Photos from Ghana 2012

Posted by Matt Sutton on May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized |
I’ve uploaded some photos and text from our trip to Ghana in March 2012. Hopefully it will give you a flavour of what it’s like to be involved in setting up a project in rural Africa

Children from the Bronze Village

We all visited the “bronze village” near Kumasi. Julie and I wanted to buy a selection of bronze items for our respective shops and also support the local craftsman here. They manufacture the pieces using traditional methods of hand moulding the wax and then utilizing clay ovens to heat the metal. Here are some children from the village. They adore having their photo taken and wait in excited anticipation to see the results in the viewer.


Matthew takes Julie out on Bosumtwi Lake

Bosumtwi Lake is an extraordinary place and we visited it on our first Sunday. It was to be our only day off. The lake is almost a perfect circle and was formed five million years ago following a meteor strike. The surrounding hills are richly forested and were created by the debris from the impact, making it a “must see” on any visit to Ghana. It is also an ameteur geologists dream and there is a small information point and museum with some very knowledgeable park rangers. The lake is quite large and has been fished by the Ashanti peoples since time immemorial. By tradition they use carved planks made from the local trees to fish and the tradition persists to this day.


Awabu and Esther get to grips with Julie's patterns

Teela Textiles was very much Jessie’s idea and she put together all the design elements and played the key role in choosing the fabrics as well as working with Julie on product design. However, when it came to production Julie took on the lead role with her long experience as a seamtress. The 8 days we spent in the north were centred around the workshop in Kumbungu, where Julie undertook the training of ladies in making up the textile products. Our one diversion was to attend the funeral of a local village chief from the village of Singa across the Volta river. This was quite an experience for us all and I’m hoping to upload a video of the events in due course. It’ll be worth the wait!!


Julie, Awabu and Martha sewing in the porch to keep cool

While work was being done to install the electrics and also the fans work went on in the porch. Well it was a little cooler here! One side of the porch was dedicated to the textiles, the other to the button hearts. Here are some of the donated sewing machines in use. The workshop itself was bought and is owned by the And Albert Foundation. The plan is for it to be used for not just for the button hearts and making textiles but as a local community centre for education, especially in the use of computers for young people. Mobile phones are in quite common usage but computers are still very scarce. Few local villages have electricity.

Jessie, Wumbe and the ladies sorting buttons ready for "production"

Here we are sorting the many thousands of buttons donated by people all over the UK whether through shops, schools or private individuals. Every button had to be sorted by size. A long and patient job! Jessie trained some of the local ladies in button heart making, but so did Wumbe who has become quite an expert himself. In this picture both Jessie and Wumbe are making up hearts while the ladies are doing the sorting.





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