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.

Apr 10, 2013

Done! Scratch The Dormitory Renovation Off the List!!

Readers may remember we highlighted the renovation of the Community Development Vocational Institute’s women’s dormitory as a top priority for 2013. Well, we can strike that one off the list!! Mission accomplished!

The sign...more or less! Zak IS getting the hang of photography, we're sure!
A top priority of Axim leaders is to increase vocational training for youth, especially females, many who live beyond reasonable walking distance from the Institute, which is the only such facility in the Nzema East District. But that requires a boarding facility that is clean, safe, and reasonably attractive.

About half the student body. Madame Hajara is on the left in yellow dress
Madame Hajara Yakubu, Headmistress of the Institute, drew up a detailed project proposal to renovate the dormitory, which was built in 1973 and was in dire need of attention. Designed to accommodate about 80 young women, by 2013 only 10-12 were crowded into the two viable rooms.  Enrollment is declining, due to lack of reasonable boarding accommodation, but the need for training is only increasing.
Western Heritage Home leaders forwarded Hajara’s proposal to our Ghana Together Board, which agreed to a grant of $5,500 (thanks).

By the time Maryanne Ward arrived in Axim on Jan 21, work had already commenced.
First step: repair that leaking roof.  

Next, rip out the water-damaged old ceiling, install new 2x6’s, and new ceiling.
See the little wire hanging down? ELECTRIC LIGHTS!! Next will come ceiling fans!
Repair the window frames, replace glass louvers where needed, and put new, high-quality mosquito screen on every window (malaria….).

Paint the whole darned place!

Some plumbing work is still needed. The students themselves promised to thoroughly clean up after construction, including scrubbing the floors. They are excited!

Most students attend this Vocational Institute for four years, learning multiple trades and specializing in a few: dressmaking, cookery/catering, home management, needlework and craft, hairdressing, computer literacy, entrepreneurship, basic mathematics, and English language.
Sewing---including their own clothing, uniforms, etc. Mom brings little one to class.

 Catering class---there is much demand for these skills in Ghana

At the end of their training, most go into small-scale businesses; some continue to higher institutions such as the Takoradi Polytechnic (like our community college) for further studies.

Most of the 45 current students are women, but young men are welcome. The school is working on expanding its curriculum to help students learn trades needed by emerging industries in the area.
Shortly before Maryanne arrived—surprise—the Government of Ghana arrived completely unannounced and installed a new desktop computer lab with internet-capable satellite dish and common business-level software! Now to hope for reliable electricity...

Student cost? For a full time student, the cost is about $275/year, including tuition, room, and food! NOTE: Since this is a vocational institute, costs are somewhat less than half than for Ghana's academic senior high schools. Students in this vocational school normally either have not qualified for academic studies or have chosen to go into "local trades."  
We have invested in this project on faith that these improvements will enable more students to receive training in these trades that are in demand and will improve their lives. We have confidence that local leaders will do all they can. We will stay in touch with Hajara and other leaders. Stay tuned!

Yes, scholarships are welcome.

Contact us at
Our website is (click on "News" to see more articles about on the ground happenings)