Just how do you thank these wonderful people for training and then running the Oxford Half Marathon. The distance 13.1 miles, thats just over 21 km in 2 hours 15 minutes and 2 hours 22 minutes. Akpe kakaka (Ewe language for thank you totally)
They have raised over £800 and when you add on the gift aid this will be about £1,000. Phenomenal. This amount can go a long way towards helping communities build a toilet block,renovate a library or even go towards putting in a borehole to provide clean drinking water. For example the money raised could go a long way to building the superstructure on the toilet and roof it. How worthwhile is that.
If you’ve been inspired by David & Kate’s fundraising and would like to run the Oxford Half Marathon 2022 or any other fundraising initiative please get in touch
Quite a number of people ask this so here is a potted history as to why.
In September 1967 I was on a plane to Ghana and so was Heather but we didn’t know each other. We were going to volunteer with VSO. I was posted to St Mary’s Junior Seminary in Lolobi Kumasi, Heather went to Bishop Herman College in Kpandu about 50km away. We met and travelled to Timbuktu together in the Easter holiday. We returned to the UK, as an item, in the July and were married in 1970.
In 1972 we went to Nigeria for four years. We worked in Mubi Teacher Training College in the North East State. Heather gathered material for her book Growing up in the Mandara Mountains when we were there.
In 1979 we went to Botswana for about seven years. I worked for the Ministry of Education and Heather did various jobs including journalism. Heather has written Coming of Age in Botswana which describes our life there. The African continent kept calling and we worked briefly in Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Heather worked on educational books for many different countries throughout Africa.
In 2009 Alyrene pointed out a project with VOLU in Tafi Atome in the Volta region very close to where we had met. I went and worked on the project. But time and money ran out before the community toilet block was finished. The next year I fundraised enough to finish the project and returned to Tafi. I was again working with VOLU and particularly with Clemence Kitsi a volunteer builder, we completed the building.
2018 – 2019
In 2018 Clemence was asked by the Village Development Committee of Alavanyo Dzobedze if a communal toilet could be built there. So he contacted us. We fundraised again and the block was started, again working with VOLU. In 2019 Myself, Heather and Alyrene went out to help with it.
2020 – Current day
We realised that it would be better if we worked as a registered charity and in 2020 Community Action Ghana was incorporated as a UK charity. Charity number 1188867. Myself – Adrian, Heather and Alyrene are the three trustees.
We are now working on another toilet block in Alavanyo Agome. After sucessfully renovating libraries in Kpeve and Tafi are now in the process of working with renovating libraries in Alavanyou Wudidi and Hohoe Wegbe. We have had donations from a school in New Zealand to help with the projects. Their most recent donation paid for a survey for a borehole to provide clean water for the community of Gbedema Kofi. We still need to raise the money to make this project a reality.
All this takes money and donations are always greatfully received. Please dig deep to help us help these communities help themselves.
Heather is going to donate one pound (£1.00) from the sale of these to Community Action Ghana. If you would like to order a copy signed by Heather direct from us please fill in the contact form and we will post one to you.
It’s been a while since the community of Alavanyo Agome have been able to work on their communal toilet block. But after purchasing all of the planking and having it delivered work can once again get started. There needs to be a cast concrete floor over the half of the septic tank to fit the squatting plate or situpon toilet. The first step is to fix shuttering to hold the poured concrete.
The carpenters have arrived to fix the shuttering on the septic tanks. This will allow Clemence to cast the very strong slabs in the cubicles. But just as they had the initial planking fitted the heavens opened and they were rained off.
We have just finished the accounts for the year and everything adds up. The accounts show what a good year the charity has had despite the constraints of the global pandemic. They also show what reliable, trustworthy partners we have in Ghana. Through your donations, adding up to £9,851 we have been able to: * fund huge progress on building the Alavanyo Agome toilet block, and have sufficient in hand to finish it
* totally renovate the Alavanyo Kpeve community library
* facilitate the donation of 3,000 books from Book Aid International and * fund a successful Geological survey finding a good source of potable water for Gbedema Kofi
All in all a superb effort made possible by donations from all over the world Thank you all so much
Of the £9,851 donations we have spent £183.50 on running the charity. Which means we have only spent 1.8p from every pound donated on admin and running costs. Leaving 98.2p for the charitable works.
The charity is run entirely by volunteers which is why nearly every penny raised can go straight to Ghana. Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered for us over the past year and especially to the lovely students from the London School of Economics who have devoted their time to Community Action Ghana – we couldn’t have done it without you.
In the coming year we hope to be able to finish the toilet block in Alavanyo Agome, renovate a library in Alavanyo Wudidi and one in a suburb of Hohoe as well as provide the borehole, pump, water tank and tower in Gbedema Kofi.
We can only do this with donations. If you know of any individuals or organisations we could give talks to about our work please give them our details and let us know. Thank you all again for your kind and generous support.
After a short break the community is working on the toilet block again. We were wondering why they were progressing so slowly. We found out that the community work day was being used to improve facilities in the primary school and sadly attend funerals of prominent members of the community.
The organisation of the community work is impressive and as everyone does their bit it is recorded. One of our final tasks is to give all of the participants a certificate of appreciation for their work. These records of the participants allow us to do this.
The geological survey paid for by the wonderful fundraising efforts of the Student Leos in Cambridge High School New Zealand has been done. Two very promising sites have been identified. So now we really need everybody’s efforts to raise the almost £4000. This will let us drill the borehole, put in the pipes and pump, build the water tower, put the 5000l tank on, plumb it all together.
Which means that people will no longer have to do this
A group of students at Cambridge High School in New Zealand have joined the international charity. The Leos are a junior branch of the Lions Clubs. Their main aim is to do charitable works for others in society. For the last three years they have chosen to help with three of our projects in the Volta Region of Ghana. They have raised funds to help towards roofing two toilet blocks and now to pay for the geological survey to identify where to drill a borehole so the community of Gbedema Kofe, near Ho, can access clean water.
Here is a series of slides showing who they are , what they do and how they help.
The Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit latrine (KVIP) and is the epitome of sustainability. No water, and a lifespan of at least 20 years without any maintenance except cleaning of the cubicles. This is the type of sustainable toilet we have built in Tafi Atome, Alavanyo Dzogbedze and now are building in Alavanyo Agome. The most important part is the Pit or the holding tanks. All of the toilet deposits go into these tanks. They are designed to be very well ventilated so no, or little, smell goes back up into the cubicles. Any flies that follow their noses onto the poo are cunningly trapped in the tank until they die. If the flys could escape they would carry germs on their legs and bodies. They can’t excape so this stops them spreading diseases. Each tank is designed to hold about ten years, YES TEN YEARS, worth of deposits! Then the second toilet in each cubicle is opened up to start filling the neighbouring holding tank. After about 20 years the contents of the first tank have thoroughly composted killing any pathogens. This holding tank is then emptied and the process starts again. The tanks need to be very strong to survive these many years of use.
A huge thank you to the people of the Alavanyo community who under the leadership of Clemence Kitsi renovated the community library.
They made new tables with individual carrels and more shelving. They replaced the termite eaten wooden louvered windows with glass windows. This has made the whole room light and airey. They put in a termite proof plastic ceiling which not only insulates the room from the heat but allows people to work when the rains hammer on the corrugated metal roof. To help with making it even more comfortable they installed ceiling fans and better lighting. We bought new chairs and painted the whole room.
A library to be enjoyed.
To recognise all of the people and organisations involved a plaque has been put inside and outside the building. The major donors are mentioned but sadly we couldn’t fit in the names of everyone who has individually donated to Community Action Ghana. A big thank you to everyone involved.
A library is not a lot of use without books so a final thank you from us and the people of Alavanyo to Book Aid international who provided a powerful injection of books.