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.

Jul 11, 2017

How Are Those Western Heritage Home Scholars Doing??

Remember, way back, when James Kainyiah refused to identify a bunch of kids as "orphans" or what the Ghana Ministry of Women and Children calls "OVCs" (orphaned or vulnerable children)?

...NO, he said. No. These children are our SCHOLARS...we are making leaders of the least! ...And so we are.

Maryanne Ward traveled to Ghana in June and caught up with most of the 74 scholars Ghana Together supported in one way or another during the 2016-2017 school year. A wonderful adventure!!
Dorothy is in her last term of nursing school, and will graduate in November. She is currently doing clinical practicum in the hospital in Babiana, Ghana. 


Dorothy doing her practicum

Eric and Francis are both in automotive apprentice programs in Tarkwa and Takoradi. Maryanne met Francis’ mother briefly, who expressed her thanks. Unfortunately, We don't have up-to-date pics...
Philomena and Charlotte have graduated from Nsein Senior High School, both in the top ten of their class.

Philomena is working for Mr. Bentil as a receptionist in his business and also cares for her five younger siblings, because her mother is too ill to care for them. She is teaching her 14-year old brother to cook, so if/when she is accepted into nursing school in September, he can manage, he says, and he'll keep himself and the younger siblings in school. Then, when Dorothy becomes a nurse, she can help him with his own training.

Charlotte has started a small business selling water sachets, which she says has enabled her to support herself. Her Mom, who told Maryanne she finished 3rd grade herself, is just over-the-top proud of Charlotte and as a savvy market woman, has helped Charlotte launch her own little business. Charlotte also plans to go to nursing school in September, with our help.

Philomena, Maryanne, Charlotte, Charlotte's niece, and Charlotte's Mom

Emmanuella is finishing her first year at Ghana National College in Cape Coast, which has a specialized senior high school for blind students like her. She told us she's made friends, and has learned to "walk about the campus" unaided. She's learning via a "talking laptop", and will join the choir in September!

During the break, she will join her Auntie who has a small subsistence farm near Axim, and help out as much as she can.


Emmanuella with her laptop. She has a special program that reads her textbooks aloud, and headphones

Peter is finishing his term at Nsein Senior High. Peter will work during the break readying the Heritage Building for a new group of boarding female students from Manye Academy Senior High. He will finish his senior high school in spring of 2018 and hopes to go to university to become an engineer.

Peter and Maryanne discussing Peter's future!!

Kingsley (2nd year) and George (1st year) are finishing their term at Community Vocational Development Technical Institute (CDVTI). They are specializing in welding, but taking courses in English, math, computing, government, and some other basic vocational classes. During the break, they will work as "apprentices" to a local welder.


Kingsley and George---"brothers" in the art of welding!

Gifty and Ernestina are finishing their  year at Axim Girls Senior High School. Gifty wants to become a teacher and hopes to attend extension classes from the Winneaba School of Education, held right in Axim at the Manye Academy. Ernestina is about to enter her 3rd year of SHS.
Gifty and Ernestina with Maryanne---PURPLE is the school color!!

Johnson completed Junior High and will enter CDVTI in September and specialize in electrical work. He is working now with his uncle preparing little rubber plant shoots for planting.

Johnson and Maryanne

Godwin is finishing his 2nd junior high school term, and plans to take his BECE exam and graduate in August 2018.

Olivia is an entrepreneur, in business with her Mom, selling gari, a food made from cassava, and other food items.  
Maryanne and Olivia, near her and her Mom's food stand

Gladys is in 3rd level at Manye Academy and Ben in 4th level. These two, with Godwin and a few others, plan to spend time at the Heritage Building during their break, working with the One Laptop Computers, esp. the more advanced learning activities. Have fun and learn at the same time!!

Gladys, Maryanne, Godwin, and Ben

Twelve scholarship students at CDVTI will graduate end of August, specializing in vocations such as hairdressing, sewing, culinary arts, and carpentry. They also have training in entrepreneurship, family/home management, etc. They received Days for Girls and Leadership training in 2016.

Ghana Together scholarship graduates at Community Vocational Development Technical Institute (one is missing)

Thirteen Apewosika Village School-Christ the King scholarship students will graduate Level 6 and start at government-funded junior high school in September. We supported 50 primary students at this school during the 2016-2017 school year, helping this poor fishing neighborhood. Fishing is declining, and the community is struggling.



13 of these students are graduating Grade 6 and are headed for JHS---we are sorry we didn't get a pic of the actual 13!!


Each of these young men and women have been given a chance to overcome their circumstances through education. Ghana is investing liberally in education, with government schools initiating tuition-free senior high school this coming September.

In fact, when we started working in Ghana in 2006, there was no tuition-free education from primary through university.

On behalf of these 74 youngsters we've helped out during the 2016-2017 school year, we thank especially the adults in Axim ---James Kainyiah and Queen Mother Nana Adjow Sika, Evans Arloo (WHH Operations Mgr), Headmistresses/Headmasters, and teachers. Their dedication is inspiring.

 And we thank you, our dear readers...for your support and encouragement.

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For prior News Updates go to http://ghanatogether.blogspot.com

To respond to this email, hit "reply" or info@ghanatogether.org

To help out: http://ghanatogether.org/HTML/Donations.html


Jun 5, 2017

Way to Go Frederick!


Today, June 5, is a BIG day for Frederick Johnson, one of our Western Heritage scholars. He is just ONE of the 468,053 candidates who have sat this very day throughout the entire country for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination, which is given at the end of Junior High School.

Frederick Johnson, WHH Scholar, Junior High Graduate, Budding Electrician

In Ghana, education from Kindergarten through Junior High is available to all, boys and girls, and has been tuition-free for about ten years now.

However, there are limited slots for the next level of academic senior high and vocational schools. Hence the importance of the BECE exam, which determines whether or not a student is eligible to continue to the next educational level. The stakes are high!

The exam covers English Language, Ghanaian Language and Culture, Social Studies, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Basic, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, French (optional), Religious and Moral Education. Whew!!

Frederick's dream is to become an electrician. He has already informally apprenticed to Manye Academy’s staff electrician for two years, and is “famous” among his friends for his skills in this area. He will continue this apprenticeship and if his exam results are adequate, we’ll try to find a spot in a vocational/technical school for him.

We've known Frederick since 2008! He has attended Manye Academy since Kindergarten, which is when we got to know this talented, quiet, thoughtful young man. His family situation is such that he lived in the WHH Children’s Home early in his young life and then in the past few years has been a boarding student at Manye Academy.



Young Frederick in 2008, proud to be able to spell his own name!
We’re proud of you, Johnson. 

You will graduate Junior High this Friday, June 9. 

Congratulations!!

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For prior News Updates: http://ghanatogether.blogspot.com/




May 22, 2017

The wheels on the bus go… ♬♬


NOPE! Not the wheels but the windscreen, the bonnet, and the bumper... went...not “round, round, round”...but “crash, crash, crash” ---right into the building at the Axim Girls Senior High that houses the water generating plant..
…causing much damage (but not to the water plant--whew!). And James is “working with” the driver…who is OK, but….


…so general consternation all around! Although the Ghana Education Service provided the bus about a year ago, operations, repairs, maintenance are up to the school…and typically this is done through what is known as “the old boys” fund---
…from the very recent days when most high school graduates WERE ”old BOYS”, and were able to collectively donate to alumni funds…

but since this is a new GIRLS’ school, with maybe only a couple of classes graduating and therefore very few “old girls”… not much alumni leverage here…
…and how are the current students living a distance to get to school? Get to another high school for all-important tests? Get to other events like their recent debate with Nsein High School on how to stop corruption (which they WON)…and…


Crammed into a teacher's van to go to debate contest--before new bus came on the scene!

…well, to make a pretty long story a bit shorter, after much “Whatsapping” with James and Headmistress Theodora, we decided to...

...raid our bank account of $3000 and get the darned bus FIXED. Unexpected expenses, but we’ve been committed to this school for a long time and this is no time to be slackers!!

...and the windstorm came…and ”whoosh, whoosh, whoosh”…

…and blew off some of the roof of the Heritage Senior High Dormitory Building! BUT generous Aximites got that all back in shape by themselves---thank you, guys!

Thanks for the help, guys. We can see the need for paint, too.

…and then the horn on the ship went “toot, toot, toot”...

…as it pulled into the port at Tema with 982 children’s books on board!
…which at this moment are all processed and ready to flow out to schools via the tricycle mobile library.

Thanks to you all in this sturdy network of collaborators who keep this stream of “literacy enabling devices” going across the great Atlantic!

Library staffer Gaddiel processing the new books! Good guy! He's very skilled at driving the motor tricycle, too.

And on the library front, the new government is pledging to build 60 new public libraries in rural areas, and Axim leaders are requesting one be built there. Wow! Wouldn’t that be great?

Maryanne plans to visit Axim in the next few weeks, following up on the Days for Girls workshop on menstruation, UDDT toilets, library programs, scholarship students (74 at last count, and other projects.   

We thank you, dear readers, for your support and encouragement.
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For prior News Updates go to http://ghanatogether.blogspot.com

To respond to this email, hit "reply" or info@ghanatogether.org

To help out: http://ghanatogether.org/HTML/Donations.html


Jan 14, 2017

We Can Only Say Thank You


Yes, we are grateful!
The 2nd term of the school year is launched in Axim, Ghana, and we’re happy to report that thanks to YOU, we are able to keep 74 students in school. Support ranges from 100%, including tuition, room, board, books, uniform, underwear, etc. to just tuition with extended families picking up the other costs.

Here’s the breakdown of students

-One is in her senior year of nursing school
-Four are in academic senior high school
-Fourteen are in vocational senior high school
-One is apprenticing with an auto mechanic/garage association
-Two are in junior high
-Fifty-two are in primary school

Most, if not all, simply would not be in school without our help. They pretty much fall into what the Ghana Ministry of Women and Children calls “OVCs” (orphaned and vulnerable children).
*****
In addition, there are 25 boxes of books somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean right now, thanks to a wonderful “chain” that starts with generous donations of high-quality children’s books and culminates with Ghanaian ex-pats who arrange shipping, get the boxes from the ship, and deliver them all the way to Axim Public Library.
They will arrive at the Port in Tema in February and after that to Axim. Thanks to all the hands in the chain!
*****
We add our congratulations to the people of Ghana for holding a peaceful election, and orderly transfer of power on Jan 7, 2017 from President Mahama and the National Democratic Party to the new President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and the New Patriotic Party. The NPP also won a majority in Parliament.
This was their 7th election under their democracy, and with Mr. Addo, they have had 4 different men as President, under their present democratic system.
We really enjoyed President Addo’s inauguration outfit---a mix of traditional kente but with splashes of NOT so traditional hearts, flowers…not sure what it all meant...maybe honoring tradition but signaling love of country with the hearts and new innovative solutions with the flowers, or??--- but it was splendid by all accounts!

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Email: info@ghanatogether.org  (or just respond to this email)



Mailing Address: 808 Addison Place, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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