Project OKURASE... Through Opportunity, Knowledge, Understanding, Renewed Health, Arts, Skills training and Education we work with communities in rural Ghana, West Africa to sustain themselves.
Africa is a continent endowed with incredible potential. She has rich culture, music, skilled artisans, and warm, welcoming, industrious people. BUT, limited educational opportunities, low health care, hunger, poverty, and early loss of parents due diseases have left her people disempowered to carry out this potential. Children, in particular, are in a highly vulnerable situation with little hope for their future. The problem is so large that people often think what they can do is too small to bring solutions. BUT…. the people of Okurase, Ghana say that small actions combined can solve big problems.
The people of Okurase have a vision of African villages with safe water and proper sanitation, economic self-sufficiency, improved health and nutrition, support for women and orphans & vulnerable children, increased educational opportunities, access to the Internet and technology and using renewable energy sources. Project OKURASE was created to support this vision.
About Project OKURASE
“Project OKURASE” is a 501 c 3 nonprofit in the United States and an NGO based in the rural village of Okurase, in the Upper West Akyem District of the eastern region of Ghana West Africa. Okurase is about one and one half hours from the capital of Accra. It is home to approximately 3,500 people, one-half of whom are children. Most of the adults are subsistence farmers or carvers. Though the people of the village are hard-working, they face many difficult challenges. The mission of Project OKURASE is:
While honoring Ghanaian arts and culture, collaborate with the village of Okurase, Ghana to develop sustainable, replicable solutions to life’s biggest challenges and share lessons learned with other disadvantaged villages.
Project OKURASE has a particular focus on women and orphans & vulnerable children across 6 main objectives. These overarching objectives are focused on transforming lives by creating collaborative, sustainable, and integrated solutions to address the following areas of need:
Critical to our mission, Okurase is positioning itself as a Teaching Village, a place for others to visit to see solutions in place that were developed at a grassroots level, to be inspired, and to be empowered to put in place their own solutions.
A key underlying principle of Project OKURASE is the recognition that the people of the village know what is best for improving their lives and how to attain sustainability. Thus, all programs are locally determined and locally led. Outside collaborators offer assistance with resources and ideas for implementation. While external collaborators are respected and valued, the elders and leaders who live in the village have the ultimate authority about whether a program will be initiated and how it will be adapted to the culture of the village. Using this model, the majority of projects to date have occurred after discussion with village leaders and as resources or expertise have become available. The village residents contribute labor (sweat equity), and collaborators help with expertise, fundraising and grants.
A second underlying principal of Project OKURASE is the spirit of Nkabom, a Twi word for bringing people together in unity. Nkabom refers to bringing the community together but also expanding the reach of the community to other villages and beyond. Indeed people from all over the world have come to Okurase to be involved.
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