After an hour with three men (Dr. Somtim Tobiga, Immanuel Ontoyen, & David Stone) plus one woman (me) sharing two motorcycles on a journey that involved turning back to find a more passable trail, being lost, dodging the hind ends and horns of cows, and nearly getting stuck in mud; we arrived for our first look at a remote school to be adopted for the school feeding program. This may sound like a daunting journey, but in fact the three men, all in their 50s and 60s, David Stone included, were as happy as teenagers skipping school while negotiating the difficult trail. I must say, David does know how to drive a motorcycle in some pretty difficult conditions.
Two women giving us directions along the way
Greeting us at the school were around 100 mostly uniformed students of all ages and a large group of mothers. The mothers are isolated and mostly illiterate women with a vision of education for their children. These women organized to persuade other women in the community to haul countless basins of water on their heads for 2 miles in order to make the local mud/clay used in construction. The women then persuaded the men in the community to endure days of heavy labor in putting up the mud walls. *Dr. Somtim Tobiga agreed to buy zinc for roofing and wood for the windows and doors. The result is a very neat and tidy three-room school to which the government has agreed to post two teachers.
The youngest students rushing outside to greet us
Lisa with the women leaders
Children inside a classroom
This school was selected as a location for the lunch program due to the remoteness of the location which makes it difficult for villagers to transport food staples from distant village markets. The location is such that it is risky for the young children to walk to other schools for fear of getting lost or encountering snakes on the long trip. Another important factor is the truly remarkable determination shown by the women in mobilizing the community to build their own school building.
Far better than a simple thanks, dancing is the traditional traditional way to show appreciation
Because this is a new school without a facility for food storage, our next step is to meet with Guanware community members and make a plan for construction. The food will probably be delivered by the workhorse of Ghana-the donkey cart.
Donkey cart loaded with firewood in front of the school