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.

Oct 29, 2008

WHH Scholars Try Out New Computer Lab

Thanks to the generosity of 1-800-Got-Junk? Inc, plus logistical and technical coordination by Project Reddot, Axxiom HealthCare Alliance, and Ghana Together, the WHH Children's Home/Community Learning Center now has a new computer lab outfitted with 8 refurbished laptop computers. They join the two desktop computers brought earlier by a Ghana Together team member.

The first class, taught by Barbara Davis, started Monday, Oct 27 with the older children living in the Children's Home comprising this initial "test class." Soon the lab will be open to youth and adults in the wider Axim community who desire to learn "vocational computing."

This is the second community development program launched by WHH in partnership with Ghana Together---the first being opening a Children's Home for up to 35 homeless and mostly orphaned children and ensuring their education.

Oct 13, 2008

What a Difference Two Years Can Make!

We show here two photos of the WHH Scholars living in the Children's Home in Axim, Ghana. Two had to be "pasted" in, because they weren't present for the photo. The first shows the children in summer 2006. The second shows most of the same children in April 2008. Although the photos are not strictly comparable, the effects of nearly two years of plenty of nutritious food, regular school attendance, and the psychological security of having a stable home are dramatically evident!

Same Children April 2008

Sep 30, 2008

WHH Administrative Assistant Anastasia Amoo Starts Business School

To our readers:
Below is an article written by Anastasia Amoo, who for 1.5 years has been the administrative assistant at the Children's Home. She has decided to leave to get further business training, and will continue to serve, she says, as a "volunteer ambassador" for Western Heritage Home and its programs in Axim. Anas, with her computer skills and compassion, was instrumental in launching the children's program. She deserves fulsome thanks. We think you'll find her article about her career, the school she will be attending, and her general comments very interesting. She is replaced by Barbara Davis, who will also be teaching beginning vocational classes in the new WHH Computer Learning Lab. We wish her well and will keep in touch. (comments by Maryanne)
About Anastasia and her career
Miss Anastasia Aba Amoo was born on the 5th of December 1982 in Sekondi an old coastal town in the Western Region of Ghana. She is the first born among a family of six (6) including her favorites personality being her Daddy Mr. Jimmy Amoo and her Mummy Mrs. Eunice Amoo.

She is good Christian and single started basic school in Naval Base from 1988-1997. Her secondary education landed her on the premises of Ahantaman Senior Secondary School (1998-2000). Her undying passion for technology made her enroll as a trainee on computer software at smart computer institute in 2001; this as well led her to practice Journalism with Good News FM Ghana Limited which for her was her life time experience in August 2002.

However her aspiration of working as a full time secretary was not lost but rather boosted after a good outstanding performance in NACVET on English language, typing and office practice in November 2004.

Since then Anastasia has gathered a high volume of working experience as a Secretary and Typist for the Commissioner for Oaths Accra, Typist and Secretary for Westlandes Company Limited, Ghana Railway Company limited, FABI-BRM Wood Processing Company Limited.

Anastasia has certainly placed the sky and even above it as her limit there is therefore the need to upgrade in her limit in her chosen career in order to really hit the sky. She has therefore in this wise decided to enroll in a first class Polytechnic in Ghana Archbishop Porter Girls Polytechnic on Ankaful Road in Elmina in the Central Region of Ghana. Her studies will last for two years after more knowledgeable in her field after a Diploma in Business Studies.

Gist about Archbishop Porter Girls Polytechnic – Elmina
Archbishop Porter Girls Polytechnic is a first class Polytechnic in Ghana. The school is suited on Ankaful road in Elmina. It is just about 45 minutes drive from Takoradi. The school is a Roman Catholic school which only Roman Sisters are teachers. They are very strict in every thing they do at the school. By the time one complete the course, one will be well organized, speak well good English, knows how to use your time, how to dress well as a lady, and how fast a secretary must be and being a good listener.

After you get admission to the school this is the letter the principal will write to all parents/Guardians.

Dear Parent/Guardian,
Admission to the two-year secretarial course
Your ward is welcome to the secretarial course in the above college. I hope she will have a happy and fruitful stay here, and will make the fullest use in every way of the holistic training she will receive.
However, there are so points to which I would like to draw your attention.
1. There are two courses going on simultaneously during the two years as follows (a) The secretarial course for all who gain admission, and leading to two GES certificate – Typing and stenographer, as well as internal college diploma. (b) The Diploma in business studies (DBS-Secretarial Option), for those really interested and who (i) have passed five (5) SSSCE/WASSEC subject, including English, before admission and (ii) show by the end of the first term/year that they have the necessary aptitude and application needed to successfully complete two demanding course together. As DBS includes 4 extra subjects, there will be an extra fee of GH30.00 per term for this course.
2. Only source of income is the student’ fees, and while the fees are kept as low as possible, it is essential for the smooth running of the college that fees be paid promptly. Fees should be paid by Bankers’ Draft only. This is important so as to avoid students carrying large sums of money to college. As well, students often refuse to hand up fees, or else divert part of the fees for their own use, and then ask permission to travel outside the campus, to unknown destination, claiming they are going for the rest of their fees.
3. The Administration will not ask your ward to pay any unusual levies without officially informing you, so ignore any such subject (or the cash to buy them), as these have been kept to the minimum. If it is confirmed that your ward is doing the DBS course, there will be extra books needed. However, each student will need some cash for stationery.
4. It is very important to show an interest in your ward’s welfare and academic progress and pay regular visit to her. Normal visiting times are 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month from 2:30 to 5:30pm; but parents/guardians only are welcome at other reasonable times. Also the staff is always ready to discuss your ward’s welfare.
5. As we firmly believe in discipline and moral training for life, we ask that you co-operate with the college in getting your to face up to the challenges of the course, and not drop out when faced with the slightest difficulty. As well, please see that your ward returns punctually on re-opening day, as the college wastes no time in re-commencing classes, and unpunctuality can seriously retard a student’s progress. As some students’ branch off for one or more night on their way to school. Please let her bring a letter of explanation and/or a medical certificate, if she is late returning. Also kindly avoid asking for or supporting your ward’s demands for extra exeats, unless the matter is gravely important

6. As the college has been built and maintained by the Catholic Archdiocese of cape coast, (with no assistance from government), for disciplinary purposes, we expect all students to abide by the customs and traditions of the Catholic Church.

7. Mobile phones are strictly forbidden during term time; there are land phones available on the campus.

8. Because it is a small college, the health of each student is carefully catered form, and we have several hospitals in the vicinity when required. If a serious health problem arises, you will be informed, so there is no need for her to return home for every little ache, or for you to come rushing to the college to see how she is.

Finally, the college has just begun two projects for its on-going development: (i) mechanizing the bore hole for ease of water supply: GH7020.00 (ii) building a two-story block to include classrooms, a computer laboratory and a library; total cost is GH213, 750.75. The funds we have so far generated fall far short of the total needed, so we are appealing to your generosity for any assistance you or others can give.

Thank you for entrusting your ward to the college, and I hope we will have a very cordial relationship with you during the coming two years.

I wish you God’s blessing on you and yours.

Yours sincerely
Sr. Mary Rita O Mahony

Sep 22, 2008

WHH Girls Move Into their New Quarters

Thanks to a generous grant from Boeing Corporation, and additional funds procured by Ghana Together, the WHH Children's Home in Axim, Ghana has completed a new wing---the "girls quarters." Not only will the additional space provide more privacy and security for the girls, but it will allow WHH to add up to ten more boys or girls to the 21 already in its residential program. Children who are temporarily or permanently lacking a viable family home can find a real home here. Staff conducts in-depth interviews with knowledgable persons, and works with the Nzema Social Welfare Department to assess true need.

The cost for each child averages at about $650 per year, which includes shelter, food, care, and school costs. Ghana Together accepts donations on behalf of these children and forwards all funds directly to WHH for their care.

Shown here are photos of Patrick Kwofie, the WHH Liasion Officer, finishing painting the floor, plus some of the girls trying out their new bunk beds with NEW mattresses and sheets!

Sep 12, 2008

Bellingham Teen Returns from Literacy Project at WHH Children's Home in Axim, Ghana

Elena Robertson, a Bellingham, Washington high-school senior, has returned from a journey to Axim, Ghana where she conducted a literacy project with children in the Western Heritage Home's Children's Residential Program. She was accompanied by her Dad and was coached prior to her journey by a former teacher from Skagit County who has worked extensively with children whose first language is other than English.

Elena worked with the children to improve their English language reading and especially writing skills. English is the official language of Ghana, but these children speak Nzema or Fante as their first language.

Each child made a personal "book", made from discarded wallpaper sample books Elena brought with her. Paper is scarce in Axim. She also taught the children how to illustrate their books. For these children, who have had meagre schooling until they moved into the Children's Home in Dec '07, practice in writing is vital. Thanks to Elena, they had the opportunity to tell their own stories, express themselves in art, and sharpen their writing skills. And, they had a chance to get to know a kind and caring young American woman whom they will always remember. Elena is sharing her experience with friends and family, and incorporating her work in Ghana into her senior project.

Meanwhile, Doug, Elena's Dad, worked with the local soccer team to improve skills, assisted his daughter, and in general enjoyed getting to know this remote fishing town, which is poor in terms of material wealth, but rich in traditional Ghanaian culture, as exemplified in the photo of the man putting finishing touches on the new fishing canoe.

Aug 25, 2008

Western Heritage Home Scholars Honored by Manye Academy

Western Heritage Home is proud of all of their WHH Scholars who have overcome many hurdles to do their best in school. Some Scholars were especially honored by their school for their achievements. Thanks to their many friends in North America, we through Ghana Together have completely enjoyed supporting these promising students whose families need our help to care for them in the WHH Children's Home and support their education. WHH's motto is "Making Leaders of the Least". These youngsters are carrying out that dream!

Charlotte Armah, above, has been chosen as a sectional leader for next year.

Gifty Essien will be her compound's prefect.

Ernestina Ackah of Stage 2 was the 1st pupil in her class.

Peter Assuah also of Stage 2 was the 2nd student in his class.

Stephen Ackah was the best runner and best football (soccer) player.

Induction, Speech, and Prize Giving Day at Manye Academy

Anastasia Amoo, Western Heritage Home staff member, wrote the following article about end of the school year activities at Manye Academy [primary and junior high school]. All of the Western Heritage Home Scholars attend Manye, a regular school about a ten minute walk from the Home. We thought their American friends might enjoy reading her account:

On the 29th of July, 2008, Manye Academy primary school held induction and speech and prize giving day. The programme started with a processional hymm by the primary school students followed by an opening prayer by Rev. Elijah Donkor of Methodist church Axim. Nancy Otchere, pupil of Manye Academy said the school oaths. Mr. Joseph Johnston headmaster of Manye Academy primary gave the welcome address followed by a dance performance by the school choreography group.

Introduction of Dignitaries was also done by Miss Anastasia Aba Amoo of Western Heritage Home. They were: Honourable Henry Yankah, Presiding Member of Nzema East Municipal Assembly who was the Chairman for the programme in replacement of the Municipal Chief Executive, Honourable Joshua Kwadjah Ellimah [District Chief Executive], Rev. Elijah Donkor of Methodist Church Axim, Mr. Abugri from Esiama Nursing Training, Mr. Akomiah Assistant Headmaster of Nsein Secondary, Mr. Jacob Ola Adebayo Efunwule a Businessman, Mrs. Arthur Headmistress of Manye Academy Nursery and Kindergarten, Pastor Ofusu Mireku of Nsein Pentecost and Honourable Patrick Kwofie of Western Heritage Home.

Honourable Henry Yankah gave the keynote address: He first thanked Professor Nokoe for the establishment of Manye Academy and also the Senior High School (SHS) which will commence in September this year. He advised parents not to spend much on themselves but invest in their children’s education, he went further to advise parents not to sell their lands for rubber plantation. He said, planting rubber on non-fertile land will let the land gain its fertility again in some years to come. People in Western Region he said are selling their fertile land for rubber tree planting. He said, the fertile land cannot be used to plant food crops which may result in hunger in the country in the future. He asked farmers to use their land to grow more food. He advised that infertile land could be used to plant rubber to save the country from hunger.

He pleaded with parents to pay their wards school fees on time to avoid their wards being sacked. He concluded his speech by motivating the students to do their best by learning hard and avoid troubles.

Out-going prefect handed over their post to the in-coming prefects. Rev. Elijah Donkor performed the swearing in ceremony of the in-coming prefects. Two (2) of Western Heritage Home children were among them, they are Charlotte Armah as a sectional leader and Gifty Essien as a compound prefect. A song was done by Nancy Otchere to motivate the incoming prefects. Speeches were read by the out-going and in-coming prefects. Another dance was performed by the school choreography group followed by the giving of prizes.

Three (3) children from Western Heritage Home had the best prizes. Ernestina Ackah of stage two (2) for being the 1st pupil in her class, Peter Assuah also of stage two (2) was the 2nd pupil in his class. In sports, the 1st prize went to Stephen Ackah as the best runner and best football player. He was given a certificate.

The Chairman in his closing remarks congratulated everyone for making the occasion successful. Winnifred Abugri of stage six (6) gave the vote of thanks and the closing prayer said by Mr. Kpoli Mensah. The programme came to an end at 4:40pm followed by some group pictures and refreshments.

Jul 14, 2008

Ghana Together Hosts Silent Auction at Alpaca Event

On June 28, 2008, Ghana Together was honored to be hosted by the Starr Alpaca Farm in Boring, OR at their Herdsire Showcase & Camelid Conclave. We were guests of Compass Rose Alpaca Farm owners Ken and Laura Slye, who donated breeding sessions with Marlon, their prize male alpaca. Proceeds from the silent auction went entirely to the Western Heritage Home Children's Program in Axim, Ghana. WHH owns and operates their children's home with 22 children in residence. The funds will be used to provide food, shelter, care, and school attendance for these homeless and impoverished children.

Ghana Together's Susan H, Ravyn W, and Maryanne W enjoyed getting to know all about alpacas and their wonderful and generous owners. The Starr farm is a beautiful setting. We are grateful for this opportunity and thank all those who helped us, esp. to Ken and Laura (and Marlon) for their support and genuine dedication to the children living in the WHH Children's Home.

Jun 21, 2008

Daily Life at WHH Children's Home

Jun 19, 2008

WHH Scholars Participate in Child Trafficking & Labor Day

On June 16, Western Heritage Home was among one of the selected institutions invited to participate in Child Trafficking and Labor Day. The event was sponsored by the Ghana Rubber Company Ltd. It was held at Manye Academy and was attended by older students, the Regional Director of Child Welfare, and other Social Welfare leaders. Some of the WHH Scholars put on a drama, written by Manageress Esi Biney.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform the children about the dangers of child trafficking and that forcing children to work on fishing boats, on farms, etc. not only prevents them from attending school, but also is illegal in Ghana. The children learned that helping their WHH family in daily chores, and helping their Home Mother is a good thing, but that work which is too hard physically, or keeps them from attending school, or is forced upon them inappropriately, is not good.

Jun 13, 2008

WHH Scholars Undeterred by Torrential Rain

June is the wet season in Axim, and since everyone walks to school, attendance is a challenge. In spite of the sometimes torrential rain, WHH scholars are attending the nearest school, Manye Academy, daily. It's a short walk through the jungle, with a small stream to cross. The twenty children are residents in WHH's Children's Home. Ghana Together helps fund their support. They are catching up academically, are receiving after-school tutoring, and are enjoying the many books and learning materials provided by Ghana Together's friends and supporters.

Jun 6, 2008

Ghana Together Formed!!

Ghana Together is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization formed in 2008 by a group of North Americans from the Pacific Northwest who enjoy working in close partnership with Ghanaians to improve social, economic and health conditions.

We've been working together especially in the Axim area, partnering with Western Heritage Home, a Ghanaian NGO registered under the Ghanaian government and based in Axim, Ghana, to build a children’s home/community learning facility with computer training lab, supporting a program for orphaned children, and providing science supplies to a local public school.

We are active in simple but effective health and sanitation work, installing hand-washing stations in schools, and also providing HIV/AIDS awareness training.

We've used Appreciative Inquiry methods to train more than 1000 Ghanaians in individual and group goal setting and leadership skills. We have supplied Konongo-Odumasi Secondary School Library with about $20,000 worth of textbooks and other reading materials. And, we’ve helped DaasGift, a Ghanaian microfinance organization, train impoverished women in business skills.

During our two-year involvement in Axim, we’ve developed affection for the town, our many friends there, and for Ghanaian culture. The community has opened their hearts, their homes, and their warm and abiding hospitality to us. On our part, we have assisted them to meet their own goals and are continuing to do that. We’ve coordinated the financial and in-kind support of about 250 North American friends and families who have joined us in this modest, grassroots, people-to-people effort, based on mutual caring across international boundaries, personal knowledge, friendships, and ample cross-communication.

We have achieved a lot, but we and our Ghanaian partners have many ideas for how the educational, social and health conditions in Axim can be improved. We have visited Axim frequently, know the town and surrounding Nzema District well, and our ideas are founded on real needs of real people. As a new organization, we are launching new projects, and looking for potential ones.

Our website gives the complete story! We worked formerly under the Seattle-based non-profit Global Citizen Journey, which sponsored our 2006 Ghana Project. You can read the historical blog about those earlier activities, which we are continuing under Ghana Together.

The Ghana Together Board of Directors invites you to follow the postings to this blog, become familiar with our projects, and consider joining in as you are able. We are a very ordinary group of North Americans with no particular ideological or theological persuasion, other than that we enjoy working together with our Ghanaian friends to try to make life better in their communities. We invite you to share your ideas by emailing us at