Ghana and Burkina Faso News July 2008

Warm greetings from rainy Accra. As always, deep thanks to all of you who contributed your time, talents and resources to help move our project work forward in the first half of 2008.

Spending time in the African village with the water project, we gradually start to think like the villagers. We feel closer to the earth, and experience our dependence on nature in a very real sense. Like farmers, we are always studying the clouds. We are always asking God, why He can’t get it right with the rains. We join the farmers, as they complain about too much or too little rain, then we stop, catch ourselves and laugh as we let the mystery be, He knows best, He is doing everything very well.

This year the rains have been steady since early May. The dam is filling up. Our main challenge is to maintain the filtration system as the dam water quality falls with the constant run off into the dam. We are looking ahead to make the improvements with the help of Engineers Without Borders and Rotary International. With the help of AMURT Italy one new community has already got new water, and three more are still digging trenches for their connections. The water project made strides towards a genuinely sustainable project by tightening the management of the finances and cutting water losses.

The volunteers share the love of dancing with the villagers, Torun & Ingrid at Adiekpe Seva Clinic staff demonstrating at the TBA training session Village midwives in training in Deou.

The Seva Clinic has been in transition as long time staff moved on and their places taken by new faces, all from the local communities. The role of homeopathy at the clinic and in the out reach work continues to expand. A new kitchen and storage building has been constructed.

The Kekeli women movement is growing, both in numbers and scope. It has been wonderful to see the full participation in every meeting and the creativity and confidence of the women grow as they become more established in their roles as health educators.

Since 2005 we have been working with Traditional Birth Attendants in the area. This summer, with the help of Lisa, an experienced mid-wife from West Virginia in the US, we are again turning our focus to maternal health, and the response has been great.

The Safe Motherhood program in Deou, Burkina Faso is in transition. We are very happy to welcome Dada Purusottama in June who has taken over responsibility for AMURT Burkina Faso. After three years of funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development, we are now studying which direction to take. Still we were able to initiate the program of supplying donkey carts for transport of pregnant women, construct a maternity room and health post in Gorolbay, and conduct training sessions for all the village midwives and village health agents.

The project areas in Ghana and Burkina Faso continue to provide fantastic opportunities for AMURT to shine. By charting a progressive course for the work, it’s our hope that our presence in these areas will be a catalyst for genuine change and development. Our long presence in the project areas has taught us much. The people welcome us and accept us, and have understood that AMURT’s only goal is the upliftment of the communities. It’s our realization that, just as we need to be vigilant as individuals to ward against selfish intentions, as an organization we need to maintain the same purity of purpose. That’s the key.

Brotherly yours,

Dada Daneshananda, AMURT coordinator
25 July 2008