November 2012 Archives

Looking Back: The African Well Fund in Ghana

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Welcome to Ghana!

Occupied since the Bronze Age, most of Ghanaian territory was until the beginning of the 20th century part of the powerful Empire of Ashanti. After a period of British rule, they were the first sub-Saharan nation to achieve independence from European colonialism in 1957 in favour of self-rule with a strong emphasis on Pan-Africanism.

Though a series of military coups slowed development for some time, since the early nineties Ghana has been a stable multi-party democracy pursuing economic growth and development. Rich in resources such as gold, as well being one of the largest cocoa producers in the world, Ghana has nearly twice the per capita output of some of its West African neighbors.

Despite this promise, however, Ghana is still a lower-middle income country, and still suffers from persistently high infant and childhood mortality rates. Unsafe water sources are relied upon by more than half of the rural population, and this dependence has allowed diarrhea, Guinea worm, bilharzia, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery to remain wide-spread. Diarrheal disease alone are the third most common ailment in health centers throughout the country.

The African Well Fund has sponsored projects in Ghana since 2008, working to help provide clean water sources to Ghanaian cocoa farmers and their families. We've also been fortunate enough to see the country first-hand - the projects AWF sponsored, and the communities affected.

Check out this video from that trip featuring our own Diane Yoder, and stay tuned as we continue to dive in to this incredible country!

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