Four volunteer carpenters from the village of Lolobi Ashiambi in the Volta region of Ghana are busy repairing the roof. They are being helped by a number of labourers. All of them are giving up their time repairing this building for use by the village.
Community Action Ghana is providing the new roofing sheets and timbers. These are necessary for a new roof that will last at least thirty years. This work is making the building weatherproof and ready for the next stage of renovation.
The next stage will be to remove some internal walls and to glaze the windows. When it is finished it will host a library, a computer room, a sewing workshop and other rooms for use by the community.
The proposed floor plan encompasses all of the requests from the Village Development Committee who have asked Community Action Ghana to work with them to create this hub for use by both of the Lolobi communities
A set of shelves and a table & chairs for a community library
And five bags of cement to help build the community toilets
The toilets we have built, with communities in Ghana have been described as, “better than a bag of gold”! As well as saving lives they also provide dignity for all who use them. We are also always so delighted to see the libraries we have refurbished and stocked (with the help from Book Aid International) in full use. Pearl, the Library Prefect at Alavanyo Kpeme Library opens the library for her students at 6:30am so they can read their favourite books before school starts, as well as use it to study in after school.
Thank you so much again to Shin and everyone who has sponsored her – you make a difference to people’s lives everyday through your support.
Whist this is not directly related to our charity work our work goes on in the community so what affects the community affects our ability to work with them.
Clemence our project manager has many jobs. As well as working for us and one of these is to to farm to provide food for his family. He grows a variety of crops cassava, maize, sweet peppers to name some. He has sent us these photos of his farm which was flooded by completely unusual floods. As you can see the harvest of maize and sweet peppers have been destroyed but the cassava is probably salvageable.
The worlds attention has been directed at the floods in Pakistan and now Australia but many countries in West Africa have been affected by flooding, with over 730,000 people affected.
With floodwaters washing over ground that is used for open defecation it creates the perfect situation for spreading diseases such as cholera. To help prevent this we need to build more toilets and provide clean water supplies.
A toilet block for a community can cost as little as £14,000 with about half of this being contributed by the community with their labour and locally available materials. A borehole and associated water tower can be as little as £12,000 again with about a third of this being contributed by the communities.
Help us turn this into a fully functioning library with the community of Lolobi Ashambi.
Deer Park School Cirencester England has donated £234.50 and the Leos of Cambridge High School New Zealand have raised and pledged $500 for this project. Once renovated this building will become the thriving hub of the village of Lolobi Ashambi. But we are a long way from being able to turn this building into a library. Will you join in and make it a reality?
Our project manager in the Volta region of Ghana is assessing the building and working out how much it will cost to rescue it and turn part of it into a library. The village development committee is assessing how else it will be used. Possibly a digital hub and sewing workshop to train seamstresses and tailors. To make this a reality we need your donations and when the time comes help stock it with good quality relevant materials and equipment.
Joshua Etteh is a 15 year old student at Gbi-Wedbe Basic A School in the Volta Region of Ghana. He wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He enjoys reading in the library because the books help him understand how to construct sentences and use punctuation. He also learns new vocabulary from reading. Some of his favourites are; The Upside of Falling by Alex Light, Wild Lily by KM Peyton, and Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman.
Joshua is one of 1,000 students who use the library. They take it in turns to read novels and stories in early morning group reading for the first hour of the school day. As well as taking the academic books to the classroom to enhance their studies.
The library was refurbished by Community Action Ghana with local artisans voluntarily giving their time to make the tables and bookshelves. These bookshelves were then stocked by Book Aid International. Prior to this the library hadn’t had any new books for 25years. Patrick Dzandu, ITC Teacher and Library Champion, proudly told us the old, dusty books are now in the archives!
Joshua says: “Thank you to Book Aid International. We say thank you very much”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Here is Ruth, with her friends; Eugenia, Gloria & 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.
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.
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.