Friday we toured the Ghana National Museum in the morning and then made the bone-rattling drive up to Ashesi where we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Prince and Mr. Frederick, two of many Ashesi students who are passionate about community development: mentoring junior high school students and developing Ghana agriculture, respectively. Dr. Charley Jackson, faculty member in the newly opened School of Engineering at Ashesi, then took us home for a delicious dinner and the company of his wife, Mary Kay, who has done development work in Ghana for many years.
Reflection: Many Ghanaians have told us that although they have a very strong tradition of helping an extensive network of family and kin, there is not such a strong tradition of helping people one is not related to. Our Ghana board members and advisors have been particularly adamant that Yo Ghana! play a role in widening this circle of generosity. Mary Kay talked about how development workers often forget how empowering it is to give. One of Yo Ghana!’s tenets is that “everyone can help someone.” It’s a sad fact, though, that NGOs often expect little or nothing of the people that they purport to help, low expectations that can sap a community of the very strength that allowed it to flourish for millennia long before the NGOs showed up. So we were delighted to learn how Purity School was already using its library to strengthen the rest of the community and to see how delighted Miss Deborah was with her experience of volunteering with young students.