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.

Nov 12, 2016

Another Project Done and Dusted in Axim, Ghana

Last weekend, James Kainyiah, on behalf of Western Heritage Home and Ghana Together, “handed over” a renovated men's dormitory and UDDT type toilet to Madame Safiatu Seidu, Director of the Community Development Vocational Technical Institute located in Axim, Ghana.

James Kainyiah (front, 2nd from left in the wild yellow shirt) and Director Safiatu Seidu (pink headscarf) along with teachers in the front row join with students to celebrate the dedication of their newly-renovated dormitory

CDVTI has a long history in Axim, as a training school for textile design, dressmaking, cooking/catering, hairdressing, jewelry making, home and family management, entrepreneurship, basic computer science, English, business math, etc. Historically, most of the students were young women.

A few years ago we renovated the CDVTI girls’ dormitory, opening up opportunity for training to 40 or so young women from surrounding villages.

In the past 2-3 years CDVTI has added welding/fabrication, electrician, construction, auto mechanics, and other trades, all much-needed in the Axim area. These courses have attracted more male students. But without living quarters...

...maybe this building could be renovated into a guys' dormitory?

Well, yes, it could be. So this year, with a lot of help from local contractors and the students themselves, we fixed up this old building. Now 40 male students have a place to live. 

Dormitory as it looks now after being renovated

They slept on mattresses on the floor for 2nd term, but a local carpenter made 20 bunkbeds. Madame Seidu is thoroughly enjoying greeting the delivery motor-tricycle!

The carpentry students assembled the bunk beds, led by the guy in the yellow hat. Thank you, guys!

BUT, a new problem emerged---the guys were going to have to share the little two-compartment toilet currently used only by female teachers!! WHAT???

But, of course (!) Axim folks now know all about urine diversification/dehyration toilets, thanks to Engineers Without Borders (Bellingham-based...what a group!!). WHEW!!

So, before you know it,  CDVTI had a two-compartment, one-urinal, guys-only UDDT! (Thanks, Mr. Appiah, contractor extraordinaire. You're the BEST!)

Led by Kingsley Lamin (in the white hat), one of our WHH Scholars, the welding/fabrication students built a guard to secure the hand-washing container

One of the hoped-for "spin-offs" from this project is that these students now understand the concept and design behind the UDDTs---keeping urine and feces separate and available for use as fertilizer. Odor is much minimized. They are much easier to maintain. The students learning construction, especially, may find business opportunities, and use this knowledge in future as they graduate out into the work world.

We've been involved at CDVTI for many years. We really like the idea of vocational training, especially in a developing country like Ghana, which is trying to provide basic services, especially in more rural areas.

In addition to the renovation projects, we're currently supporting 14 students on scholarship at CDVTI. 

Ghana Together's Louise Wilkinson and Susan Hirst taught a Leadership Workshop for the entire CDVTI student body in Sept 2015. 

We hosted a Days for Girls Workshop for both guys and gals in March of 2016, led by Bernice Ankrah, Ghana DFG Country Manager, with menstrual kits supplied by Anacortes, Washington Days for Girls Chapter. 

And, we recently received a gift of about 100 up-to-date technical books on construction, plumbing, electricity, etc. for the pretty much, up-to-now, non-existent CDVTI Technical Library.

Thanks to all---financial investors, CDVTI and Western Heritage Home on-the-ground leadership, local contractors, student work teams...

Bit by bit we get it DONE!!! 


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We are a US-registered 501c3. Our FED EIN is: 2182965