Pentem and Ongwase village are on the brink of starting work on their household latrines. The chief has offered them a room in his palace to store cement, stones and sand and the photo shows the villagers offloading construction materials.
We’re hoping that when it’s all done and dusted, Pentem may make us a present of one of its famous drums for the museum we’re hoping to build. The drums were used for whipping up support for the witchdoctors and are famous in the area.
There’s work going on in the village of Adutwam. The community is very stable and well-run, and we’ve lent them £3,666 to buy a cornmill on microcredit terms. In our case this means they must repay the loan plus 15 per cent pa (inflation is 10.6 per cent), which shouldn’t be too painful for them. Here’s a photo of them fixing the first supports into the ground for the shed to house the mill.
ps. Just a few more days to register and vote for our project @ http://www.thisisyourplanet.com/ideas/community/324. Voting stops on June 1.
We would be extremely grateful for two minutes of your time to vote for Ashanti Development’s idea, as explained below. We hope you don’t mind us asking.
Please could you go to this link: http://www.thisisyourplanet.com/ideas/community/324 and register. Then log off, log on and vote for Ashanti Development.
The Planeterra Foundation and G Adventures are running a project aiming to use tourism to crease a positive, sustainable impact on tourist destinations. Customers “submit ideas, the community votes on them and the idea judged to have the most impact and greatest chance of success will be brought to life.”
Ashanti Development has submitted an idea for extending tours to the Ashanti Region and including two days in and around the villages. GAdventures is encouraging us. Apparently they already run trips to Ghana and believe the long-term sustainable possibilities of our project are in line with Planeterra’s goals and values.
We’re unlikely to win the competition because we’re starting late and the deadline is June 3, but we might possibly persuade GAdventures to take up the idea anyway. If you like the idea too, would would much appreciate your help. All you have to do is vote.
PS. You can vote up to once a day!
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.
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.
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:
“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!
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.
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.
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!