How far does £50 go in Ghana?

A kind donor gave us £50 to “spend on something useful” when in Ghana. £50 converts to 489 Ghanaian Cedi – which is a lot of money! Wanting to spend the money wisely we asked the village what would be useful. 

Maternity Clinic

The maternity clinic asked for a new ceiling fan for the delivery room, which until now didn’t have one – and it gets hot in there! The clinic is part of the Dzogbedze Community Health Service and supports pre & postnatal women as well as during childbirth. When buying the fan in Kpando we told the store owner what it was for and she discounted it to 280 cedi (£28.62) Midwife Anita, Nurse Doreen & Baby Karen were very grateful. 

The maternity clinic
The delivery room
Midwife Anita, Nurse Doreen & Baby Karen

Primary School

Another request came from the primary school. They needed exercise books and mathematics sets. School is free in Ghana but children must provide their own books and equipment, which not all can afford. At the China Mall in Accra we bought: 

  • 40x exercise books
  • 3x mathematics sets
  • 100x sticks of chalk 
  • 4x alphabet & numbers wall posters

All of this totalled 109 cedi (£11.14) and will go a long way in supporting the children who cannot afford their own school supplies. The teachers were also grateful for the additions to their classrooms. 

Presenting the gifts
The students with their gifts
The class room

Toilets

In 2019 we worked with the Alavanyo Dzogbedze community to build a toilet block. Three years on it is still in full use. The cleaning of the toilets is done by Janet, who lives closest to them. The remaining 100 cedi was spent on replenishing the cleaning supplies. Janet specifically asked for a new standing brush which cost 20 cedi (£2.04) and we had enough left for two big bottles of bleach. 

The toilets
Janet
Cleaning supplies
Buying cleaning supplies

Thank you

As you can see this generous donation has gone a really long way in supporting women in labour, children, teachers, Janet and the whole community. 

Thank you to our generous Ghanaian Sister for this gift of £50 and thank you to everyone who has made a donation or is considering one in the future. Whatever you are able to donate, however often, makes a real difference to people’s lives.

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Please Your Help is urgently Needed

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While visiting our projects we heard of a fire at a local school –  EP Technical Vocational Institute in Alavanyo Kpeme. 

Thankfully the students were on vacation at the time so no one was hurt. But one of the dormitories was badly affected. Before the boys went on holiday they put all of their possessions into boxes, along with their mattress, and piled them into the dormitory for safe keeping. 

An electrical fault led to the dormitory burning down

Schools are free in Ghana but students must bring their own mattresses, school uniform, books, etc. All of these have been burnt in the fire – only a few bits and pieces are salvagable. 

The boys in this dormitory are second & third years (aged 15-17.) If they cannot replace their belongings they will be unable to return to school and finish their education. 

The school have completed an immediate needs assessment and found that 195 mattresses are needed for the boys. 

Each mattress costs the equivalent of £31.04

The school reached out to us, and other local NGOs to support. So far we have bought & delivered eight mattresses so eight boys now have a bed to sleep on. We would love to be able to replace more mattresses as soon as possible to help the students get back to their studies. 

If you would like to help then please donate today https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dormitoryfire

Burnt boxes in the room
Inside on box
All items removed from the room
The eight mattresses we have been able to deliver so far.

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Alavanyo Senior High Technical School Library

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Pearl Bulley, the Library Prefect, proudly guides us through her library. Situated in the middle of the school the teal paint contrasts beautifully with the red and yellow flowers blooming in the courtyard. Inside, the shelves are fully stocked thanks to Book Aid International. First Pearl shows us the core subject texts and then to her favourite section; the story books! 

The students arrive at school early to read in the library that Community Action Ghana renovated. From 6:30am to 7:30am they can choose what to read. Mallory Towers is Pearl’s favourite. As well as finding out what adventures Daryl is on next, Pearl’s job is to keep the library clean and encourage her fellow students to read. 

Pearl at ‘her’ library door
Showing the record of who has read what
Pearl with her favourite book.

Everyone was eager to tell us about their favourite books. The Kaya Girl was a firm favourite among them. 

Sixteen year old Ruth Akos wants to be a Doctor when she grows up. She uses the books, “to research words and learn more about life.” She describes how the books have helped to improve her English, “the books help us to read and spell.”

Ruth Efu

Here is Ruth, with her friends; Eugenia, Gloria & Benedicta talking about their favourite books. 

Alati Eugenia, Dzewu Gloria, Efu Ruth and Afari Benedicta talking about their favourite books

Pearl’s hard work as a Prefect isn’t limited to school days – she comes into school on Saturdays and after church on Sundays to open the library and support her fellow students to continue to read throughout the weekend! 

Thank you so much to Book Aid and to everyone who supports Community Action Ghana – you make a real difference to these children every single day. 

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Charlotte making more bags from wonderful cloth.

Charlotte, a seamstress from Alavanyo ,is hard at work making these beautiful bags for us to sell. As well as generating an income for the charity it provides Charlotte with work, helping her look after her family. Watch this space for our Etsy shop where we will showcase all of the bags and other items we’ll be bringing back in June.

The cloth

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The new sewing machines have arrived.

Home Economics teacher, Florence Kumah, is overjoyed with the sewing machines for her class. Jobyco worked their wonders and the drum and the machines arrived safe and secure. Clemence handed them over to Florence at the school with some pupils in attendance. They are now using them in their lessons. Once again thanks to Margaret for donating not only the machines but bobbins, threads and needles. In fact almost everything that the pupils need to get started on their learning curve.
Alyrene, one of the trustees, is visiting the projects later this month and will hopefully get some photos and quotes from the children as to how they are using them.

It all goes to show that items we have that we no longer use can have a whole new life somewhere. If you have some useful but unused items you think might be of use to someone in the Volta region use the contact page to get in touch. Alyrene might be able to take it with her when she goes.

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