be developed and submitted for review and approval prior to traveling to Ghana for implementation. A team of EWB engineers from the Bellingham, WA area, led by Board Member Ravyn Whitewolf, is now working on the next steps in this exciting process.