Ghana Together Milestones


October 2022 The new Axim Public Library is architecturally finished! What an achievement. James Kainyiah and Western Heritage Home supporters are working on getting local businesses, oil company, churches, etc. to put together funds to completely furnish the library, the computer room, and the first floor spacious community center.

May 2022 Where to start? During the past two years, WHH and Ghana Together have managed to finish the structure of a new Axim Public Library---leaving at this point only the interior painting, flooring, and furnishings. And we've managed to keep all the students currently enrolled in University attending, whether online or in person. We've not been able to visit in person, but we stay in touch at least weekly by phone/email, etc. We appreciate so much the ongoing support of our "investors", who have stayed with us through these difficult times. Thank you!


Oct 2020 Pandemic update: Our University-level students are attending classes, in person or online, and are living in student housing. Thanks to Ghana Together, all are supplied all with computers. They are reporting internet access is slow and can be frustrating, but they are doing their best. Three vocational students are working because classes are closed. One is helping in a palm oil plantation, and another as an apprentice electrician in a hotel. Another is living with his family. Two JHS students are with extended family because Manye Academy is closed except for final year students. The lower level students at Maako and Apowesika Schools are attending classes, but care is being taken. The library construction is ongoing, albeit a bit slower than normal, because the number of workers is restricted. Western Heritage Home is occasionally posting photos of new library on Facebook, showing the progress. Day at a time--we don't know what next term will be like but we are grateful for all the care being taken.

Aug 2020 Wow! Not an easy time, with the Covid-19 complications. Work on the new library is progressing, but slowly, since there are only a few workers allowed, and they must maintain distancing, etc. We did forward tuition, and other school costs in early June for the third term---some of our 62 students are studying online, some are "in the house" with grandparents or extended family. One is tapping rubber for his Uncle for a little work experience. The university level are strugging with slow online, but are staying in class in one way or another. "Uncle" James has challenged all the WHH Scholars to use rheir late Aug/early Sept break to help the "grandmas" others who are challenged in the community. Thanks to all our "investors" for staying with us during this very challenging time!

Jan 2020 The Axim Elders have met and agreed that Axim needs a purpose-built public library. Land has been legally transferred to the Ghana Library Authority.  The Methodist Church has agreed to tear down its old building currently on the property. The Chief of Upper Axim has poured libation and given his blessing and that of the ancestors. The property is being readied for construction. So the New Library is launched!


Dec 2019 Charlotte A. and Philomena M., two long-term WHH Scholars, have both graduated Nursing School. Also, the Axim community, with the blessing of the Chief of Upper Axim, the Ghana Library Authority, and local elders, furthered plans to build a new library on land near down-town Axim and within easy walking distance of several primary schools. Stay tuned!

Nov 2019 Axim Community Development Vocational Technical Institute opened a new computer lab with up-to-date tower computers and monitors, equipped with Microsoft Windows and new open source office software. Thank you to Marysville Legacy Senior High teacher Paul LaGrange and students, FedEx Social Responsibility Program, Prince Shipping & Son, James Kainyiah, Madame Safiatu Seidu and staff and many others!

Nov 2019 Charlotte and Philomena, who we've helped with school costs since early primary school, graduated from Asanta Nursing Training College.

Sept 2019 Sixty Western Heritage Home-sponsored children receive education support, including eight enrolled in University or Nurses Training School! This is a remarkable achievement for these orphaned or vulnerable children!

Jan 2019 Seventy-four children receive educational support---45 primary, 2 junior high, 12 vocational, 1 senior high specialized program for visually impaired, 2 nursing, and 2 technical university.


Sept 2018 969 more high-quality children's books arrive at Axim Library. Plans are to expand the mobile library school visits to the Ankroba Beach area. Kingsley (welding/fabrication) and Peter (computer science) are accepted into Takoradi Technical University and start classes on Oct 1.

June 2018 Seventy-one students are sponsored to start the new school year, ranging in age from 4th grade through nursing college and technical university.

June 2018 A new photocopier/printer is installed in the Axim Girls Senior High School---now expecting more than 500 students in September. Also, the guys who drive the Library's mobile library tricycle have safety helmets, and the Library's Internet Cafe has a new printer and is open for business!

April 2018 Fifteen primary/JHS schools are being served by the Axim Public Library's "Mobile Library by Tricycle." 779 children are registered library members. 8,622 books were checked out to children during 2nd term, Jan-April.

April 2018 We congratulate Peter, Ernestina, and Gifty on graduation from senior high school. Together with Kingsley, who graduated from vocational/technical school, they are awarded the Leif Pederson Graduation Award of $300 US each. In addition, we congratulate Godwin who graduated Manye Junior High School.

Jan 2018 We support 69 Axim-area students, beginning 2nd term, 2017-2018 school year: two in nursing school; three in academic senior high; one in senior high for the blind; 10 in vocational senior high; 1 in academic junior high; 52 in primary.


Dec 2017 Dorothy Armoo graduates as Nursing Assistant from Asanta Nursing Assistant Training School. Ghana Together provides two WikiMed Internet-in-a-Boxes to Asanta Nursing School and Essiama Nursing/Midwifery School. The Axim Library roof springs a leak, and efforts are underway to repair it. Ghana Together ships about 600 lbs of children's books to the Axim Library, trusting that repairs will be underway before they arrive at the Port in Tema.

Oct 2017 Fifty-nine students begin the 2017-2018 school year under our assistance: 3 in Nursing School, 4 in academic senior high, 10 in vocational training, 1 in junior high, and 41 in primary school. The bus at the Axim Girls Senior High is repaired and in service. The 3 UDDT toilets are working well, and we are proud that another organization is building one, one based on our prototypes, in the Village of Apataim! We are working with the Asanta Nursing School to install a WikiMed Internet-in-a-Box to provide up-to-date medical info (experiment---stay tuned!).

May-Jun 2017 982 more children's books arrive at Axim Public Library. Frederick Johnson graduates Junior High School. Ghana Together finances the repair of the Axim Girls Senior High School bus which was damaged when it crashed into the water tower. Local Axim folks repair damage to Western Heritage Home after a major windstorm.

Jan 2017 Ghana Together supports 74 students, ranging from nursing college to primary school, for the 2nd term, 2016-2017 school year.


Nov 2016 WHH Scholar Emmanuella Dein is admitted to Ghana National College, a senior high school in Cape Coast with facility for blind students. George Grant matriculates at Axim Community Development Vocational/Technical Institute with welding/fabrication as his specialty. Both did well on their Junior High School exams, giving them the privilege to continue their education.

Nov 2016  A building renovated to become a dormitory, accommodating 40 male students, at the Community Development Vocational/Technical Institute, is completed and "handed over" to Madame Seidu, the Director. The project includes 40 bunkbeds, two rooms for bathing, and a urine diversification/dehydation toilet.

Sept 2016 Western Heritage Home Scholars Emmanuella and George graduate Junior High School, take their BECE exams, and earn the right to receive an assignment to a senior high school.

Jun 2016 Philomena Mensah and Charlotte Armah graduate from Nsein Senior High School. They are the 3rd and 4th Western Heritage Home scholars to attain this level of education. Ghana Together awarded them each the "Leif Pederson Graduation Award"---in the amount of $300 US each---to help them to make the transition from SHS into the world of work. Leif was a founding member of Ghana Together whose widow established this award in his honor. CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE OUTSTANDING WHH SCHOLARS!!

Mar 2016 Ghana Together sponsors the first Days for Girls International Workshop in Axim. It is held at the Community Development Vocational Technical Institute (a senior high level school), and led by Bernice Ankrah, the DFG Ghana Country Director.

Feb 2016 Workers replace the failed water polytank at the Heritage Building. It provides water to 30+ senior high boarding students.

Jan 2016 Western Heritage Home opens their Heritage Building as a hostel to the first 24 boarding students---12 boys and 12 girls---from the newly-organized Manye Academy Government Senior High School.

Jan 2016 At the beginning of the term, we assist 74 students in their schooling in one way or another--via tuition scholarships, uniforms, supplies---in most cases in partnership with their extended families.


Oct 2015 The Western Heritage Home leadership "hands over" and dedicates a second Urine Diversification/Dehyration Toilet to the Methodist-Government Primary/JHS School---funded by Ghana Together.

Sept 2015  Board Director Louise Wilkinson and Susan Hirst conduct Leadership Workshops for about 100 senior high students.

July 2015 The Henderson duo install Internet-in-a-Box (materials funded by Ghana Together) at Axim Public Library, and train staff and students. Axim now has two IIAB installations----one at the Axim Library and another at the Axim Girls Senior High School.

July 2015 Katie Henderson and her father, Jeff Henderson, conduct workshops at the Axim Girls Senior High School and the Axim Public Library. Katie teaches classes in Scratch, a beginning programming language, Internet-in-a-Box, and One Laptop per Child computing to Axim students of all ages.

June 2015 Gifty Essien, Western Heritage Home Scholar, graduates senior high school and opens up her own shop in the Axim market. Kingsley Larmine and Ernestina Ackah graduate from Manye Academy Junior High School.

Feb 2015 The Axim Girls Senior High School Dining/Assembly/Study building is outfitted with 20 tables and 40 benches, constructed by students at the Kikkam Technical Institute. Painting and cleaning are completed. The building is "handed over" in a ceremony including Maryanne Ward (President Ghana Together), James Kainyiah (Chair Western Heritage Home), Mrs. Theodora Appiah (Headmistress), teachers, and the students. Father Paul Awuah gives the blessing and cuts the ribbon.

Jan 2015 UnleashKids and Ghana Together collaborate on installing "Internet-In-A-Box" at the Axim Girls Senior High School. The IIAB contains a library, including Wikipedia, math and science videos, medical info, maps, books, and much more. It is installed in the ICT Lab at the AGSHS.

Jan 2015 The Axim Public Library starts 2015 by launching its new Mobile Library Service (via tricycle with a "box")  to 11 local primary schools. In just the first month, more than 800 children register (paying 1 Ghana cedia ---about 35 US cents). They receive books on a weekly basis.


Nov 2014 Headmistress Adjei and WHH Chair Kainyiah announce the completion of the renovation of the Axim All Girls High School Assembly/Dining/Study Hall. The PTA and the students themselves cooperated to prepare and clean up both the site and the completed building.

Aug 2014 The Axim community dedicates a new Mobile Library Van and a new Children's Computing Lab, based on One Laptop Per Child computers. They also moved the Leif Pederson Internet Cafe (for adults) to the same central location in the Community Center, creating a central "Learning Center" together with the public library.

Feb 2014 The Pacific Northwest Chapter of Engineers Without Borders and Western Heritage Home dedicate a new 8-stall Urine Diversification/Dehydration Toilet at an Axim Junior High School. 200+ students will use the toilet, which includes a feature for helping girls during their menstrual periods. The toilet is a new design being used worldwide, and is thought to be the first of its kind in Ghana. It was built by local workmen with local materials.

Jan 2014 30 young women move into WHH Hostel. They attend Axim All-Girls High School.

Jan 2014 Western Heritage Home, Ghana Together, and the school's PTA dedicate a renovated a two-classroom building and adminstration office. Eighty-two junior high students move into the classrooms.


Nov 2013 Ghana Together helps facilitate an Engineers Without Border Project to build a new toilet at a central Axim Junior High School.

Nov 2013 Charlotte and Philomena pass all their junior high graduation exams and qualify to register at Axim All-Girls Senior High School.

Oct 2013 Thirteen senior high school girls move into the "Heritage Hostel". WHH has converted the 2nd floor of the Heritage Home building into a dormitory for girls from various parts of Ghana attending the new Axim All-Girls High School.

Oct 2013 Dorothy A., the first of the Western Heritage Scholars to graduate high school, begins her first job teaching English and ICT at Aghan Primary School.

Sept 2013 Forty-three Apewosika Primary School scholarship students return to their classes.

Sept 2013 Ten young women and two young men receive Ghana Together scholarships to attend the Axim Community Vocational Development Institute. The ten women join nineteen other women to live in the newly-renovated dormitory.

June 2013 Madame Hajara Yakuba announces the completion of the Axim Community Development/Vocational Institute Women's Dormitory renovation. The top priority project of WHH for 2013, and funded by Ghana Together, the renovated dormitory will accommodate about 50-60 more young women whose current homes are  beyond walking distance. They learn sewing, cuinary arts, bookkeeping, hairdressing and other trades at CDVI.

March 2013 WHH moves its Ghana Together funded Junior High Science Room to the Axim All-Girls High School (AGHS), to facilitate use by HS level students, and also to have closer proximity for Junior High School students walking to use the Lab. The AGHS installs security on windows and walk-in cabinets to securely store the science materials.

January 2013 Ghana Together President Maryanne Ward visits Axim, meeting with local leaders, reviewing projects, and planning 2013 goals with our Ghanaian affiliate NGO Western Heritage Home (WHH).


Nov 2012 Ghana Together provides 10 library benches to fill the new room provided by the Axim District Assembly for a Children's Library Corner. WHH assigns its motorcycle to the "Books by Motorcycle" program that serves local primary schools. Ms. Ackah, Librarian, conducts story hours Mon-Thurs for older students.

Sept 2012 Ghana Together supports 50 scholarship students to fill Apewosika Village School to capcity.

Aug 2012 WHH launches its first "Vacation Enrichment Program", focused on English, Math, Science, and One Laptop Per Child Computers. 117 students are enrolled for the month-long enrichment classes held at their Heritage Building.

July 2012 Western Heritage Home Board adds to its membership Maureen Kainyiah, Marketing Mgr for Ankobra FM Radio; Mercy Ackah, Director of Axim Public Library; and Sarfo Hayford, Science Curriculum Director for Axim-Nzema Ghana Education District.

June 2012 Elena Robertson, a senior at Occidental College in California, visits Axim both for academic research on the status of Millennium Development Goals and also to volunteer in some of the venues Ghana Together has been active in. Elena and her Dad spent a month in Axim four years ago, on a senior high literacy project, and she re-connected with friends on this visit.

June 2012 Western Heritage Home hires Ussif Mariko Zakari as Manager-In-Training. Zak comes to WHH from Augustino JHS, in Axim, where, as his National Service, he was a math teacher. He will do the administrative tasks for WHH.

Jan 2012 Maryanne Ward travels to Axim. She works with the new JHS Science Resource Center, the OLPCs, Public Library, and Anglican Crèche. On behalf of Engineers Without Borders, Northwest Chapter, she meets with WHH and Catholic JHS leaders on an agreement for a new toilet at the school. She visits Ashesi University, and later in her visit, helps facilitate a visit by Ashesi representatives to Nzema area high school students. She meets with the WHH Board and together they outline accomplishment of 2011 and goals for 2012.


Sept 2011 A second shipment of books arrives at the Axim Public Library, thanks to the work of St Philips Episcopal Church in Rochester, MI and former Axim resident Ebby M, who facilitated the shipment. Ms. Ackah, the Librarian, begins a new program to deliver boxes of books to local primary schools, and opens the library on Saturdays. The Axim District Assembly approves the use of a room adjacent to the current library for a "Kids Corner", and fixes the leaks in the roof.

Sept 2011 At the request of the Nzema East-Axim Education Service, Ghana Together and the District sets up a complete Junior High Science Room in the Western Heritage Home facility. Jerome Chandler, retired college science instructor, spends the month working with District teachers to organize the room, train teachers, and introduce students to the facility. Seven JHS schools will use the facility.

Sept 2011 The Ghanaian Welfare Dept and staff of WHH finds extended family or foster homes for all of the children residing in the Children's Home. This move was precipitated by a Ghanaian government policy to phase out children's homes/orphanages over the next few years. WHH staff ensures all children are attending school, most in the same Manye Academy.

July 2011 - Awulae Attibrukusu III, Paramount Chief of Lower Axim Traditional Area, visits Ghana Together Board members and friends in the Puget Sound area. While there, he meets with Boeing representatives, Chairman Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Indian Community, members of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County, and the Northwest Career and Technical Academy. Awulae is a founding member of Western Heritage Home, the Ghanaian-registered NGO we collaborate with in Axim, Ghana.

April 2011 - The Axim Public Library receives more than 1000 books for young children, as a gift from St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Rochester, MI. St. Philip's also presented to St. Mary's Anglican Church in Axim three complete pre-school classrooms, which were created by renovating an old storage building.

March 2011 - Maryanne Ward travels to Axim and works with local leaders to finalize plans for the new Junior High Science Room and the OLPC Computer Learning Center, housed in the WHH facility, which will serve several schools, beginning Sept 2011. An agreement is signed by Sarfo Hayford (Science Curriculum Chief for Nzema Schools), Marian Quansah (Director, Nzema Education District), Municipal Chief Executive Cobbinah, and WHH Manager Isaac Bentil, and Maryanne on behalf of Ghana Together.

Jan 2011 – WHH contracts with Eric, an IT technician from Takoradi, who installs internet cafe management software, Skype, video cams, and updates all the computers in the internet cafe. The Cafe provides an outstanding service to the Axim community, especially for those who have families living in other parts of the world. Income from the Cafe helps sustain the Children's Home.


Dec 2010 – Thirty-four Axim mosques, churches, businesses, individuals, and the Municipal Assembly donate gifts of food, clothing, money, and supplies to the WHH Children's Home.

Dec 2010 – Penpal letters are exchanged between the WHH children and American friends. November 2010 – The Bellingham, WA chapter of Engineers Without Borders enters serious conversations with WHH about building a sanitation facility to serve the Catholic (public) Primary School in Axim. Ghana Together facilitates these "linking" relationships.

Oct 2010 – St. Philip's Episcopal Church in the Detroit area hosts "Songs for Stories", a benefit concert for the Axim Public Library's children's section. The church will purchase as many as 1500 books for young children, giving a real boost to the library. Mercy Ackah, the Axim librarian, plans to create a "Kids Korner" in the small library space in the center of Axim town.

Oct 2010 – Ghana Together arranges for an Axim carpenter to build 50 two-seater children's desks and 2 teachers' desks for the Anglican Primary School in Axim. This is a public, government-funded school. August 2010 – PACCAR Technical Center, Mount Vernon, WA, donates 10 refurbished Dell laptops for the junior high school level computer learning room being developed by WHH, Ghana Together, and the Axim School District.

June 2010 – Leif Pederson, founding Ghana Together Board Director, and VP for Technology and Planning, dies from complications of foot surgery. Services were held on Bainbridge Island and in the St. James Methodist Church in Axim. What a loss.

March 2010 – Gifty Asmah, Director of Daasgift Quality Foundation, Providers of Business Development and Microfinance services in Takoradi, Ghana visits Ghana Together Board Directors and others in the Pacific Northwest. She speaks at Western Washington University and Skagit Valley College.

March 2010 - Gladys, Ben's little sister, is brought to the Children's Home by her great-grandmother who is no longer able to care for her. She is taken in and is now joins Ben as a permanent resident.

March 2010 – Western Heritage Home hires Isaac Bentil, local businessman and community leader, as Managing Director. He joins Patrick (facility), Barbara (Mother and Secretary), Janevan (cleaner), Elizabeth (cook), and Francis (night watchman).

Jan-Feb 2010 – Ghana Together Board members Leif Pederson and Maryanne Ward travel to Axim. They work with WHH staff and local businesses to install plumbing to fill an auxiliary polytank with city-supplied water, ensuring that basic water needs are met during the frequent power outages and water shortages. They also engage nearly thirty local businesses—plumbers, carpenters, welders, electricians, tailors, provisioners, and others—to repair and upgrade the WHH facility.

Jan 2010 – Regina Lawler, member of the Millennium Development Goals Committee of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in the Detroit, MI area visits Axim. Her church and St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Axim have partnered to turn a partially-finished storage building into a fully-furnished two-room crèche for children 2.5 to 4 years old.


Dec 2009 – Ghana Together and Engineers Without Borders–Northwest Washington Professionals Chapter hosted John Abugri, an Axim-based Ghanaian Disease Control Officer. We arranged for him to meet with public health specialists, civil and sanitation engineers, and educators in the Bellingham, WA area.

Oct 2009 – WHH and Ghana Together, in conjunction with the Nzema East Department of Education-Axim, sponsor three week-long physics workshops for the 66 Junior High Science Teachers in the Axim school district. The workshops are conducted by Jerome Chandler, Professor Emeritus, Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon, WA USA. Jerome is also on the Ghana Together Board of Directors.

Sept 2009 – WHH joins with Ghana Water Company to host the six-member Northwest Washington Professional Chapter of EWB-USA team. Together they are working on ideas for improving water resources for the town of Axim. The EWB team is led by Ravyn Whitewolf, who is also a Ghana Together Board Director.

Sept 2009 – WHH initiates One Laptop Per Child computer classes to 19 neighborhood children during the “school break” period. The computers were donated by North American participants in OLPCs; “Give One Get One” program. The classes will continue on Saturdays when school resumes, with additional children registered. The children who live in the Children’s Home have worked with OLPCs for several months and are delighted to share their skills with their friends.

Aug 2009 – WHH hires Ariana Amerley Amarh as WHH Manager. Ariana is a graduate of University of Ghana-Legon, majoring in sociology and history. She has experience in sales, teaching, and social work in a hospital setting.

July 2009 – WHH hires Maxwell Quarm, age 24, as instructor and technician in the WHH Academy’s Vocational Computing Learning Laboratory. Maxwell grew up in Axim, and currently makes it his home. His previous position was as computer instructor at Kikam Technical School, about 20 miles from Axim.

May 2009 – As the only certified Children’s Home in Axim, WHH provides for the first time in its existence emergency shelter for two abandoned children. “Mary,” age approximately 8 months, and “Joanna,” age approximately 2.5 years, have been placed in the Home by the Nzema East District Welfare Officer in cooperation with the regional police department. Senior women in Axim pitched in with baby food, nappies, etc. After medical attention, both girls are in excellent health and are enjoying the love and care of their brothers and sisters and the WHH Children’s Home “Mother.”

April 2009 – Ghana Together wins a software grant donation from Microsoft Corporation. Included in grant are licensed versions of Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Office Professional and Microsoft Encarta Premium 2009. The grant is valued at over $37,000 and the software will be deployed in the WHH Academy’s Vocational Computing Laboratory.

April 2009 – GT Board members Tom Castor, Leif Pederson, and Maryanne Ward travel to Axim and deploy 24 One Laptop Per Child computers (OLPCs) at the WHH Children’s Home. They got internet connection running; worked with the children on writing skills; got GPS coordinates for water spigots and wells, in preparation for an upcoming visit by the Bellingham Engineers Without Borders team; visited the new crèche funded by St. Philip's Episcopal Church with our coordination; trained the WHH staff in bookkeeping, and team skills, and participated in a WHH Board meeting.

Feb 2009 – WHH Academy opens remedial classes for secondary students seeking certification, with four tutors offering 9 subjects. Students can improve their chances of qualifying for steady jobs, especially in the oil and mining industries.

Jan 2009 – Engineers Without Borders approves EWB-Bellingham Chapter’s grant application for extending the piped water system in Axim. The chapter is awarded $7000. EWB-Bellingham’s Axim Clean Water project manager, Ravyn Whitewolf, is a Ghana Together Board member. Ghana Together is partnering with EWB-Bellingham on this project.


Dec 2008 – Ghana Together sends thank you letters to the more than 400 friends, family members, service organizations and corporations who have contributed in time, money, and ideas to provide a home, care, and education to orphaned children to fruition. THANK YOU!

Dec 2008 – Engineers Without Borders-Bellingham Chapter sponsors a bake sale, raising enough money to provide veronica buckets to schools still without.

Dec 2008 – Workers finish the top floor of the WHH facility. Axim now has a Community Learning and Conference Center. WHH purchases 100 chairs with writing arms, lays drain tiles around the building exterior, builds a secure storage building for bulk foodstuffs, and erects a polytank for emergency water supply. The facility is lacking only a fence.

Nov 2008 – Two-year old Joanna arrives at the WHH Children’s Home. She suffers from kwashikor on arrival, but recovers with medical care and adequate food. October 2008 – WHH Computer Learning Lab offers its first vocational computer classes to older youth. Barbara Davis is the Ghanaian teacher for this first "shake-down" class.

Aug 2008 – GT Board Vice President Leif Pederson and daughter Kristin travel to Axim to help up the ten laptops donated to WHH by 1-800-Got-Junk!, with logistics provided by Project RedDot. The computer training room is set up with working computers, tables, chairs and teacher supplies.

Sept 2008 - The WHH girls move into their newly finished "girls quarters," thanks to a grant from Boeing Corporation.

Sept 2008 – Elena Robertson and her Dad, Doug, travel to Axim to conduct a literacy project in the Children’s Home. Doug coaches some of the town’s soccer players in advanced skills.

Aug 2008 – Manye Academy honors several WHH Scholars who live in the Children’s Home for their academic and athletic achievements. All school-age WHH Scholars successfully complete a full year of school!

July 2008 – Ghana Together organizes a silent auction, hosted by the Starr Alpaca Farm in Boring, OR. Ken and Laura Slye host the event and donate several alpaca breeding sessions to benefit the Children’s Home.

June 2008 – WHH Children’s Home takes in Emmanuela, a homeless girl with very limited eyesight.

May 2008 – Most of the original team of North American delegates form Ghana Together, a new non-profit, to support their work in Ghana.

April 2008 – Boeing provides a 2nd grant to complete the 2nd floor of the building. April 2008 – Rich and Maryanne Ward visit Axim. They are the first guests in the newly finished "volunteer quarters." They enjoy the children and staff, meet with WHH Board members and other local leaders, visit the local school the WHH Scholars attend, and review WHH’s programs and plans. They visit all the schools and inspect the veronica buckets and find they are being used regularly.

Jan 2008 – Forty hand-washing stations ("veronica buckets") plus soap and towels, are delivered to seven basic schools and the Western Heritage Home for orphaned children. Mr. John Abugri, a Ghanaian public health officer based in Axim gives demonstrations of proper hand washing and encourages the school teachers to stress their teaching of hygiene and personal cleanliness.


Dec 2007 – Twenty-two orphaned children move into the WHH Children’s Home for the first time! Jerome (Ghana Together Board member) and Celia Chandler join children and WHH leaders to celebrate this milestone event! Back to top.

Sept 2007 – Barbara Gilday travels to Konongo-Kumasi Secondary School (KOSS) to dedicate the $20,000 donation of textbooks and other reading materials for the new Library. Barbara organized former Peace Corps volunteers and KOSS students to raise these funds. Barbara leads Appreciative Inquiry seminars for about 1000 KOSS students.

Sept 2007 – Chief Awulae Attibrukusu III invites our team to Axim to be honored at the annual Kundum Festival. Seven of us accept for the experience of a lifetime! We dedicate the WHH Children’s Home/Community Learning Center. Rich Ward, Susan Hirst, Tom Castor, and Jerome Chandler, with help from the rest of us, bring 500 lbs of science equipment and learning materials to Manye Academy. The Academy organizes a dedication ceremony. Barbara Gilday collects extraordinary life stories of ordinary Axim residents and others with the intent of helping them see the value and inspiration in their lives and sharing the stories back home in the US. Louise Wilkinson brings her grandson who will never forget his adventure. Maryanne rides in a Kundum palanquin!

July 2007 – Jeanie Birchall organizes a "Raise the Roof" yard sale, to raise funds to finish the roof on the Children’s Home/Community Learning Center.

April 2007 – Maryanne spends one month in Axim, overseeing Boeing grant money, establishing a computer-based bookkeeping system, meeting with local elected officials, traditional leaders, Boeing’s executive for West Africa, the WHH Board of Directors, the original Ghanaian delegates, and market women.


Dec 2006 – Global Citizen Journey is awarded grants from the Boeing Corporation and Kirkland, WA Rotary Foundation to further construction on the WHH Children’s Home/Community Learning Center in Axim.

Oct 2006 - The North American delegates donate 56 new mattresses to the hospital in Axim. October 2006 – Under sponsorship of Global Citizen Journey, fifteen North Americans join an equal number of Ghanaians to live and work together in Axim, Ghana for three week. We are matched by vocational training. The Axim Beach Hotel serves as our meeting center. We engage in group dialogues to develop cultural understanding. Using Appreciative Inquiry as a facilitation tool, we organize the first Axim-wide Town Hall. Together, we work on sub-projects in HIV/AIDs, women’s entrepreneurial skills, education, sanitation, water engineering, and conflict resolution. We speak in worship services and appreciate the special durbar Chief Awulae hosts. Volunteers from Axim join us for a work day on the Children’s Home/Community Learning Center. Kumgbunli Village, a Muslim community, welcomes us. We visit Kumasi, Accra, and Aburi, where we are greeted in a formal Ghanaian manner by Nana Osei Bochewa Yiadom III, the first woman chief. Ghanaians and North Americans alike have an unforgettable experience that changes us, deepens our mutual understanding, and creates new relationships that will probably last our lifetimes.

June 2006 – James Kainyiah and other community leaders register Western Heritage Home (WHH) as a Ghanaian NGO. James donates land to WHH for a children’s home/community center complex.

March 2006 – Barbara, Maryanne, Rich, and Susan Partnow meet. Susan, as Executive Director of Global Citizen Journey, decides to sponsor our proposed journey to Ghana. Maryanne and Barbara agree to lead the Journey. They recruit delegates, plan the journey, raise funds for the building project, and work closely with Susan to prepare the North American delegates, and with James who is recruiting Ghanaian delegates.

Jan 2006 - Barbara returns to the US and agrees to join Rich and Maryanne in trying to help the James and others build their dream: a home for orphaned children and community learning center in Axim.


Dec 2005 – After completing her work in Nigeria as a Global Citizen Journey delegate, Barbara Gilday travels to Ghana to reunite with Ghanaian friends from her CUSO volunteer teaching days. At Rich and Maryanne’s request, she meets James Kainyiah and other Axim leaders, visits the proposed building, and explores Axim.

Dec 2005 – James Kainyiah, a Ghanaian businessman who is an associate of their son, contacts Rich and Maryanne Ward, asking their help to build a facility that will be a home for orphaned children and a community learning center. James is the managing director of Jamkay Ltd, a sportswear and textile company located in Takoradi, Ghana, and also is the Development Chief of the Lower Axim Traditional Area. Rich and Maryanne decide to help but want to put together a richer experience involving others rather than just raise money to construct a building.