The Budukwaa program consisted of constructing a community/kindergarten centre in the rural village of Budukwaa in the Central Region of Ghana (Sub-Saharan Africa). The centre aimed to provide education for the local children as well as work as a meeting place for community members. We chose the centre after visiting Ghana and subsequently conducting a survey of what community members wanted.
Above: The Kindergarten/Community Centre
The centre was completed successfully and within budget accounting for difficult exchange rate conditions. The community were happy to receive the centre and it cost circa £10k. The centre provided education for children for 3 years and continues to work as a community centre.
Some work was
also done in related regions such as the
The Budukwaa community is a rural village of around 1000 people in the central region of Ghana. Farmers there support the Blue Skies factory by farming the plantations bringing a little income into the village. The houses there are mainly made of mud, and when we visited we could see the erosion to house foundations caused by heavy rains. The new community centre therefore had drainage facilities included.
Have a look at our Photo Tour of the Ghana Program which give you a picture of the communities and areas in Ghana and watch the above video which shows footage of the Budukwaa community. Also see the blog, http://yewfosglobal.edublogs.org/ produced by one of the school staff members who accompanied us to Ghana which has more pictures.
The community had already produced plans for the community centre when we visited, and had funded part of an electricity connection which was completely funded when the community centre was completed. The village was the poorest of the four we visited.
The clinic we provided was for the Blue Skies factory, and the acupuncture provided was for the Blue Skies nurse, Lizzie who had had a stroke and was in a wheel chair. She has since recovered and is now working at the Blue Skies factory. We also sponsored her daughter to go to university.
You can read an account of our second visit by Mike Piper which describes the communities in colour and detail.
Health and Education Benefits
The benefits of education help change children's lives in the community by significantly reducing disease through education about hygiene and nutrition education. This means children are healthier and live longer with less illness. Communication is also improved helping their relationships with community members. Women who are educated are able to now have more power over men to make decisions which can reduce domestic violence and enable them to encourage education and healthy eating among their children. Communities also eventuallly become wealthier through having better jobs and more income.
Village health is also helped by the education of children and adults in the school. From learning more about safe sex and family planning to more about illnesses like HIV/AIDS, and how to create and provide nutrition to their families, families can help prevent huge amounts of illness and death, which makes their lives better and more productive because they are then able to work.
The community centre also provides clean water for the children which is key to their nutritional development not only as children but as adults. Having this clean water as children can significantly improve their health as adults allowing them to work longer, be more productive and receive more from those around them when they are older as they they will be worth more through increased productivity.
The equipment provided by the foundation for the Blue Skies clinic will help improve the standard of care to Blue Skies employees. For example the acupuncture given to nurse Lizzie helped her recover from a stroke which enabled her to interact better than she had been in the community around her.
The summary is that that the project was relatively successful. The communities and Blue Skies and its staff appreciate the community centre/kindergarten and the health equipment such as the wheelchair provided, and school equipment and links to Yewlands schools in Sheffield. The Yewlands schools enjoyed working with us in a successful relationship. The project is actively sustained by Blue Skies, by ensuring on a yearly basis that it is still working in the community and rectifying this if problems occur. Below are two community testimonials for the programs supported - the community centre and also a teachers quarters.
Community Appreciation and Testimonials
The locals who received us during our visit were very pleasant and friendly and very happy to see us and make us welcome, and appreciated our visits. The communities and children also appreciated the facilities, not having to walk so far to school, the clean water and playground facilities including a swing which we provided. The Blue Skies Staff also appreciated our help.
The Blue Skies well and the building was completed successfully and within budget. The Blue Skies staff were very friendly and seemed to enjoy what they did and working with us.
Blue Skies factory staff and Buduwkaa village community endeavoured to do what they could in helping each other, and us, partaking in the building of the community centre and also in the other programs. The community was very lively and everyone appreciated the work that was done.
You can read more about the life of Blue Skies and it's employees on our Blue Skies page. Blue Skies, and their CEO Anthony Pile are a recognized example of a company which is treated as a family by its employees, and helped us greatly in carrying out our work, and in their work in the community through the Blue Skies foundation. You can read more about Blue Skies and see videos about them on our Blue Skies page.
The Yewlands schools also helped us through fundraising efforts and visiting Blue Skies with us.
The programs are completed and have been funded. Have a look at our Photo Tour of the Ghana Program. Also read an article about our Ghana program here by Dr Julia Piper. Also see the yewlands blog, http://yewfosglobal.edublogs.org/ produced by one of the school staff members who accompanied us to Ghana. Also read an account of our second visit which tells you more about the clinic, schools, health work and communities we visited. You can also read the Budukwaa 2011 Report. Read about the Yewlands Schools who partly funded the construction. You can also read our About Us and Budukwaa story and about our Budukwaa story on Squidoo.