Monday, February 28, 2011

Junior High Student Rallies Support for Library Computer

For American and European students, computers have become a staple of the classroom: preschoolers play interactive computer games, elementary students surf the net for their reports and science projects. By middle school, using a computer and navigating the web are second nature. Our children are usually more fluent in computer technology than we are--my 10-year-old cousin taught me how to upload songs on my mp3 player and how to download music (legally) from the web.

For Ghanaian students, computers are mythical machines. They study diagrams of keyboards and memorize definitions of 'internet', 'flashdrive', and 'RAM', but they have never laid eyes on a computer. In an effort to thrust students into the Information Age, Ghana's Education System has now made ICT (Information and Communication Technology) a required subject on the BECE, an exam all junior high students must pass to graduate and move on to senior high school. For those who have no access to a computer, this means a huge blow to their BECE scores, threatening their ability to graduate junior high. In response, one Humjibre junior high student, Kesse Asare, issued the following plea to GHEI:

February 2, 2011

Dear Sir:

I am very happy but I am sad. Because of what? Because there is no computer in this library. So if they teach us ICT we would come to the library to receive this [knowledge].

But if we come to the library, we can see there is no computer, so how can we receive [our ICT training]? Please, we beg you, please help us solve this problem. If you do so, God Almighty will bless you forever and ever. AMEN.

We thank you because you will solve this problem for us. If you do, I will be happy because I don’t want us to fail our BECE, so that we will pass, in the name of Jesus.

Thank you.

Yours Faithfully,

Kesse Asare

With your help, GHEI hopes to purchase a computer for the Humjibre Community Library to be used as a teaching tool for all students. To donate to the Library Computer Fund, visit our donate page and select "Library Computer Fund" in the Program Designation drop-down menu.

--Natalie Rich, GHEI Communications Director

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Power of One: A CHW's Story

Yaa Mary has her finger on the pulse of Humjibre. A 56-year-old cocoa farmer, she spends most of her time tending her farm and caring for her 7 children and 4 grandchildren. Like many women here, she speaks in broken English and reads at a first grade level. But her involvement with GHEI sets her apart: Yaa Mary knows how to prevent and treat HIV, malaria, and diarrhea. She has distributed and hung hundreds of bednets. She has performed skits on national radio broadcasts. She is trained in surveying and interviewing for data collection.

She may be the oldest, least educated of GHEI’s Community Health Workers, but Yaa Mary’s enthusiasm and dedication has made her an integral part of the team. Calm and unassuming, she is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. She knows everyone in the community by name and everyone knows her. Whether she is harvesting cocoa or teaching people how to prevent malaria, she gives her all. Here is her story:

I come from Humibre, but my father was an Ashanti, so I attended primary school in Ashanti [a few hours from Humjibre]. By junior high, I returned to Humjibre. My father died, and I had no one to look after me, so I left school. Since then, I have been farming food and cocoa here in Humjibre. I learned about GHEI when they first started here in Humjibre around 2001. They were working in our community, helping us with health and education. I saw that GHEI had many good things to tell us, so I decided to become a CHW. That was 5 years ago.

Since then, I have learned so many things, but I am most interested in malaria. I think malaria is such a bad thing because it can kill you. And it kills people very early [in life]. As a CHW, I have also learned to respect people and keep confidentiality. I think that is why people always receive me well. I speak very slowly and easily so that they understand me. Whenever I am speaking to people, I always smile. Because I love my work.

Read more about the work of GHEI's Community Health Workers on our health program pages

--Natalie Rich, GHEI Communications Director

Share |

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Join our mailing list!

Subscribe to our mailing list for monthly e-newsletters and periodic email updates!

Share |

Monday, February 21, 2011

Volunteer in Ghana this summer!


The GHEI Serve and Learn Program offers volunteers hands-on experience in development, public health, rural education, and human rights promotion in the remote, underserved Western Region of Ghana. In addition to designing and implementing a project for GHEI's target communities, volunteers participate in a wide variety of local activities that expose them to the rich, vibrant culture of Ghana. Apply today! We still have a few open spaces!

Programs & Dates:
Session 1: Ghana Read and Play: A celebration of childhood literacy (June13-29)
Session 2: Girls’ Empowerment (July 1-17)
Session 3: Evaluation of Bednet Usage for Malaria (July 19-August 4)
Session 4: Build Ghana: Community Development and Local Capacity (August 6-22)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

GHEI Career Day a SUCCESS!

"Now I know the reason I am in school. Today, I have seen my roots, and I have seen what I can do." --junior high student Kate Owusu

Every year, GHEI hosts a Career Opportunity Lecture Series (COLS) for junior high students. Beginning with small discussion groups led by GHEI's volunteer teachers, the students leanred about careers, job skills, and education options. During the afternoon, local professionals spoke to the students, motivating them to stay in school and pursue the careers of their choice:

"Nothing will fulfill you more than finding what you love to do and pursuing it as a career. For me that was engineering." --speaker Emmanuel Minkah, Ghana Bauxite Company Mining Engineer

This year over 100 students attended from Humjibre and Muoho. Here's a slideshow of the event:

--Natalie Rich, GHEI Communications Director

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Malaria Program Expands to Kojina!

On the evening of January 26th, over 100 spectators gathered in a field on the outskirts of Kojina for a malaria education outreach, featuring the introduction of GHEI’s upcoming bednet distribution and a malaria education film showing. Like many villages in this region of Ghana, Kojina lacks electricity, so GHEI relied on a generator to power the equipment needed to attract and reach a wide audience. Our Program Director, Clement Donkor, commenced the event at 7pm, explaining the importance of using bednets to prevent malaria. Malaria Program Manager, Mensah Gyapong, and CHW Manager Agnes Obeng, also spoke to the crowd about signs and symptoms of malaria, malaria treatment and prevention, and proper bednet use. Mabel Asiedu and John Coffie, both junior high graduates and cocoa farmers from Kojina, introduced themselves to the community as GHEI’s newest CHWs and Kojina’s resident malaria experts.

Following these introductions, GHEI showed the film United Against Malaria to the crowd of eager spectators. Directed and produced by U.S. playwright Laconia Koerner, the film was written and performed by Humjiibre CHWs in the local language, making it accessible to local audiences. After the film, Clement explained the logistics of the upcoming bednet distribution, in which teams of CHWs from Humjibre and Kojina would enter households to conduct the malaria flipchart education and hang bednets over each sleeping area. Kojina’s Chief, Nana Gyening, closed the event by encouraging people to utilize this unique opportunity to fight malaria in their homes and in the community.

This event marks the latest expansion of GHEI’s Malaria Prevention Program. For over a month, Health Program Coordinator, Carly Edwards, and the CHWs have worked tirelessly to create a GIS map of the village of Kojina and administer a baseline survey of Kojina’s 50 households, which will enable GHEI to distribute the 300 bednets donated by Against Malaria Foundation. This community-wide outreach kicked off the distribution by helping the people of Kojina understand why malaria is so dangerous and how bednets can protect them from this life-threatening disease.

For more information on our Malaria Prevention Program, click here.

--Natalie Rich, GHEI Communications Director

Share |