Western Heritage Home

Western Heritage Home is a not-for-profit organization, known as a "non-government organization" or NGO in Ghana. Determined to do something about homeless children, numbers of children not in school, lack of training for women, low to non-existent computer skills, they started operating in late 2005 and were incorporated in Ghana on June 1, 2006.

Initially, the founders named themselves "Western Christian Heritage Home", because they were indeed both ordained and lay leaders in several of the Christian churches in town. Their idea was to band together to do what no one congregation could possibly do on its own.

However, it became apparent to them early on that they wanted to serve their entire community, including Muslims and those of traditional spiritual persuasion, and they wanted to draw in leaders from those sectors of the community as well. So they officially changed their name to "Western Heritage Home." "Western" stands for the Western Region, "Heritage" for their rich Ghanaian heritage and their determination to be inclusive of all of Axim regardless of ethnic, religious or other affiliations, and "Home" to signal they want to be a "home" for their community, both physically in the use of their building and as an organization open to all.

WHH Board Members

Note: The WHH Board draws from all sectors of Axim society, and is made up of persons already in leadership roles. They are modest, small-town folks, who have had little to no prior experience in community organizations, running Boards, handling relations with Americans, developing projects, etc. However, they understand their community and its needs. All Board members serve without compensation. Organizations such as WHH are rare in Ghana---they are learning as they go. Most members developed leadership skills via their role in running their churches. Their determination inspires us.

Ghana Together's President and Vice President serve as Advisory Members of the WHH Board.

James Kainyiah
Founder and Chair

James KainyiahJames founded Western Heritage Home in 2006 as a broad-based community service organization, focusing on children, education, sanitation, women's advancement, and computer technology. James is the Development Chief of Lower Axim Traditional Council, under the stool name of Nana Kaku Bullu II. He is the Owner and CEO of Jamkay Enterprises, a sporting goods company in Sekondi, Ghana. He served as Chair of the Sekondi/Takoradi Chamber of Commerce. James recently finished a year-long training program in Conflict Resolution, and serves as a mediator to defuse tense situations. James is shown here with his youngest daughter, who is his joy!



Awulae Attibrukusu III
Paramount Chief/King of Lower Axim Traditional Council

Awulae Attibrukusu

Awulae is the hereditary Chief in the area. His role is somewhat similar to that of our own American Indian leaders. Although Awulae has broad responsibilities which do not allow him time to participate directly in WHH, he is a founder and continues his strong support. He has been the main source of leadership in establishing a new All-Girls High School in Axim. He is the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, and Vice President of the National House of Chiefs of the Republic of Ghana. He serves on the Board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.  Awulae visited Ghana Together Board members and friends in the US in 2011, while on an educational trip. 

Father Paul Awuah

Father Paul Awuah

Founding member and the Parish Priest in St Anthony Catholic Church in Axim. Fr Paul and his congregation have primary responsibility for the Catholic School Building, which was built by missionaries in the early 20th century, but now is a government school. Father Paul, representing the Local Council of Churches in the Axim area, is chair of the 26-member Nzema East Inter-party Dialogue Committee to work for peaceful elections, which are being held in 2012. 

 

 

 

Nana Adjow Sika II & Hajara Yakubu

Nana Adjou Sika-Hajara Yakubu

Both Nana Sika and Madame Hajara are founding members. Nana Sika (left) is the Queen Mother of Upper Axim Traditional Council. Madame Hajara Yakubu is the Director of the Community Development Vocational Institute, which trains youth in vocational skills such as sewing, hairdressing, and catering. Hajara is also a leading lay woman in the St James Methodist Church, and regularly preaches in parish services in outlying villages. 

 

 

Miss Frances Polley

Frances Polley

Miss Polley is a founding member. She is a retired high school mathematics teacher. She has her own small school supplies shop in downtown Axim and is well-known in the Axim community. She is a leading member of the Methodist Church.

 

 

 

 

Isaac Bentil

Mr. Bentil is a founding member, local businessman, and was instrumental in building the Western Heritage Community Learning Center and organizing the orphanage that WHH operated for several years. He owns a local printing and insurance business. Bentil is a leader in the community, overseeing and organizing the annual "Kundum Festival", serving as leader of a Parent-Teacher Association, and is the Chair of the Methodist Laity in the Nzema region. Mr. Bentil served as the WHH Manager for a time, overseeing all of WHH's projects. He skillfully managed the successful transition of the orphanage children into kinship and foster homes and still plays a major role in their lives.

 

Mercy Ackah

Ms. Ackah is the Director of the Axim Public Library. She has, with support from Ghana Together and others, developed a new "mobile library" service for the schools in Axim, and also a program bringing upper primary students into the library for "story hour" and the opportunity to choose books. Under Mercy's leadership, the District Assembly has allocated a room adjacent to the library as a "Children's Corner", and also is installing electricity in the community center building which houses the Library on the 2nd floor. She and her brother are the co-owners of the Apewosika Village school, which was founded and built by their deceased mother, a teacher.

 

Western Heritage Home Mission

  • To assist orphaned and other vulnerable children regardless of faith, race or origins;
  • To provide children with at least basic and junior secondary education;
  • To foster sustainable economic development;
  • To provide leadership training to adults in the Axim community;
  • To develop programs to empower women in social, economic, and political spheres;
  • To create effective AIDS awareness program for the community;
  • To offer training in ICT both in hardware and software.

Western Heritage Home (WHH) is Ghana Together’s primary partner in Ghana.  We have developed not only a relationship based on trust and shared values, but a pretty solid “business” culture with accountability, frequent communication, and open sharing of information. 

Although it is difficult, what with poor and expensive phone connections, little to no internet readily available, difficult accents, to say nothing of differing cultural expectations, we all try our best to communicate regularly. Cellphone technology, especially texting, saves the day. At least one Ghana Together Board director travels to Ghana at least annually. Let's say that in spite of challenges, we've developed trust in each other—not so easy!

WHH owns and operates the Community Learning Center in Axim. It oversees all ongoing projects. Board members work without compensation. WHH has three employees—an operations Manager and two Night Watchmen/Cleaners.

Most of WHH funding for projects comes through grants from Ghana Together. They support themselves modestly through rental of their facility, in-kind gifts from local organizations, and occasional donations from Ghanaian businesses.

Their official incorporation documents are listed here: