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We are the people of Atsiekpoe
About our life in Atsiekpoe
A short boat ride across the Volta River takes you to our peaceful but isolated place surrounded by coastal savannah nature. Our houses are simple and built of termite clay and our daily life is centred around the river. This is where our fishermen prepare their boats and nets, children play and swim, and women do their laundry. The main economic activities are fishing, farming, and trading. Craftwork is another important source of livelihood. We weave baskets, mats and fishing traps from palm branches.
Our friends Stepping Stones for Africa and Jolinaiko Eco Tours
We are celebrating 15 years of friendship with the Ghana-Dutch NGO Stepping Stones for Africa Foundation (SSFA) and the Ghana-based eco-friendly tour company Jolinaiko Eco Tours. SSFA has been assisting us in formulating our dreams into tangible projects to improve our quality of life in our community, and Jolinaiko Eco Tours has been inviting new friends who come and stay here to enjoy eco-tourism activities. And all together we have been raising funds for all the projects we have done in the past.
Our Green Clinic Dream
When SSFA and Jolinaiko Eco Tours asked us about our dream for the future (in 2015), we did not have to think very deeply. The entire community agreed that the lack of health care is a challenge for us. We are suffering from river born diseases and diseases like malaria and typhoid, there are accidents and we have to care for our pregnant women, babies and our old people. Meanwhile, it is a struggle to get our loved ones across the river or on the back of a motorbike to a clinic or hospital. SSFA together with Jolinaiko Eco Tours agreed to help us after the government (North-Tongu District) confirmed that the Ministry of Health will take responsibility for the management of the clinic and that they will employ a midwife once it's finished. So we started back in 2015 by ourselves, backed by our friends SSFA and Jolinaiko Eco Tours, and all their tourists, friends and family.
Slow but sure we have put up a wonderful structure: a well-built and quality roofed six-room clinic (total cost involved 35.000 Euro) with the help of people from the community and friends and partners from abroad. For the walls, we have used special interlocking bricks, made by ourselves from the surrounding sand and pressed with a brick-making machine. These bricks require less cement in the building process. The walls regulate temperature and keep the building as cool as possible, reducing the need for fans or air-conditioning.
Now we need your help!
We have almost completed the building, but Covid19 has put all the expected income through our tourism, and also Jolinaiko Eco Tours' tourism on halt. We were supposed to complete this phase in 2020, and we still want to realise that!
Therefore this appeal to all our friends, families and anybody else - let's complete this building!
An amount of 7050 Euro is needed to finish the construction and get closer to our dream. This amount will enable us to finish the construction phase of the building; which means finishing all the woodworks, painting and electricals and plumbing.
Below the final phases that are needed to make the clinic operational:
- Water and Sanitation: Borehole drilling for water supply for the clinic and constructing a 5-seater outside toilet facility for outpatients and visitors
- Connecting electricity to the national grid (a promise has been made by the government)
- Furnishing the clinic with desk, chairs and beds
Also, special thanks to Vomm foundation and the Werkhofgemeenschap in The Netherlands who have always been supportive, and to all the individuals who donated directly, via Jolinaiko or via previous crowdfunding campaigns. We are grateful.
Why should you donate?
Listen to the story of Ama on this picture below:
This is Ama, mother of a one-day-old baby that was born in the middle of the night in a canoe, only with the soothing comfort of our boatman’s phone light and a piece of wrapping cloth. Hearing this story stirred the passion in SSFA and Jolinaiko to support us and push our community to realize our dream. This was not the only woman who gave birth on the bare floor of a wooden canoe or waiting at the riverbank for means of transport to the hospital. And sadly, many community members have lost their lives waiting to get picked up to seek medical help.
More background information and older updates about this project, including lots of photos of the build process, can be found on the Green Clinic pages of the website of Stepping Stones for Africa.
Notes about donating options
You can also donate directly to our Dutch bank account. This will prevent transaction fees we have to pay to Paypal.
Account number: NL85 RABO 0121 7094 69
Stichting Stepping Stones for Africa, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Or, if you live in Ghana, we also have a Ghananian bank account:
Bank: ADB Bank (Agricultural Development Bank)
Name: Stepping Stones for Africa
Account: 1082 0001 2449 6703
Bank branch: Gulf House, Accra
Address: Lambfarms, Amrahia, Greater Accra, Ghana
Also good to know: in the Netherlands, we are a registered non-profit charity by the Dutch tax administration (a ANBI). Donations are therefore deductible from income tax for Dutch individuals as well as companies.
If you donate directly to our bank account instead of on this page, we will still add your donation amount here manually, as an Anonymous donation: it will show the amount but not your name. Of course we can add your name if you prefer, please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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