The Africa Sankofa Fund aims to empower rural communities located in Ghana, West Africa.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Newsletter October 2009


Dinah and ninety children moved into the Amudurasi Community Daycare Centre in October, 2008. It has been an exciting year for all. An assistant has been hired to help with the care giving. One of the parents prepares a nutritious midday meal. At the time of the move, parents formed a committee charged with ensuring the smooth operation of the program, and there is a waiting list of additional parents asking to enrol their children when the Centre is able to accommodate them.


In April, the Daycare Centre had a guest for the morning. Ietje Rijnsburger is an early childhood educator from Holland. She was visiting her son in Ghana and was a guest of trustees, Nana and Comfort. It was not long before Ietje had the children singing along with her, mimicking her motions as she spelled out the various parts of her face. Thank you, Ietje for your interest and support. We hope to see you back in Amudurasi one day soon.


With a demand for more daycare spaces, the Sankofa Fund will turn its attention to raising funds to enable construction of the remaining two rooms at the Centre.

One of these rooms will be divided to provide for a pre-natal/post-natal maternity clinic. Community health nurses come to the village regularly to educate young mothers and to vaccinate infants. At the present time, they have to manage without a room, gathering under a tree near the village market.

The other part of the room will be dedicated to a library for the school children and stocked with locally written and produced reading material, and thus offering them a chance to practise their reading skills.


An exciting new opportunity has arisen in Maidstone, Sask., home of Trustee, Jean MacPherson, and Nana’s hometown. The Student Representative Council at the Maidstone High School have chosen the Africa Sankofa Fund as the recipient of some of their fund-raising efforts during the school year. This new arrangement will provide a new personal awareness by students of issues which face
people in Africa, and will ensure that their fundraising goes to a worthwhile project. Stay tuned for updates during the year.


While promoting his book, Trustee Chairman, Nana Amoako Agyeman, has also been on the lookout for potential supporters for two more projects which he wants to see manifest in Ghana.

The District Library in New Edubiase is in dire need of refurbishment. Nana, along with support from District Assemblyman, Honourable Mr. William Adansi-Gyimah, has pledged to see the Library restocked with books and ultimately turned into a Distance Learning Centre. He wants to involve the University of Winneba through their Distance Learning Program and thus provide an opportunity for more teacher training in the Adansi South District. That part of Ghana has the highest ratio of poorly trained teachers in the country, and establishing the Learning Centre will improve that situation.

Nana is also working on a much larger proposal, one which will provide an exciting educational opportunity for youngsters in Ghana and abroad and at the same time generate an economic boost with significant employment opportunities for his area. He and his friend, Adamfo Amoako, the Cultural Officer for New Edubiase, have put together a draft proposal for a School for Performing Arts and Culture. They envision a school which will draw on Ashanti culture to provide instruction in traditional and contemporary dance and music; drama and film production; as well as the numerous crafts found associated with the Ashanti people. At a time when the world is becoming so homogenized through globalization, it is important to strengthen the traditions which give peoples their uniqueness and this school will build on existing Ashanti pride for young people from the area and at the same time expose visiting students from other parts of Ghana and abroad with a dramatic and meaningful cross-cultural opportunity.


Trustee Chairman, Nana Amoako Agyeman, published his first collection of poetry in April of this year. Named Rainbow Round the African Sun, the proceeds from sales of the book have been pledged to the Africa Sankofa Fund. Nana and his wife and fellow trustee, Comfort, travelled to Canada in August for the wedding of Trustee Kathleen Baillie’s daughter, Laurel, and then proceeded to promote the sale of the book through readings and radio/television interviews.

The book can be ordered online from Nana’s blog, Why not order a copy? – it will make a great gift, and the proceeds go to a worthy cause.


During Nana and Comfort’s visit to Canada this year, many folks made contributions to the Africa Sankofa Fund. These donations, along with proceeds from the sale of Nana’s books totalled $770. Pictured with them, is Fund Treasurer, Kathleen Baillie.

How You Can Help

There are different ways in which individuals can help. Perhaps the easiest and most effective at this time is with a financial contribution. At this time, contributions are required to enable construction to continue on the remaining two classrooms of the Daycare Centre. Remember - a tax receipt will be issued and your donation will act as a credit against your Canadian Income Tax. Mail your donations to the treasurer as follows:

Kathleen Baillie 334 J.J. Thiesen Way Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 5P4 Phone (country code 001) (306)934-0054 E-mail Address:


The legendary Sankofa bird is a powerful symbol for the Akan people of Ghana, West Africa, with its head turned facing backwards, often with an egg in its mouth. The Sankofa bird looks back to where it came from, as it decides the path that it will take in the future. In the same way, past history and traditions must be remembered and respected as plans are made for the future. The Africa Sankofa Fund chose this symbol because it represents the philosophy which will be adopted to turn the charity’s objectives into reality.

For more information, contact Kathleen in
Saskatoon (as above), or Rod and Comfort
in Ghana:

Rod and Comfort McLaren
P.O. Box TD1106
Mobile 233-244-891687

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