Greetings from Western Maryland! Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about my endeavor.
In 2003 I studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa for one month. I met such wonderful people and every day it was an absolute joy to wake up in this beautiful country. During my visit, I met some folks from the village of Nankese. They appealed to me for help in funding the completion of a local health clinic. A Peace Corps worker started the construction project ten years before, but she was sent to another region of the world. I was compelled to help these people, and was constantly reminded of my Ghanaian friend's philosophy, "Why not?" I returned to the States and got to work making prints of my artwork and sewing unique Christmas stockings from recycled materials. I am happy to report that I was successful in raising enough money to complete the construction of the clinic! Thanks to the generous donations of friends, family, and complete strangers, the Nankese-Community Health Post is now serving over 10,000 local Ghanaians.
In 2007, I returned to Ghana to attend the opening ceremony of the clinic. I also volunteered to teach art to the students at the Primary School. These students do not have art classes, so it was exciting to see their wonderful faces light up with joy while painting for the first time! During this visit, I was reminded of the many needs in this community. The school is basically a pavillion, with a leaky roof, no walls, and no place for books or a library. There is also no bathroom/indoor plumbing. These students are excited to learn. They thirst for knowledge, because they know it's a way out of poverty. I came home and re-dedicated myself to helping the village. I started raising money to help repair the school. So far, the end kindergarten classroom has been enclosed. But there is still much to do. I would love to see the school completely renovated.
At present, I have three large murals to deliver to Nankese. As part of my graduate studies and desire to continue helping Nankese, I painted a "Tree of Life" mural for the birthing room in the clinic, and two murals in the local language (Twi) and English for the school. My current mission is to return to Ghana to deliver these items, check on my school children there, and complete final research for my Master's Project (I am going to develop a website and resources for teachers featuring the art of Ghana). It has become increasingly difficult to come up with the money for my travel expenses. ANY support and consideration you can give to fulfill this dream is so greatly appreciated!