Posts Tagged ‘project okurase’

Results of Clemson Brick Research Are In

October 18, 2009

Today was a meeting I never imagined in my life I would have. Denis Brosnan, who is a national expert in brick research with Clemson University met with me and Fred Taylor to give us the results of the research on the compressed earth bricks we are making in Okurase.

From my last trip to Ghana I brought back several bricks and all the materials to make a couple of bricks. Denis and his team conducted research on all materials and completed bricks to help us determine if we are going in the right direction, to understand the strength of the bricks and make recommendations for improvement. He reassured us that we have a fine product in our bricks and that one brick would support 30,000 pounds! WOW!

He gave us suggestions on improving the bricks once we start to take them beyond Okurase. He also gave recommendations for safety as inhaling fine particles of dirt can affect breathing safety.

We are extremely grateful to Denis and his team for helping us to this extent. This research will greatly impact our way forward. It is a fantastic gift to the people of Ghana. Medaase Denis!


Update from Ghana – July 15, 2009

July 16, 2009

Arrived in Ghana last night and took most of the evening to negotiate with the parking attendants to actually be able to leave the airport. Seems that if you slow down in a taxi they can just boot you and demand payment on the spot. We worked it out. Let no one in their right mind mess with Nana Ama Yeboah. They will not come out well.

Today we have done a great deal of planning and working out a way to get internet access. We met with Loren, our architect in Ghana who is doing the structural side of the drawings. We are very close to finalizing the Ghana end of things and going for the building permit. It is very exciting.

Nana and I are having a great experience planning for the opening of the bike shop and sewing centre. We will see immediate benefit to the people of Okurase.

We will be holding a health fair on July 25th. Dr. Ghartey will conduct a vision clinic and we will be providing dental care and educational programs on HIV, environmental cleanliness and its relationship to health. Nana has set this all up and it’s great. She has also made an important link with child welfare. Steve McLeod-Bryant sponsored a little boy for school and this enabled him to get on the National Insurance Scheme. The boy has a very bad hernia and the insurance will allow medical care. He will wait 4 months to have surgery. NOW THIS HAS CHANGED. Due to Nana’s link with child welfare, this little boy Evans and 3 other children with hernias will get the needed medical procedures in 1 month. Child Welfare has a way of working out things quicker. So, naturally we are thrilled. We are meeting with the children, their parents, and child welfare on Friday morning to plan how to proceed.

As always, Ghana proves to be very welcoming, very exciting, and demands thinking out of the box. More soon.

Djole children set to perform at The United Nations in NYC

December 12, 2008

Djole Children’s West African Dance and Drum Company of Union Heights in North Charleston has been invited to come to the United Nations in New York City on December 19 to perform. Djole will join MIZERO Children, a dance company from Rwanda who is coming to the United States on a Reconciliation Tour. Together, the North Charleston and Rwandan children will bring a message of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Djole was formed 10 years ago as an activity to get children off the streets and onto a positive path. The children have performed locally, statewide and internationally. They are required to complete community service and humanitarian work as part of their Djole commitment. After their seminal trip to Ghana in 2006, Djole youth have been involved in helping with care of children who are HIV positive in Ghana, helping with fees to allow Ghanaian street children to attend school, and they are currently working to help build a Centre in Okurase, Ghana that will allow orphans and vulnerable children to attend school, participate in vocational training, have daily meals and medical care, and grow up in a family.

The MIZERO Children is a dance and drumming troupe comprised of orphans and vulnerable children from Rwanda. The children participate in MIZERO as a way of keeping their life on a positive path.

Worlds apart, Djole and MIZERO were formed for similar reasons to help foster positive lives for children who have experienced extreme difficulties within their own context. Independently, the children have taken on the job of promoting unity and reconciliation. Now they have come together and their message will be strengthened.


Project OKURASE and Madagascar, Escape 2 Africa

November 19, 2008

Project OKURASE is moving forward in California! Dreamworks is set to release Madagascar, Escape 2 Africa on November 7, 2008. Powerful and his colleague Kobina Boni have been invited to bring a sense of Africa to Dreamworks studio to help with the movie release in a Madagascar2 Day. They will be on site at the studio teaching drumming and traditional African songs. They will be in the Los Angeles area from Nov 5-10.