A Travellerspoint blog

God Loves Ghana

sunny 32 °C

Foreign aid workers and development agencies are legion in Ghana, while numerous church organisations vie for the Ghanaians’ hearts and minds and pockets. Religion is a booming business here and spiritual organisations try to outdo each other with ever more elaborate buildings and increasingly spurious billboards offering salvation, redemption, power, and success. This Catholic church is just one of dozens of beautifully maintained religious edifices in Sunyani guaranteeing a pathway to heaven…
Opulent (and expensive) cathedrals, churches and chapels prevail in southern Ghana where parishioners are expected to donate 10% of their meagre salaries, (a small price to pay for a seat next to the Almighty), while the predominately Muslim northerners often worship in centuries old mud-walled mosques like this one in Larabanga…
Many of the church organisations, especially the Catholics, are also paid to run the schools on behalf of the government, (now where on earth did that go horribly wrong in the past?), but not all foreigners are here to make money. In 2006 Sheila helped to set up an environmental education project with Sunyani Polytechnic to address the enormous problem of waste disposal. Here we are with Samuel, Sheila’s Ghanaian counterpart…
Amanda Moore from Red Deer, Alberta, was with the first group of Vancouver Island University students to benefit from this program and she returned to Ghana determined to help. During the past few years she has spent time working with the authorities and aid agencies tracking down victims of sexual and labour exploitation and she is now working on an information package designed to prepare aid workers for life in Ghana. Since she has been living here Amanda has completed a masters degree and has fallen in love. Here she is with her boyfriend of more than 5 years, Jeremiah – a (soon-to-be) captain in the Ghanaian Infantry.
And here’s Amanda with her friend Sabina who is building a school near Sunyani…
Ghana has huge, seemingly insurmountable, problems of corruption, poverty, inadequate housing, decaying infrastructure and deadly roads, but it has countless thousands of wonderful churches and a seemingly similar number of fancy gas stations. The wealthier Ghanaians love their cars as much as their god but every journey needs to be accompanied by prayer. The potholed rutted roads are lethal as are many of the ancient deathtrap vehicles that drive them. However, ’tis an ill wind that blows no one some good, and young boys make a living by filling the biggest potholes with earth from the ditches and demanding payment from grateful motorists. Potholes like this are everywhere - even on busy main roads...…
As for the success of Sheila’s environmental education project – as you can see, Ghana has long and bumpy roads.

Posted by Hawkson 13:52 Archived in Ghana

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Really beautiful pictures and a connection to Sheila's good work. Amanda sounds quite amazing too.

by Janet

I think I would want to pray in the old Mud-walled mosques if I was so inclined. Learn more about you Sheila as time goes by. Our quick visits are just that. How wonderful to see the outcome of your endeavours. You both are strong on this adventurous trip. I hope you do not have dental work to come home to with the roads.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Certainly some wonderful photographs. You make it all look so beautiful Jim.

by tony Junor

It must be gratifying, Sheila, to go back and see something you have been involved with still doing good work. I have such a deep admiration for those young people getting involved in such a challenging place. There are good souls everywhere..
love to you both...Sharron

by Sharron

Your pictures of Ghana made me very homesick for West Africa

by keithandhelen

Much greener that I would expect Africa to be beautiful pictures making the location one to visit

by david

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