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 24, 2012

Calculators for Axim All-Girls High School

Teachers at Axim Girls High School with new calculators

As we reported in earlier posts, thanks to the efforts of Chief Awulae and many other local leaders, a new girls’ high school was established in Axim in 2009. As of this school year starting Sept 2012, it has been absorbed into the Ghana Education Service. That means the school is open to girls from all over Ghana and graduates will receive full accreditation.
More importantly, it means that many local Axim girls who had passed the stiff admittance tests for high school, up to now simply could not afford not only the tuition, but also the room and board to be able to attend high school in other communities.
We of Ghana Together wanted to help at least in a small way. Mrs. Bonku, the headmistress (and our hero), says she wants the school to have calculators. We looked in Ghana, but found they are exorbitantly expensive and not reasonably available there.  So we searched our own desk drawers and the back-to-school sales and managed to find 52 solar-powered, non-graphing, math/science calculators.

Dorothy, the top student in her 3rd year class, shows off one of the school's new calculators

Nov 2, 2012

Apewosika Primary School Filled to Capacity!

Now this is exciting!!

New scholarship students at Apewosika Village School. The school was operating under capacity, with about 60 students and now has about 110. They look a little solemn---probably the first time they've seen a camera or had their photo taken!
(Photo taken by Ussif Zakari, WHH Manager-in-Training)
Remember how in our 2011 Update Letter we set a goal for 2012 to provide scholarships to families with primary school children in the Apewosika neighborhood in Axim?
Well, we are overjoyed to tell you that dream has been fully realized! Yes, the little Apewosika School now has about 50 more students joining the 60 or so already enrolled and is FILLED TO CAPACITY!
Our experience in Ghana suggests to us that primary school is still unattainable by many families, and is one of the best investments we can make. Without primary school, what future can there be?
Several members of the Western Heritage Home Board interviewed Apewosika families, selecting 50 children. They focused especially on families where parents had managed to send their children to school for the first year(s) of primary school, so their children could acquire basic reading, writing, and math, but had to withdraw their older children to give younger siblings their turn at school. We especially want to help those children finish primary school.

Somehow with the help of the WHH Board, parents, and some generous Axim community members, uniforms, underwear, shoes, exercise books, and pencils were procured. Ghana Together provided tuition of about $25 per student for the first term of the 2012-2013 school year. Any student who successfully finishes the first term and who shows steady attendance will be funded for subsequent terms as needed until he or she finishes primary school.
We were told that the students were so excited, they started attending school even last spring, long before the current term which started in Sept. Uniform or not---they were going to SCHOOL--- the dream of every Ghanaian child (and parent).
Apewosika Village Fishing Canoes
We have visited the small fishing community several times, noting that many children are playing on the ocean beach during school hours. We learned this is the poorest neighborhood in Axim. Fish are becoming harder to find; their old canoes are not in good condition and more seaworthy ones are beyond their reach economically. Parents in Apewosika realize their children’s futures cannot depend on fishing and want to send their children to school.

With the help of WHH Board Chair James Kainyiah, we interviewed this Mom in Feb 2012, who begged us to help her send her children to school and gave her permission for us to use her photo for this project. Their Dad also talked with us about how he wanted his children to attend school.
The school was founded by Mrs. Ackah, a dedicated Ghanaian teacher who at the end of her life wanted to help this poorest of communities. The school is a private school and has to collect some tuition to pay its teachers. That is beyond many families, but the school is the only one within reasonable walking distance for these children.  Maybe someday it will be absorbed as a “government school” but until then we will try to fill its classrooms with children every term!

Headmaster and Teacher Mr. David Ackah, son of the Founder. David trained as an engineer, but decided to teach instead. Notice the few students in this classroom, in Feb 2012. Now it's full to capacity!

Sometimes things just work out! We especially thank Maureen Kainyiah and James Kainyiah, WHH Board members, and also Zak, for their tenacity in interviewing. We thank Ms. Mercy Ackah, daughter of the Founder, and also Mr. David Ackah, the Headmaster, for arranging for additional teachers, organizing the school itself physically to accept students, and for basically putting this project over the top. Without their local leadership and dedication, this would not have been possible.

And we thank you, generous friends!