Ghana Library and Community Development Update – July 2022

“Graduations All Around” 

In rereading our last update from December, I’m sad to report that we are still in COVID mode and have had less project activity than anticipated. One thing to celebrate though is that it is ‘graduation season’ both here and in Ghana. As many of you know, our first year in Ghana in 2014/2015 was with our entire family. Our kids, Clay and Lil, were in grade school and both attended the local village school in Abetenim while Keith and I worked on the library build. Going to school in rural Ghana has given both of them an experience that most will never imagine. Lil, now 18, and Clay, 21, have grown into exceptional young adults, and have recently graduated from high school and university respectively.

I’m happy to report that we’ve also been able to fund the educational expenses of some of Lil and Clay’s Ghanaian classmates in their senior high school and post-secondary education years. Our ICO Site Team Member Frank Appiah-Kubi continues to be our mainstay sending us updates on each student, and their families. We have had a couple of graduates continue onto nursing school and optical training! 

Jackline in her optician’s uniform … looking serious!

Unfortunately, we’ve also had students with severe health issues, some even requiring hospitalization. We’ve humbly been able to send funds to cover medical expenses and support their return to better health, along with our wish for their speedy recovery. Sickle cell anemia is a disease that has affected a number of our students. In most countries this disease is treated with dialysis and easy-to-access medication. In Ghana, affected people struggle to survive. It’s heart-breaking.

A worried mother with son en route to hospital

Frank also lets us know how our projects and initiatives are continuing to operate. Korkor’s Community Library has had challenges with staffing which we continue to monitor. Otherwise the building is in great condition and the small mango seedlings that we planted seven years ago are now huge and bearing fruit. 

Korkor’s Community Library (May 2022)

We have had little maintenance issues or expenses over the past year with our other projects. The latrines and cisterns are continuing to provide a key service in Abetenim and Okorase. This is a great testament to Frank’s overseeing operations. 

Our elementary school latrine.

The Chief of Okorase has sent his jolly hello in a Whatsapp video to speak to how much his village appreciates our water tower and rechargeable portable battery project. These projects have been self-sufficient this year and are earning funds to assist in other village infrastructure projects.

The Chief of Okorase

There are no other new projects to report for 2022 but we will be sending an update on plans for ‘Ghana – 2023’. Keith, John and I, along with Clay and Lil, will be working on new fundraising goals and project outlines as we all are also taking on a next stage in our lives here in Canada. Thankfully Frank is always up for any challenge we send his way, so we look forward to working with him this year and next.

Take care, and keep well!

Jen, Keith, John and Frank