The Ghana Project
In Ghana’s middle Volta Region, in the Bueman Kingdom and the Old Baika area, with the blessing and support of the regional clan (Dan-bei Royal Clan) of the Buem people (a 2,000 year-old clan, according to the king, of which I am an official member) we have established and built the Gabriel Cousens Nutrition Center. The Center presently feeds 350 children weekly and includes a school for ages 5-12. The Tree of Life Foundation, in collaboration with PPEP, Inc., also put in two clean water wells with submersible pumps to supply water to the area. Ten other wells have already been put in with a total plan for 53 wells for the immediate regional area. Fresh water is a prerequisite for any health prevention efforts and protection from such communicable diseases, such as Ebola.
Our work already has had a ripple effect. Five hundred yards away from the Center is an abandoned hospital and clinic. As a direct result of my visit, the opening of the Cousens Nutrition Center, and lectures in the regional capital, to the medical school in the city of Ho, the clinic has reopened. The district has also decided to build the regional highway to the area.
In the center of village, in collaboration with PPEP, Inc., we have established and capitalized a loan fund, a micro-credit office. This area is the center of the 18 villages of Buem people ruled by the local King (Nana) who leads this area. As our work with diabetes prevention and health evolves, it will spread to all these villages and constitute a multi-village thriving community of health and diabetes prevention education and screening.
Our project director for all of Ghana is Mr. Khalipha Bility, who was a Tucson, AZ bank vice-president originally from Ghana. As previously mentioned, we are feeding 350 children per day as well as 50 seniors in our own nutrition center. We also have training set up here to train the non-professional health workers to teach and screen for diabetes in the Baika Kingdom and its outlining areas, which includes about 200,000 people. It is also associated on the same campus with a progressive education school teaching nutrition and farming as part of the curriculum. We have also built a micro-business office in the town.
A unique aspect to Ghana is they have no verifiable, updated statistics on diabetes, so we are creating a starting point in 3 regions: rural, semi-rural, and urban for diabetes screening to establish some reliable statistics. This includes the rural area of the Bueman Kingdom, the semi-rural area (Volta region) of Ho, and the urban area of Accra, which has already spread to the Jamestown area as well. We are doing a survey of 1,000 people in each of these regions to assess the prevalence of diabetes which at this point seems to be about 12% of the population.. The backbone of our detection and nutritional treatment programs is our trained paraprofessional home health and nutrition educators. The vision is for this type-2 diabetes and assessment program to reach the entire nation. At this point we have 6 trained diabetes prevention specialists working in Ghana and have also added high blood pressure screening, as 65% of type-2 diabetics have high blood pressure.
The Volta region capital is the city of Ho, which is about 500,000 people. At this level we are working with the regional governmental organizations and university and medical school, where I addressed 900 people on diabetes prevention and treatment as well as the 13 district agricultural administrators. In Ho we are working with head administration/regional director of the home health visitation program who has agreed to initiate our regional diabetes-screening program through our training of the regional health aids. In addition, we are working with the head of the regional ministry of agriculture who has become our partner in a region-wide, micro-business plan to support organic sustainable veganic farming. We plan to provide not only water management and irrigation training but also a one-year vocational training of local farmers in organic veganic farming. This farming training has already started.
A key part of all our programs is to create a network of collaboration. My key network of collaborator for many of our programs is Dr. John Arnold, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, the international relations chairman of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and the Arnold Fly Like an Eagle Trust, and the CEO and founder of PPEP Inc. (Portable, Practical, Educational Preparation) micro- business and housing development, public charter schools, and organic farm, which is focused on sustainable farming.
The Tree of Life, PPEP, Inc., PMHDC, and WARES have a longstanding, highly cooperative, supportive, and friendship relationship in promoting humanitarian endeavors abroad. In particular, with our Tree of Life Foundation and PPEP, Inc., we have initiated projects in 6 African countries, Mexico, Brazil, and the US/Mexican Border Region of southern Arizona. Dr. Arnold and I have traveled together to these countries and conducted seminars on a natural cure for diabetes, sustainable, organic, veganic farming, and micro-loan business. Both the Tree of Life and PPEP, Inc. have co-funded these projects. They have also been instrumental in forming the West African Rural Empowerment Society (WARES) to facilitate these local projects.
Currently the PPEP, Inc. organizations supply all the micro-business activity and training for the project as well as all our fiscal infrastructure and humanitarian resources.
At the national level in Ghana we are presently working with the national management ministry of tourism and agriculture and knocking on the door of the health minister. We have also developed a program in Accra. This is an example of our influence moving from rural clans to urban clans. Our plan is to create a sustainable organic veganic microbusiness food supply to the cities, which supports the local village economics. In Ho we pay salaries for home health aids initially to support the regional and local areas in diabetes prevention/education and have extended to Accra. From this we will extend this program pattern to the 10 national regions and multiple community sub- regions to develop a national program. We already have 4 trained diabetes prevention specialists. In this process, we have put in about 20% of 53 fresh water wells in 53 different villages, in cooperation with the regional paramount queen, to supply much needed fresh, clean water for the local villages.