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 http://ghanatogether.org tells our story.

Aug 29, 2013

First Ever Video: Renovating the JHS building in Axim, Ghana

We realize we’re in danger of overloading you with emails but since this is the first-ever video we’ve ever received from anyone in Axim, we just have to share it! 

(And this may not work...we're probably more clueless than the Ghanaians on this stuff. You can always go to http://ghanatogether.blogspot.com if the email version of the video doesn't work...)

It’s a mystery! Did someone actually get a cell phone that takes videos? (They do have 70% or so “cell phone penetration”, but still…) Maybe a wandering British or Ghanaian ex-pat visitor was trying out a new camera? James sent the video as a big “surprise” with no explanation, probably trying to amaze us! (We are amazed, James, really we are! Now to get the darned thing to play!)

Remember about two weeks ago we reported on the project to renovate a JHS school to provide three more classrooms and a small office?

You can see the workers in action! So nice to know we’re helping on the job front! When the skilled guys are done, the PTA will move in with paint brushes, brooms...

You’ll see in the video background a couple of nicer buildings, but also a very large one with no roof at all. We’re hoping to tackle that roof next, as funds allow.



video


The additional really good news is that WHH is also replacing the roof on the Heritage Building because the short spans just could not stand up to the torrential tropical rains on that very large, flat roof. But, they’ll work fine on this smaller JHS building with pitched roof, so WHH is donating those materials to this project...recycling, saving cedis, community effort...

Step at a time.

To contact us: info@ghanatogether.org
For more info: http://ghanatogether.org

Aug 26, 2013

Laptop Hand-Over to Axim All-Girls High School


As a follow-up to moving the Jerome Chandler Science Resource Center to the newly-certified Axim All-Girls High School, Headmistress Stella Adjei was presented with a laptop computer. It is outfitted with a satellite modem, which provides internet access, as well as open-source office type software.

The laptop will be used for research, email, and administrative purposes by Madame Stella and teachers.

Ghana Together thanks PACCAR Technical Center for the generous gift of several laptops. These laptops make excellent “internet machines.” Another of the laptops was presented earlier to Madame Mercy Ackah, the Director of the Axim Public Library.

In the photo, James Kainyiah, Chairman of our partner organization Western Heritage Home, conducts the “hand-over” to Madame Stella, while the school’s accountant (whose name we unfortunately didn’t catch) witnesses the ceremony.





We note that this formal procedure of “handing over” items, responsibilities, etc. is an important part of the local culture. Even rather simple transactions, such as this one, are customarily accompanied by a simple but important and not casual ceremony marking the occasion. 

Formal expressions by both the giver and receiver are exchanged, culminating in a handshake. It indicates publicly, with witness, that responsibility has been formally passed from one person or entity to another.

We have had the pleasure of meeting Madame Stella, who started her tenure with the AAGHS in January 2013. She has served the Ghana Education Service in several administrative positions in the Western Region. She expressed to us her excitement and energy for putting this new high school "on the map," as she put it. And so she will!


To contact us, email info@ghanatogether.org
For more information, see http://ghanatogether.org

Aug 16, 2013

Axim JHS Renovation Project Begins



This un-used building sits on a multi-building Primary-JHS public school campus in the heart of Lower Axim, in one of its most-crowded neighborhoods. Because the Ghana Education Service now funds K-JHS education, the school has experienced a large increase in student population in the past few years. The school’s viable classrooms are on double session, with 45-55 kids in the morning and another 45-55 in the afternoon.
PTA Leaders with James Kainyiah, WHH Board Chair, in maroon shirt

The PTA had the idea that if they could get this building into usable condition, it could accommodate JHS students plus a small office for Headmistress Esther Abbey, relieving the over-crowding somewhat.

PTA members cleaned up the site, and  are bringing in cement blocks, sand, etc.

So PTA members took action to get this building into usable condition. They have cleaned up the site, brought in blocks, sand, and are volunteering the lower skilled work, such as preparing the work site, small repairs, painting, and clean-up. They are trying to raise funds locally for the window frames with mosquito screening.

Looks like this PTA member is removing the old door frame 
The PTA asked Western Heritage Home, our partner organization in Axim, for some financial help. WHH in turn presented a project plan to Ghana Together, which we approved at our August 8 Board Meeting.

Having visited this campus many times, we know this school's population challenges. The plan calls for about $10,000 US, which we, by some miracle, have on hand!  :)
The contractor begins work next Tuesday, August 20.  Hopefully, when school opens in mid-Sept, the building will be ready!! When it's finished, we think it will look a lot like this nice primary school building, on the same campus.




Contact us at info@ghanatogether.org