Ashanti Development is a 100 per cent volunteer-led charity in the UK, and pays no salaries or fees at all. That’s a big saving, and enables us to do far more than we could otherwise. Since we started, we have received just under £3 million in donations in real terms. With that, we’ve given nearly 50,000 people clean water, sanitation and training in health and hygiene. We’ve built six clinics, arranged for 1,000 cataract operations, set up farm support in over fifty villages, microcredit in over forty, built a big centre for the disabled, a new wing on Mampong Maternity Hospital – and a lot more beside.
We’re always happy to hear from people interested in joining us.
We’re lucky to have met Steve Whitmore, a personal trainer and volunteer in many different areas, who is planning to organise a cross-Channel relay swim for Ashanti Development as a fundraiser next year. He will also arrange a swim-marathon in Central London to coincide with the cross-Channel swim.
It’s all at an early planning stage right now, but please put us in touch with any swimmers you know who might be interested to join in one or other event. In the meantime, here is a link to a video which will tell you more about Steve.
Ashanti Development has around thirty villages on its Farm Support project, with more to come next year. Everyone’s hoping that the weather will hold and that they’ll get a bumper crop. That includes Mr Dwormoh in the brown shirt, working hard at his maize farm.
In the blue shirt is Nana Yaw Adu. This year, for the first time in his life, he’s planted his maize in rows as he was taught during Farm Support training. Before, he would generally ‘broadcast’ it, that is, he would thrown handfuls of seeds onto the savannah and hope some of it would grow. If you’ve been a cocoa farmer all your life things like the usefulness of growing in rows aren’t immediately obvious.
African bees behave differently from UK bees. To become a bee-keeper you need to build a hive in an appropriate place, cross your fingers and hope the bees will like it enough to move in. The pictures are of bee keepers at Mantukwa village. They’ve made twenty hives which they hope the bees will like. So far eleven have been colonised.
Welcome back to our great friend and colleague, Ab Roy, who runs two SpecSavers shops in Leicester. Ab has given our clinic all the equipment you would expect to find in a UK SpecSavers shop, and – with a gap for the pandemic – each year he brings over a team to carry out a mass eye screening. The villages we work with are all big SpecSavers fans.
See our eye clinic in action below.
The Ghanaian Health Service has recently initiated a national emergency ambulance service. Our medics Chris and Helen met some of the local team, who were enthusiastic and currently responding to about one emergency call a week. Feedback was given that the team are underutilised, for example because people don’t understand that the ambulance is available for emergencies, but instead believe it exists to transport people who are already dead.
Chris Hartley-Sharpe, who used to work for London Ambulance, hopes that Ashanti Development may be able to provide them with support as their service develops.
Our Ashanti Development medics Chris and Helen recently visited our projects in Ghana. Here is what they got up to:
– Met new staff at Sekyere Central District Health Directorate and re-established their village screening programme.
– Ran a screening programme in the villages of Ankumadua and Jansa, testing adults for TB, diabetes, HIV, syphilis and hypertension.
– Kept an eye out for breast cancer and the neglected tropical diseases of yaws, buruli ulcer and leprosy.
– Agreed to fund further screening at other villages every three months.
– Checked-in on the great work of Christabel, one of our full-time staff members in Ghana. She has become a community health volunteer in a nationwide project to prevent onchocerciasis (river blindness), making sure that all adults and older children in Gyetiase and Tadieso villages receive a regular dose of Ivermectin. Christabel is shown in the photos below.
A huge thanks to the continued support from Chris and Helen🥳
Thanks to our donors BasAid, who sponsored a project to replace kerosene energy with solar, we saw solar panels wherever we went in Ashanti. Many of them were on the roofs of migrant houses, and the photos below show how they are even used to charge mobile phones.
The Maji Water Dispenser has just been installed in our home village of Gyetiase! It is an electronic tap that allows people to collect water using prepaid WaterCards which helps to settle disagreements about how much water has been drawn and where the money went (people buy water by the jerrycan, and the profits are saved for repair and maintenance). It can check exactly how much water has been used, and ensure that the money is properly banked.
The Water Dispenser has been fixed to a brand new borehole, which appears to hold an enormous quantity of good quality water. Activity can be monitored from London, and we were told yesterday that before 11am in the morning the Dispenser had been used to sell 4,000 litres of water.
During our recent trip to Ghana, we visited the Mothers and Babies Unit that we built last year. We found the incubators and baby radiant warmers all occupied – 37 babies is the record monthly score – which pleased us a lot.
We were told about one mother who had given birth to a very premature baby. The baby is now at 25 weeks and having spent 14 days in an incubator now has a good chance of survival.