Sunday, January 02, 2011

Blog Overview/ Recap

Recap:

Year 1 (2008): My first trip to Africa. Traveled to Ghana to volunteer for 8 weeks with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS). Placed at Christ Orphanage where I taught a class of 25 kindergarten children on my own. Fell in love with a guy, the kids, local community, and Ghanaian life style, traditions, and values. Returned home inspired and changed, knowing that my work in Ghana and with Christ Orphanage was just beginning.

Year 2 (2009): Returned to Ghana solo days after finishing my sophomore year of college. Spent 3.5 months teaching, organizing the orphanage, and putting ideas into practice at Christ Orphanage, followed by 3 months studying abroad in Kenya and Tanzania. Returned to Ghana for three weeks in December to celebrate Christmas and visit the children at Christ Orphanage again before returning home to America just in time for the New Year.

Year 3 (2010): Received a research grant to return to Ghana and spend three weeks carrying out my thesis research. Extended my trip to spend time with my community in Gbi-Wegbe, the kids at Christ Orphanage, and my boyfriend. During my trip to Ghana, I will witness Christ Orphanage's move to their new site.

Future Plans (2011): After completing my undergraduate education and graduating from college, I plan on permanently relocating to Gbi-Wegbe, Ghana. Plans for this move are currently underway.

Christ Orphanage: The New Site

Christ Orphanage: The New Site (Summer 2010)

If you have made a donation to The Ghana Project, this is what you have helped to build! Thank you for giving the children at Christ Orphanage a chance to learn, grow, and excel. There are still many needs at Christ Orphanage. If you would like to make a donation, please email theghanaproject@yahoo.com. Every little bit makes a huge difference in the life of a child at Christ Orphanage.






Saturday, January 01, 2011

With Love, From Ghana - Shop

Give One, Get One (www.theghanaproject.org)


Help a child at Christ Orphanage receive a schoolbag of their own to carry their school supplies. For every purchase over $30 (before tax and shipping), a schoolbag will be given to a child at Christ Orphanage. As of October 2010, The Ghana Project has already provided 40 children at Christ Orphanage with their very own schoolbags!

All products were created in Hohoe, Ghana by a local seamstress, Beatrice Agabe and her apprentices. As the merchandise is handmade, there are extremely limited quantities available. If you see a design or pattern you would like to purchase that is no longer available or if you have ideas for future products, please email theghanaproject@yahoo.com and we will do our best to fulfill your request.

Please note that many of the fabrics use to create the merchandise are printed using a technique called batik (whereby melted wax is applied to cloth before it is dipped in a dye). As a result, merchandise is likely to bleed when washed. We recommend that you hand wash your merchandise.

The Ghana Project

From The Ghana Project Website (www.theghanaproject.org)


The Project:
The Ghana Project aims to help underprivileged communities in Ghana. Our current project is working with Christ Orphanage to provide a safe, loving home for 36 orphans and a first class education to 150 underprivileged and vulnerable children.

Our Story:
The Ghana Project was founded after Nicole’s first trip to Ghana during the summer of 2008. During this two-month volunteer trip, Nicole taught at Christ Orphanage, an orphanage in the Volta Region that provides food, clothing, education, and health care to 150 underprivileged and vulnerable children. Nicole was so inspired by Raymond, the founder and director of Christ Orphanage and his goals for the children that she immediately wanted to find a way to help the children in Ghana even after she left. With the help of supporters, The Ghana Project has provided the orphanage with four computers and a printer and has raised a substantial amount of money for the building of Christ Orphanage’s new site.

Nicole’s dedication to Christ Orphanage has brought her back to Ghana three times since her initial trip. During these trips, Nicole teaches in the orphanage, provides assistance and training to the teachers, and helps with the logistics and organization of the orphanage. During Nicole's trip to Ghana during the summer of 2010, she helped prepare for the official move to Christ Orphanage’s new site. Christ Orphanage’s new site is a huge improvement over their current site and will provide the children and staff with a much improved learning and living environment. The Ghana Project aims to help underprivileged communities in Ghana. Our current project is working with Christ Orphanage to provide a safe, loving home for 36 orphans and a first class education to 150 underprivileged and vulnerable children.


About Christ Orphanage:
Christ Orphanage was founded by Raymond Attrah, a local Ghanaian on January 1, 2007. Over the last three years, Christ Orphanage has quickly grown and has gone from serving just a handful of underprivileged and vulnerable children to serving 150 children. Raymond, his staff, and volunteers ensure that the children are provided with shelter, education, medical care, food, clothing, and love.

Although the children come from families that do not have much, they are extremely happy and appreciate the opportunities provided to them. They attend school five days a week where they are taught English, Math, Science, Art, French, and other subjects by well qualified Ghanaian teachers. Volunteers are extremely essential to the lives of these children and assist with teaching phonics, math, and English.

In September 2010, Christ Orphanage moved to a new site equipped with a dormitory building to house 36 orphans, a dining hall where each child has his/her own plate, cup, and chair, a classroom block with desks and white boards, a library full of books and games, and a play area. In addition, the children were introduced to Western style toilets and showers at the new site, something most of them have never seen before. This is a huge improvement over their previous run down building which was not adequate for properly educating and providing for the children. As funds become available, a volunteer house, medical center, chapel, and additional classrooms to accommodate 375 students will be built.


How You Can Help:
The Ghana Project has many needs. We can accomplish great things by working together. There are several ways you can get involved with our work. You can make a difference here in the US or you can even make a trip to see things in Ghana firsthand.

Donate
The Ghana Project offers you– individuals, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and partner schools– an opportunity to put orphaned and underprivileged Ghanaian children at the center of your charitable giving and the chance to participate in inspiring change.

The Ghana Project aims to raise money to build a new site for Christ Orphanage as the current site of the orphanage is in despair and is not an adequate learning environment for the children. As of June 2010, a dormitory building complete with showers, toilets, and sinks for 36 orphans had been completed. In addition, a well, water pump, and water tanks have been purchased and installed to ensure that the children have constant access to clean drinking water, something they currently lack. A dining hall, kitchen, and classrooms have also been built to provide the children with an education, food, and care.

Money donated to The Ghana Project will assist with one of the remaining projects for the new site. To view the 19 projects that make up the Christ Orphanage Development Plan, please visit www.christorphanage.com and click on ‘Document.’

To donate via check, please send your donation to: Nicole Pampanin 4924 Balboa Blvd #252 Encino, CA 91316 USA. To donate online, please visit www.christorphanage.com.


Shop Online
Just download the GoodSearch – Ghana Project - Christ Orphanage toolbar at http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar/ghana-project-christ-orphanage. Each time you search the web with GoodSearch's Yahoo-powered search engine, about a penny will go to The Ghana Project: Christ Orphanage. Also, every time you shop online at 1,000 participating stores including Amazon, eBay, Target, Apple, Staples, Expedia, etc., a percentage of your purchase will be donated for free! The site also has thousands of money-saving coupons!


Volunteer
From your home: Want to help from the comfort of your couch? Volunteer your time and expertise by emailing theghanaproject@yahoo.com. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas about ways to improve our organization or if you have any skills or connections that could benefit The Ghana Project.

In Ghana: Christ Orphanage welcomes volunteers with huge hugs and outstretched arms and has been fortunate enough to receive volunteers since it was founded in 2007. There are no qualifications for volunteers to be eligible to volunteer at Christ Orphanage. Volunteers dedicate a minimum of three weeks to making a difference in the lives of the children by interacting with them, speaking to them in English, playing sports and games with them and tutoring them in phonics and basic reading skills. For more information about volunteering at Christ Orphanage, please visit www.christorphanage.com and click on ‘Documents’ or email theghanaproject@yahoo.com.


Raise Awareness
Help raise awareness about The Ghana Project's efforts and the needs in Hohoe, Ghana by forwarding our website to a friend.


About Ghana:
Ghana is a West African country located between Togo and the Ivory Coast on the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean). Accra, Ghana’s capital city is about a four hour drive from Gbi-Wegbe, Hohoe, the village in which Christ Orphanage resides. Ghana is divided into 10 administrative regions. Hohoe is located in the Volta Region, the region northeast of Accra. Although English is the official language of the country, the people in the Volta Region speak a government sponsored language called Ewe.

Ghana is a peaceful country that has operated under a democracy since its independence in 1957. Ghana is home to about 24 million people of more than 100 different ethnic groups. Ghana serves as one of the world’s top gold producers in addition to producing cocoa, timber, diamonds, and manganese. The country relies heavily on agriculture. Hydo-electricity is provided to Ghana and its neighboring countries by the Akosombo Dam, which was built on the Volta River in 1965.

Ghanaians are very diverse people. Like most African countries, Ghana is proud of its soccer team, The Black Stars who will be playing in the FIFA World Cup. Kente cloth, art, dance, music are all important aspects of Ghanaian culture.


The Ghanaian flag is made up of red, yellow, and green bands with a large black five-pointed star in the center. The red represents the blood shed for independence, the yellow represents the country’s mineral wealth, and the green represents the country’s forests and natural wealth. The black star represents African freedom.


About Gbi-Wegbe, Hohoe:
Hohoe is a town of about 30,000 people, making it the second largest town in the Volta Region of Ghana. The Volta Region is located in eastern Ghana between Lake Volta and the border of Togo. Most of the residents in Hohoe are part of the Ewe tribe and speak the Ewe language.

Christ Orphanage is located in Gbi-Wegbe, one of Hohoe’s seven traditional villages. Wegbe is the second largest of these villages with about 1,500 residents and is known as ‘America Town’ for its laid-back life style. Wegbe is located on the major road from Accra to Northern Ghana, about a four-hour drive from Accra.

The people are known for being extremely welcoming and warm. Most of the Wegbe residents make a living from agriculture. The people benefit from fertile land and rivers, which provide food and water for the local people. Hohoe’s weather is hot and humid and subject to heavy downpours.

Partners:
Tuviano Rocks - http://tuvianorocks.com


The Ghana Project is always looking to partner with new communities and projects. Are you interested in partnering with us? Contact us at theghanaproject@yahoo.com.

The Ghana Project operates under the sponsorship of Eyes on Africa which is a 501©3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.