The most unfortunate people in Africa are probably the disabled. In Ghana, for example, disabled babies are often killed at birth, while the adult disabled are left to beg or otherwise live on charity. No-one will employ them. Many people even dislike associating with them.
The Disabled Association of Nsuta was set up in 2008 by Anthony Duku, who lost both legs in a car accident at age of eleven. At his own expense, Anthony registered as members 451 physically disabled people in the District, together with a further 99 who were deaf or blind. He subsequently shamed the District into passing on to the Association an annual sum of £1,200 provided by central government for disabled people, and set up a committee to distribute this money. They use it to educate disabled children; to train disabled adults on how to trade; and to buy wheelchairs, crutches etc.
At Ashanti Development, we’re trying to extend our microcredit scheme to both male and female Association members. We’re also building the Association a new centre. Here’s a photo of work in progress.
Helen sponsors Dagati, a village of settlers from the north of Ghana/ Sahara who came south to look for an easier life. She’s already sponsored them for sanitation, and is determined now to give them clean water as well.
Dagati is on the east of the area we cover, and luckily boreholes in the east often strike water (unlike the west, where we have to resort to water filters). Helen’s in Ghana now, and is employing a hydrogeologist and others to find the best place – if there is one – to drill for water. Luckily they’ve managed to identify two in Dagati and one in the neighbouring hamlet of JY, so it looks as if these two villages will have a lot to rejoice over.
At present, one baby in every two of three dies in Dagati before age two. By the time Helen’s finished, very few babies will die of water-related disease. In the longer term, the birthrate will fall since people will feel more secure, and less anxious to have lots of children to look after them in their old age.
Sorry for the long silence. A very nasty computer virus was to blame. I’m waiting for people to send in photos of Taste of Ghana, so I can put them on the website. Meanwhile, here’s one of our newest volunteer, Saulius Sliackus from Lithuania, with his wife and with the driving force for the day – Martha, who had spent the preceding week peeling yams and slicing plantain. It was a lovely day, with lots of Ashanti Development volunteers and supporters, and others on the point of joining us. I’ll put up more photos when I can.
Come and join us to celebrate a decade of amazing work by Ashanti Development – and party Ghanaian style! There will be plenty of traditional Ghanaian food, music, village gifts and souvenirs, and a chance to find out how all the money raised is improving lives across the Ashanti region in Ghana.
All proceeds in aid of Ashanti Development – Registered Charity Number 1133517
The Tenants’ Hall, Underneath Tresham, Lambs Conduit Passage, London WC1R 4RE –View Map
It’s raining in Ghana but despite that the work on Ankumadua Clinic is continuing and the building is now up to lintel level. When it’s finished, we’ll hand it over to the District to run. They’re very happy about it, as it will provide health care for people who’ve previously had none – we’ve been told horrible stories about sick people being driven on the back of a motor bike for miles to the nearest clinic and dropping dead when they got there