A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN)

To transform an environmental epidemic into hope by empowering young and impoverished women in Ghana, and providing them with the tools necessary to practice a trade, make a living, and become self-reliant leaders of their community.
Sep 27, 2013

2013 Graduation Celebration

Some of our 2013 graduates!
Some of our 2013 graduates!

Dear Friends,

It was 11 a.m. We were to begin the graduation ceremony in two hours and yet the rain clouds were threatening our outdoor venue, decorations were still going up and some of our ladies were getting nervous about their speaking parts. As each issue surfaced, I found myself addressing God like a buddy. With all my appeals, I must have really been a nuisance that morning!

But I kid you not. As guests began to arrive, the clouds pulled back for sun to stream through and the last Birds of Paradise centerpieces were put in place. Tables and chairs filled with the girls' families and friends here to celebrate them and out came the delicious rice balls and groundnut soup from Hephzibah's kitchen.  Now I was getting excited!

Our keynote speaker for the afternoon, co-founder and director of Youth Movement for African Unity, Razak Yakubu, described the graduates' transformation and spoke passionately about each woman’s potential to strengthen their own communities, to influence the future of Ghana. ABAN Alumni, Rose, recited the poem “The Road To Happiness,” Denicia recalled each senior's unique quirks and Gifty had the crowd laughing with her bean analogy, defining how to be present and grateful for where you are.  But the fun wasn’t over yet! Next, ABAN juniors took the stage performing a choreographed song to “He Paid the Debt''  and acting out their story from the streets to ABAN. Diplomas were shared. Pictures snapped. Dancing accomplished. And more smiles than you can count were shared that day.

At some point that afternoon, I found myself standing up on some steps watching our graduates laugh their hearts out, holding their diplomas and proving, once again, that each one of us is capable of much more than we can imagine. This year has most certainly been filled with the Lord's abundant grace!

Thank you for your continued support of ABAN! Know that even if you were not there to help us celebrate, you were with us in spirit! We cannot begin to tell you how much your time, encouragement and donations mean for our programs and for the development of the ABAN girls in the program!

All smiles at the graduation!
All smiles at the graduation!
Jul 10, 2013

A Fieldtrip to Inspire

In the month of June, we took a field trip to Danadams, a Ghanaian established and owned pharmaceutical company that manufactures and sells a variety of medicines including anti-malaria, HIV/AIDS medications and antibiotics. Local ABAN advisor and Danadams strategist, Janine De Nysschen, scored us a behind-the-scenes visit to come see the enriching work they are doing in Accra.

The day began by piling all of the ABAN ladies and their children into a tro-tro and heading to the facility. Once there, we got to tour the company from an insider's perspective; seeing the storage center for raw materials, walking through the manufacturing hall where the chemical compounds are combined, and visiting the packaging center where the medicine is packaged for distribution and sale. Production workers explained the processes that the medicine undergoes, including the many quality checks it goes through in order to ensure that each pill is the correct combination of ingredients and will have the desired effect when taken. To go into the facility, everyone had to wear long coats, shoe covers, hair nets and surgeon masks. The ABAN women couldn't stop laughing when they looked at one another and themselves in the mirrors.

While this tour was going on, Dr. George Puplampu (from Danadams parent healthcare company, the Danpong Group) spent time with the ABAN women who have children, teaching them some child care techniques and giving tips on healthy living for both themselves and their babies. He also examined the babies and declared them all to be in good health.

At the end, Danadams told the ABAN apprentices that it doesn't take an extensive education to begin working for Danadams, all they needed was basic literacy and speaking skills. From that point on, with the right dedication and commitment, they could be trained for a variety of roles within the company. Danadams has several employees who started out as cleaners and progressed to become receptionists, technicians, production workers, and even sales staff. This caught the girls' attention and presented a new idea for something to pursue after graduation.

Danadams supports ABAN not only by opening their facility for touring, but also through the buying of a specialty tote. Danadams sends us their recycled fabric with their company logo on it and our ACE employees sew it into tote bags that the company then uses for gift bags within the company! The entire staff at Danadams warmly welcomed ABAN and truly made the ladies dream bigger and have one more reason why they are proud to be Ghanaian!

Links:

Apr 11, 2013

April Update

Ama, Senior Apprentice
Ama, Senior Apprentice

In every sense of the word, Ama is a leader.

This past summer, Denicia’s (one of our 2012 graduates) little boy Desmond was sick and needed to see a doctor. When Ama heard that Denicia would be spending the night at the hospital with Desmond, she made them a card of messages from all the other ABAN apprentices wishing them well and letting them know the other girls were thinking of them.

It was beautiful.

Ama shows this same compassion in other aspects of her life: the way she treats her son, Kofi; the way she interacts with all the other apprentices; the way she diligently works on the tasks set before her.

Ama says that when she was at home, she lacked direction. She felt she needed someone to motivate her to go to school and do her best. However, since being in the ABAN program, she has developed the motivation and confidence to be that person for herself. Her english is progressing beautifully and she is showing her capabilities in the classroom day after day!

Now that Ama is a senior, she is pursuing catering and hospitality at Cindix Village Kitchen, a local catering center in Aburi. Her Madam told us that Ama has a great attitude toward work and takes instruction well. 

Ama is currently saving her stipends so that she will be able to put her son, Kofi, through school.

This is all possible thanks to your continued support. For more stories from the field, updates from our U.S. team and a sneak peek at our spring product line, check out our April edition of ABANews.

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