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. 

It didn’t look like they needed much encouragement as 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. 

Alati Eugenia, Dzewu Gloria, Efu Ruth Efu 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. 

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

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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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Amazing. Sewing machines start their Journey

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I was telling our friend Kay about how Florence was finding it difficult to teach machine sewing with a single broken sewing machine and she said “I think I know some one who can help.” A couple of weeks later she turns up with four sewing machines from her sister, Margaret. The machines are in excellent working order and came with their instruction books and lots of supplies: threads, spare feet, bobbins etc. etc.

The next problem to solve was how to transport them to Florence’s school. With Clemence Kitsi’s help we found a shipping company in Luton. They could supply a drum and then collect it and deliver it not just to Accra but directly to Alavanyo village. Jobyco efficiently handles all the shipping and paperwork with consummate ease.


So on Friday 25th March 2022 the four sewing machines securely packed into a shipping drum were loaded onto a van to be transported at the start of their journey to Florence Kumah to help her teach Home Economics at Alavanyo Junior Secondary school. I’ll let you know when they arrive.

The cost of the drum was £50 and it will be put to good use when it is emptied, and the cost of transporting it was £90 If you would like to help fund future shipments to the Volta region please click on the donate button.

Florence and her wrecked machine
What Fay organised from Margaret
Alyrene Adrian and the recycled mango chutney shipping drum
Electric Singer
Hand Singer
Electric Delta
Electric Frister Rossman
A selection of the extras
Loaded onto Jobyco’s van

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WONDERFUL NEW CLEAN WATER SUPPLY

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The borehole has been drilled. The tower and storage tank erected. The plumber has done his work. And now there is sparkling fresh water for everyone in Gbedema Kofi to use.

Thank you to everyone involved. Especially the major donors, Wolfgang and The Green Hall Foundation and also remembering everyone who donates to Community Action Ghana big or small it all helps, so thank you so much.

We could not do this work without the continued help of Clemence Kitsi who gives up so much of his time to help the various communities in the Volta Region of Ghana. Here he is supervising the building of a road to get the drilling rig on site.

Remember the water supply before. You have helped us do our bit to allow children to drink clean fresh water and mothers to use insect free water for their babies.

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New Road needed for Drilling Rig

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You may be wondering why the water supply for Gbedema Kofi has not reported progress since the water tower was built. As we were about to start we were told that the council was about to put a road exactly where we were about to drill the borehole. So the borehole had to be moved from this secondary site that was easily accessible to the primary site across the stream. This meant that we had to make a ‘new’ road across the stream and up the far bank. But the road we build wasn’t up to the task as the drilling rig was HUGE. So now we are in the process of remaking a road sufficiently strong for the task. Please keep watching this space for updates. Can I say that Wolfgang has made a huge contribution to the charity that will cover most of this unexpected expenditure. So Wolfgang thank you so much.

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How can you teach without the correct tools?

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Florence is a dedicated and wonderful teacher. She teaches home economics in the Junior Secondary School in Alavanyo.
But she has a problem.

Florence trying to teach with a very broken sewing machine
Could you teach with this?

So Florence has to teach sewing theoretically. Her pupils can tell you the names of all of the parts of the machine but can’t use it to make anything. Why? Well look at the sewing machine she is trying to use. It is broken beyond repair of even the most skilled mechanic and they have tried.

She needs your help.

I recently had my sewing machine serviced by Geoff Ives and he has offered to service any machines we can get for Florence’s school for free.

We not only need some sewing machines but also the funds to send them to Ghana. I have found a shipping company that could deliver them to Alavanyo which costs £140 per 220l drum (including the cost of the drum). That would hold at least two machines.
If you would like to help with providing a sewing machine please contact us.
If you would like to help funding the transportation please click on the donate button below or this sentence.

Please help Florence and the hundreds of pupils she will teach to learn this skill to help them make clothes for themselves and their siblings.

Florence teaching theoretical sewing to girls
and boys
with a very sad machine

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Work starts on Clean water supply for Gbedema Kofi

The water supply won’t be ready for Christmas but it will be ready for the New Year. This means that the community of Gbedema Kofi won’t have to source their water from a muddy intermittent stream but will be able to get clean artesian water from a tank on a water tower.

In April 2021 the Leos from Cambridge High school in New Zealand had a sausage sizzle and raised the funds to allow us to do a geological survey.
This was done in May 2021 and it found a good source of underground water close to the middle of the community.
November 2021 the Green Hall Foundation gave us a grant of £4,000 towards the project.
In December 2021 the community met and finalised the positioning of the water tower and agreed on how the community would contribute to the project. On December 21st the foundations for the tower were put in and the project started.

Keep coming back to this post for updates on the progress.

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Work Starts on Clean Water supply for Gbedema Kofi

As promised here are more pictures of building the water tower, making a road for the drilling rig and modern dowsing to pinpoint exactly where to drill.

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