Build for Ghana Community Development Project

The ICO Build for Ghana initiative was created in 2014 with Jennifer Corson and Keith Robertson, both architects and owners of their architecture firm, Solterre Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jennifer and Keith are collaborating with Ghanaian teacher and community leader Frank Appiah-Kubi, who is a junior high school science teacher and is the ICO Team Member in the Ashanti region in Ghana.

Since 2008, Frank has been involved with a number of arts-based community projects in the rural community, including and more specifically earth construction projects in the communities of Abetenim, Okorase, Timeabu and Kwaso. In 2015 Frank became our ICO Field Lead and Project Manager for the construction of our first major ICO project, the building of a rammed earth library in the village of Abetenim, Ghana. Frank continues as the main contact for all of our projects to the present day.

Jennifer Corson and Keith Robertson both worked in Ghana early in their careers. Jennifer’s architectural thesis was based on the utilization of air- dried earth brick construction in place of fired brick or concrete block construction. ICO Team Member John Crace joined their initiative in 2016 and has been co-managing the infrastructure projects with Keith, Jennifer and Frank.

This initiative’s goal continues to be to reduce poverty and improve literacy among families in the Ashanti region in Ghana in a lasting and meaningful way. There are a number of new projects which will enhance the community development and we will continue to build with local and affordable materials, considering solar and other energy-efficient construction methods.

Your generous donations are appreciated and will support:

Water and sanitation projects, including various small-scale renewable energy, and energy-efficient projects.

  • Composting latrines at elementary schools, junior high schools and community buildings – including construction labour and materials costs
  • Renewable systems for community buildings including purchase of solar panels, batteries, maintenance and labour, to support a safe learning environment for school children avoiding non-renewable energy sources (disposable batteries and kerosene)
  • Solar-charging kits for home use by students at our community schools, including purchase, repair and maintenance of the solar charging kits.
  • Community water projects supplying safe drinking water with the construction of wells, cisterns and pumps run by a renewable solar energy system where possible. This includes the ongoing maintenance required (battery and water testing, cistern repair).

Improved access to education for adults and children with support for:

  • Tuition and school fees for high school and post-secondary students in our villages
  • Access to culturally appropriate reading materials at schools and community library
  • Literacy classes for adults at their local library or community space
  • Free access to library books and computers
  • Expense related to students’ health and welfare

ICO is also collaborating within the communities in the Ashanti region to provide the following resources and support:

  • Supplies and training expenses to train new librarians to manage and oversee library operations
  • Supplies for training young people in;
    • New composting latrine construction techniques
    • Rocket stove construction promoting better air quality and a higher efficiency use of wood


To read more about our Initiative Leads Jennifer and Keith and our Field Lead Frank click here.

For more information contact our Initiative Lead: 

Jennifer Corson:

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