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.

Jun 14, 2021

Update on Axim Public Library Project

 As we reported in our March 2021 News Update ( , we are supporting Axim and the Ghana National Library Authority’s efforts to at last create a purpose-built library in Axim. 

Yes, we were a little skeptical back in 2019, when the leadership of Western Heritage Home, our partner in Ghana, made the formal request for help. After all, our philosophy is basically to hear them out on their ideas for potential projects, ask tons of questions, and if it seems to make sense, either because of lack of financial resources or expertise, offer help, but plan carefully!

Well, part of that process was James Kainyiah, Chairman of Western Heritage Home, and Ghana Together President Maryanne Ward having a 3-hour meeting in Accra in late 2018 with Hayford Siaw, Head of the Ghana National Library Authority (a department of their Ghana Education Service), and Mercy Ackah, Western Region Libraries Deputy Director. We were convinced by that meeting that public libraries, along with tuition-free public education through senior high school, were tops on Ghana’s agenda to support literacy country-wide, and that the Axim Library would get support going forward.

Maryanne had traveled to Ghana 14 times, and had experienced first-hand the low literacy among adult Ghanaians, especially women,  On that 2018 trip, she visited 17 schools receiving books from the Axim Public Library’s mobile library service in lieu of libraries in their schools---a service made possible by Ghana Together’s many generous investors! She met with teachers, heard the children read aloud in unison (each from their own separate book) to show off their skills (!), and saw how the schools valued the service.

BUT, all this was being managed from a very confined space on the top floor of a community building built by the Peace Corps in its earliest years---and with a lousy staircase to boot---try carrying large boxes of books up and down…you get the picture!  To develop true public library services, a purpose-built facility was badly needed.

So, Chairman James, ever-resourceful, developed an architectural plan and started working with community leaders. The Methodist Church---long a strong source of educational efforts in the community---donated land right in the downtown area, within easy walking distance of five schools and much of the residential area. The Upper Axim Chief poured a libation to bless the project, and honor the ancestors who had used that land for centuries. The “CodeLibrary” group of supportive elders was founded to foster community support.

We of Ghana Together started to work on funding for this new project (in addition to continuing the scholarships/school-cost projects already in the works). If not for Covid, we’d have visited at least once in late 2020 to review progress. Thanks to the internet, we communicate on almost a daily basis with leadership in Axim on the project. And as of June 2021, we are now about two-thirds done with the project, slowed but continuing in spite of Covid-19.

And then, on June 3, 2021, out of the blue (!), came the announcement that the Ghana Library Authority, the institution mandated by law to establish, equip, maintain and manage public libraries in Ghana, has emerged as the winner of the "International Library of the Year" by the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards 2021! WOW!!! This award is a big deal, and served to verify our modest efforts to help Ghana in its drive to develop public libraries in every part of the country.

So, thanks for reading this far! You can see how this is coming to fruition. The local community, thanks to the efforts of the CodeLibrary group and local leaders, will take on the responsibility to furnish the new library upon completion of the building. The Axim Municipal Assembly (like our city councils), will own the building going forward, manage it, provide electrical services, etc. The Ghana Library Authority, under the national Department of Education, will continue to fund programs, staff, and resources as they do in all public libraries. Local folks, led by the CodeLibrary elders, will voluntarily move the books, shelving, etc. from the old library to the new one, clean up the site, help to get everything in working order, and provide a supportive community group going forward.

We of Ghana Together, for our part, have committed to finishing the building, hopefully by the end of 2021. If you can help, we’d appreciate it a lot! Anything in excess of what is needed for the library will be put to use on scholarships or other educational efforts. 

We estimate we need about $25,000 US to completely finish it.


The new Library-in-progress, as of about two weeks ago, with WHH Scholars Gladys and Ben plus WHH leader Anastasia who traveled from Takoradi to inspect the new Library. The bottom floor will be a  "community space", where children's programs, women's groups. local civic meeting, etc. can meet. For security they will put the library proper on the 2nd floor, including books, computers, etc. to prevent theft. On the right you can see a ramp being built to help folks who have trouble with stairs get up to the 2nd floor and to facilitate a wheeled cart to get boxes of books to and from the mobile library. The electrical hookup is complete, with fans and lights installed and working. Step-by-step! The work has continued despite Covid but with fewer workers then normal. 

Ghana Together is so appreciative of the care and oversight by local leaders and citizens. We are grateful for the strong trust relationship we've built over about 15 years of working together! And we're grateful for YOU, our "investors", as we like to say---investing in literacy, education especially of girls, building community in this historical city that has endured so much over the centuries! Thank You!!!