SHGO Trip to Sierra Leone 2018
Yesterday we had an amazing day returning for the third year to the village of Nyetawuta. Today we traveled to Okushibri, a farming community an hour east of Tema, Ghana. Okushibri is a village where our microloan work began 7 years today, with just a handful of small loans made to farmers seeking to uplift themselves out of poverty. Seven years later we now support hundreds of farmers and their extended families through small loans made at the start of each planting season. Through our partner in Ghana, Barbara Asempa of HOCAP, we have offered loans for as little as $50 USD so that farmers could purchase seed and fertilizer and plant their crops. When the harvest is picked and sold, the loan is repaid with a small interest charge to HOCAP so that additional loans can be made. It has been truly amazing for me to see the transformation of an entire community over these past seven years as a result of the economic development achieved by hard working farming families.
We were so graciously welcomed, given a tour of the village, and then met with both men and women of the village to discuss their hopes and dreams for the future of their village and for their children. During our meeting, we also discussed the possibility of Seven Hills assisting the community in acquiring cold storage units which would extend the shelf life of their produce. Our day ended with music and dances, performed by the young people of Okushibri as a gesture of friendship.
Today’s photos include several of an unfinished government school in the village which has not been improved since my first visit in 2011. My Clark students, Carmen and Krissy, have acclimated to the people here in Ghana as a reflection of the warmth and generosity extended to us by everyone we’ve met. We made a brief stop in downtown Accra for refreshing coconuts.
Tomorrow we traveled 3 hours west, along the coast of Ghana to visit the Cape Coast Castle where over 6 million Africans were held captive by the British in the 1700 and 1800’s, only to be sent America and the Caribbean as slaves. More native Africans were sold and traded to the west as slaves from this location than any other in Africa. Former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama visited Cape Coast while in office and remarked that it was the most sobering visit they had ever experienced in Africa. The First Family also witnessed the underground chambers where men, women, and children were held prior to being separated and then sent around the world.
Our efforts in Ghana for this January, 2018 trip are nearing an end and we anticipate our travel to Sierra Leone on Monday. Over the years we have been able to bring clean water and microloan programs to Ghana, but there is still much work to do—beginning with our efforts to start a cold storage social business – an investment that will greatly benefit thousands of women and children.
Follow our trip tomorrow as we explore Cape Coast and retrace the steps of millions of enslaved Africans.
See more images from today here
Dr David A Jordan
Dr J -