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Pentem and Ongwase in Rush to Beat the Rains

Here is a photo of one of the recent ‘community sensitisation’ meetings at Pentem and Ongwase, neighbouring villages with a joint population of some 1,200. The villages were told that sponsors had offered to finance the materials for a latrine for each household, and they learned about the benefits latrines can bring, eg less sickness, fewer deaths among babies etc. The communities then committed themselves to digging the latrine pits and doing the unskilled labour.

Apparently both meetings were very well attended despite a heavy downpour in the middle of one of them. The communities responded to the news of the sponsorship “by expressing their joy about the project, and promising to give of their best to support it.”

The situation right now is that most of the sand and stones needed to build the latrines has been moved to the site – they needed to get it there quickly before the main rains started. And work on the latrines will now start as soon as possible.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Nana Yaa’s Green Pepper Farm

A few years ago, the Rotary Club of Leigh sponsored the village of Bimma. They gave it enormous benefits, including clean water, latrines, school buildings/equipment/playground/computers, free school meals, a farm support scheme and gari plant (which is used to make long-life cassava) and microcredit.  This transformed the village and the lives of its inhabitants.

The farm support scheme involves giving a few farms loans and agricultural training (other farmers often come and watch the training and apply it themselves). Each year, the loans must be repaid with interest, but can then be reissued to the same farmers for a maximum of three years, after which the scheme is extended to other farmers.

The latest batch of farms are apparently applying all their training well, as you can guess from the photo, which is of Nana Yaa’s green pepper farm.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Ishy and the Yams

Here’s an extract from a really nice email from Friends of Tafo NGO in the Volta Region. A couple of years ago Ishy set up a microcredit scheme there for us, and here’s what they say about her latest report:Image

“Thank you very much for this excellent and concise report, which I will have great pleasure in relaying to the Progress Council and Nana Tafohene.
“Your total of 90 women seems remarkable (ie Ishy’s got 90 women signed up for loans), and I want as many people as possible to know what wonderful work you and your small team are doing.”
Here’s a pic of Ishy, thoughtfully assessing the quality of the yams!

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Book Delivery

We’ve got a lot of books in Gyetiase that aren’t really appropriate for the children. So recently we invested a bit of money in books recommended by our librarian, Alex Adjei. Here’s Alex receiving them from the Adontenhene, Nana Adu.

 

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Big News

After umpteen years and no end of energy, Gyetiase finally has a clean water supply. The water comes from a borehole which the MDA drilled at Tadiesa. The District let us take it over, and Nicholas and Clement have just finished organising pipes and pumps to take it uphill to an overhead tank just where the road from Tadiesa turns into Gyetiase.Image

Congratulations to Ashanti Development Italia

A few days ago, Ashanti Development Italia finally raised all the money it needs to complete its clinic in Adutwam village. It wound up the process with a fund-raising dinner, dedicated to the memory of Davide’s mother and Mr Marfo. There is a video at http://ashantide.org/grandi-risultati/ of local Ghanaians, who include some of Master’s children and their friends and families, performing traditional dancing at the dinner.

Our Italian sister organisation now plans to send its own volunteers to Ashanti. If Gyetiase is known by the locals as The London of Ashanti, Adutwam will presumably soon be known as The Bologna of Ashanti. When you’re next in Ashanti, look out for local people speaking English with a mixture of strong Ghanaian and Italian accents.

PS. Ashanti Development Italia was amazed to be rung recently by a Ghanaian man living in Italy, who wanted to thank them for sponsoring his home village, Adutwam. Adutwam has at least 300 inhabitants – so what a coincidence that one of them should be living somewhere near Bologna!

A Letter from Nana Gyamfua Aduako II

Nana Gyamfua Aduako II
The photo is of Nana Gyamfua Aduako II, Queen Mother of Kwahu-Tafo, who has written Ashanti Development a wonderful thank-you letter for setting up a microcredit project in her town. Here’s what she says: –

I have heard … about the very remarkable generosity of your ‘Yen Daakye’ programme here in our town, under which Ashanti Development started a Microcredit Scheme in October 2011 to assist Kwahu Tafo women to make a modest start in business or build upon their current achievements.Nana (Humphrey Barclay, Kwahu-Tafo Development Chief) tells me that during Isebail McKinnon’s recent visit the number of women registered under the scheme and now collaborating in self-supporting groups has risen to 80. This is an astonishing benefit you and your colleagues have brought to us, and on behalf of the women in the town I, Nana Gyamfua Aduako II, Queen Mother of Kwahu Tafo, want to express my profound appreciation of your choice of Kwahu Tafo, and your persistent and successful efforts to develop skills and opportunities for our women. I understand that the group system offers the participants not only mutual support but also training in a way that is very encouraging to them as citizens seeking to stand on their own two feet.

I have also learned that to run your scheme you recruited one of our very own townswomen, Miss Felicia Asabea, and as her Supervisor Madam Elizabeth Gyimah, now to be succeeded by Madam Ernestina Owusu Ameyaw. I am very happy to salute them all in celebration of your collaborative success.

Dear Ms David, Kwahu Tafo will always be grateful to you, and the ‘Yen Daakye’ founders Isebail McKinnon and Jennifer Kavanagh, and all your good people. Thank you all so much. I would like to take this opportunity to wish your organisation the greatest possible success wherever it operates, to congratulate you on so faithfully rewarding your donors’ interests, and for sharing so much with our small town.

Ghana Sings for Padua Primary School

Ashanti Development Italia is very active and have now collected enough money to finish the clinic they’re building at Adutwam village.  

ADI recently visited the school at Padua which is twinned with the primary at Adutwam. At Padua, they gave a sort of lesson about Ghana, explaining how people live in Adutwam.  They invited some Ghanaian friends along, who sang and danced for the children, all wearing their traditional dresses. Children and teachers alike were very impressed.

If you’d like to see a video of the occasion, made by Antonella, go to http://ashantide.org/grandi-risultati/

Awanya Village Chief Gets What He Wants

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA37 household latrines, probably used by over 370 people, have now been completed at Awanya – a village so desperate for latrines that the Chief rang us persistently on his mobile till he got what he wanted.
The latrines were sponsored by our Crowdfunder friends, with extra help from one generous donor. Completion of the first 37 marks the end of the first phase of the work at Awanya.  The picture shows work starting on Phase 2.

Gyetiase Eye Clinic

The clinic at Gyetiase is pretty well finished. We’re looking for a part time eye nurse and a part-time optician to screen a short list of cataract patients. Dr Peter Osei-Bonsu, the Komfo Anokye Hospital eye surgeon, will then visit twice a month to operate.

Meanwhile, Nana Ab Roy (see his picture below) is starting to collect secondhand spectacles in a big way. We plan to buy in lenses of different strengths and set up a little workshop to glaze these into the old frames. Unless they’re very poor – and I don’t know how we’ll determine whether they are or not (suggestions welcomed) – people will be asked to buy their new spectacles for a very small sum of money.

We expect people to come from far and wide to get their spectacles at the clinic, and we’re hoping the money they pay for them will make a substantial contribution to staff costs in Gyetiase.

Finished clinic

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