Please click the TAB above for Ghana Calendar 2021 to order a calendar. Price includes shipping. The 8 x 11 calendar is packed with photos and dialogue about our 2020 work trip.

YOU COULD WIN A FREE CALENDAR AT OUR ZOOM MEETING ON NOV. 8 AT 6:30 PM. Six recent work trip volunteers will show photos and talk about their experiences. There will be drawings for three calendars at the end of the meeting. Paste this link into your browser to join on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8509010712?pwd=OWs2c0I4OVBqbjRLclZZeXNtdHYvUT09

Here are some photo samples:

A newly constructed kitchen for the school lunch program
A community meeting for needs assessment
Providing school desks is on of our ongoing projects.

For many years, David and Lisa would come home after visiting Ghana and share their projects and experiences with me. I was so impressed by the number of ways they were supporting people in the remote upper region of Kongo, Ghana, Africa. Not until coming to Kongo with David and Lisa, did I begin to understand the incredible impact that they have in lifting the hearts, minds and health of the people living in the community. Some of their diverse projects include providing scholarships to over 70 students (total), who may not have had the opportunity otherwise, building schools, providing school lunches for three schools and nutrition for AIDS patients and their children, as well as nutrition for mothers and children who are malnourished, supporting women basket weavers receiving a fair wage for their labor, teaching farmers about sustainable farming practices and much more!

After years of longing to travel to Ghana with Lisa and David, the opportunity finally arrived. David asked me to help co-lead a teacher’s workshop. I was so excited and knew that this was going to be a learning experience for me. David and I worked with Head Master, Martin to plan, organize and teach a two-day workshop. I was excited by the teacher’s enthusiasm and dedication to the students in their classrooms. Teachers have very limited to NO supplies in some cases. No paper, pencils, books, visual aids, hands on manipulatives let alone, electricity and running water. These serious limitations make teaching and learning a challenge. I was fortunate to visit many schools where the children’s eyes would sparkle, and their faces would light up when I pulled out a picture book to read with the class. These children’s thirst for knowledge is so evident! While this was touching to see, my heart aches for all the potential not being tapped into due to the lack of books and materials we take for granted in the United States.

Marilyn (YWF Pres.), Lisa, and Julie meet with Piitanga school teaching staff. Mark (back row) is from the Salem Rotary Club.

While here, I met the President of Yakote Women Farmers, Marilyn who was my charming roommate. Marilyn’s boundless energy as she tackled the many projects she wanted to accomplish, has been very inspiring! Marilyn has worked to provide a community center for the Yakote area. On her visit she had benches made and rebuilt the base for the water tank at the Yakote Community Center, purchased goats for young girls to raise, built and distributed desks to schools, worked with the local organizations to get electricity into the community, started an adult English education class and much more!

I have been filled with awe watching Lisa, David and Marilyn work tirelessly on the behalf of people in need. I know that lives of thousands of Ghanaians have been touched by the love, concern and generosity of these three human beings with the biggest hearts ever!

My first and lasting impression of Ghana was how beautiful and welcoming the people are! I will miss the greeting of every person I walk by, the delightful group of children who would stop by my room for a reading lesson, waking up to the sounds of animals and watching the little piglets romp around in the front yard. I will remember the people I met and my time spent in Ghana forever! Julie

Five years ago many of you chipped in to have an operating table, an anesthesia machine, and two patient monitors crated and shipped to Ghana. It was then transported by road to Kongo where they are now in use. Most recently a group of doctors is performing free hernia surgeries on anyone who shows up from the community. This week they will perform at least 120 surgeries. Here are some photos from yesterday.

This is outside the clinic where family members are waiting.

Lisa and Olives are meeting to discuss food for the HIV patients. We are sitting on the small veranda in front of our rooms at the guest house.

Lisa and David’s niece, Britney, administered the YWF nutrition programs two years ago. She was the first to meet Olives, the HIV patient coordinator at the Logre clinic. A more caring and kinder person would be hard to meet. In Ghana, there is still a stigma attached to those families where members are receiving HIV treatment.The “Global Fund” is providing the clinic with free ARV drugs to achieve viral suppression.Due to fear of stigma in the community, patients can be reluctant to come regularly for the viral monitoring, have interruptions in their treatments with the drugs, and often are reluctant to get family members tested. Olives proposed that we offer food as an incentive. We have devised a plan to provide two packets of food as patients come in for their first and second visits to the HIV center. additional incentives are offered for family members to get tested. We project to provide 240 patients with two food packets over the next year at a cost of $1500. In this way, we feel quite optimistic about significantly reducing the incidence of AIDS in newborns.

Work with farmers

We are extremely fortunate to have Tom Demeo with us on this trip. He has a strong background in colluding a PhD related to agriculture and forestry. He’s now visited 15 farms and organized two workshops. One workshop occurred last Friday, another for this Thursday. The farmers are very interestedAnd composting, natural pesticides, crops that generate more cash in the market, crop rotation, and crop selection to maintain fertility of their land. Subsistence farmers here usually farm the same land year after year and maintaining fertility is a great benefit. Families eat almost solely from the crops they grow.

This is our team attending the first workshop. Marilyn Schuster, president of YWF along with Tom and our local helpers with transportation and out reach.

Sitting under the mango tree for the workshop were 30 farmers, about 1/3 women which we were promoting.