My visit with Building Solid Foundations was filled with awe-inspiring work. I thought my time in West Africa would have removed those far-fetched words from my vocabulary as I experienced the complexities and intricacies of development firsthand – not really believing any one thing is the right thing to do all the time. Building Solid Foundations, however, includes every new element needed for successful development. I encourage you to continue to support BSF and to be pleased that you’re supporting a very worthwhile and productive organization.
To begin, I visited the small town of Apam on the coast of Ghana June 9. Grace Quartley, the project leader, was borne and raised in Apam but now lives in York, Pennsylvania. She has spear headed an incredible effort to improve the health, education, sanitation, and economic opportunities of her community in Ghana. ---- Let’s stop right there – so many projects focus on only one element while all four are needed to move development to the next level. Grace is one step ahead already! ---- Sanitation in Ghana is an understated problem. Outside of major cities, sewage systems and even LATRINES are non-existent. I visited the newly built latrines at the site of the elementary and middle schools in Apam and was shocked to learn no bathrooms of any kind existed before these latrines. I admire BSF for tackling a necessary issue with a sustainable and relevant solution. In addition to the sanitation work at the neighboring school, BSF is working to build a sewage system at the hospital. They also work closely with the hospital to coordinate a group of volunteer surgeons and doctors to come once a year from Grace’s home in PA to her home in Ghana to perform surgeries such as cleft palate reconstruction that doctors in Ghana are not trained to perform. The hospital works year round to schedule surgeries for the ten day visit for Ghanians in the entire Central Region, and extending even further into Ghana. Grace and the team at the hospital are diligent and detailed in their plans for economic recovery to the area depleted of fish since the recent oil discovery, and to further school buildings to provide an adequate middle school for the children. The team combines local leaders with experienced westerners to create needed and appropriate solutions for the community. BSF operates like a western business. Nurses perform at high levels, without the same passive, disinterested, heat induced daze I saw in other areas, because they are fairly compensated. The leaders of the hospital, Sister Mary and her team, barely had time for my visit since they were working so hard!, whereas other organizations or businesses in Ghana were very lax in their work hours. BSF is carefully following the fine line of being a self-sustaining organization, and needing money from westerners to provide the services this community so desperately needs. I admire their work and strongly support their plan and ideals. I wish BSF and Grace, Mary, and the entire team the best of luck and hope to hear about their model being used in other towns around the world in the years to come.
I would say to my friends: Incredible, you need to see this!!
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