Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Report from AAI-Ghana

Our Ghana Coordinator, Anita Gillispie, traveled to Ghana for two weeks in June.  It was a very busy trip, with visits to around 15 orphanages and non-profits in 5 regions of Ghana and Togo.  In this part of the world in-person relationships are of the utmost importance.  Culturally, some things must be communicated in person rather than by email or phone.

Thanks to generous donations by AAI families and friends, Anita was able to take over 300 pounds of donations, and give over $2500 in food and supplies to orphanages and non-profits in Ghana.
AAI helped a group foster home receive 12 new mattresses for the children.
Directors of the group foster home choose donated shoes and clothing for their children
Earlier this year families raised $5000 for the construction of a new dormitory at Nyame Dua Foster home.  Anita was able to tour the dormitory that is now nearing the end of construction.  When finished, the addition will have a new sitting area, 2 new bedrooms, a western-style restroom, and a storage area.

construction of the Nyame Dua boys dorm

The current restroom facility at Nyame Dua--a new one is planned.

Family Preservation is a significant part of our program in Ghana.  Anita was able to observe these programs in action when she went along to deliver food to vulnerable families and to visit the sponsored children in school.

The trip was very fruitful, in part, thanks to the private vehicle Anita was able to use during her time in Ghana.  Unfortunately, The Ripley Foundation (our primary NGO sponsor in Ghana) is in dire need of vehicles to be able to effectively do their work in Ghana.  Currently, they are borrowing one vehicle (to be returned in August) or using public taxis/buses. Please consider a donation to our Ghana Vehicle Fund to help put this program back on the road.  

The roads are sometimes almost impassable even for a 4X4 SUV, so you can imagine how difficult it is for TRF Humanitarian Director Muna Saeed to do her work hiring public taxis each day.  Many times she can only take a taxi to a certain point before she is left to walk the last few miles on foot (often with donations in hand and her son on her back).  This is, at best, an inefficient way to accomplish the work that must be done on behalf of orphans and vulnerable children. 
 Muna, walking with a mom whose children are sponsored through AAI

Joha, TRF's Director of Development, often takes a public bus from Accra to Bolgatanga--a 17 hour ride--in order to work on adoption cases in the Upper East Region.
 Joha (in brown shirt) settles in for the 17+ hour bus ride

Without access to a dependable SUV, Anita would have been unable to visit at least 5 of the orphanages she visited during the last trip.  The SUV barely made it through the muddy road below.

In the coming months we hope to assist The Ripley Foundation in purchasing two used vehicles--one for city travel and one for "rough" travel.  The organization is doing its best to raise money within Ghana (including their own personal funds) to meet this need, but they ask that we come along side them.  The fact is, at this point, AAI adoption and family preservation work is being inhibited by the transportation problems.

Thank you for your continued support in Ghana.

Anita Gillispie
Adoption Advocates International

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