Helping people to help themselves where they are

History

AACO has been working in Ashanti Akim since 1989. At first the work was primarily facilitated through churches in Ashanti Akim and supported by The Word Church in London. The Word Church continues to be AACO’s main sponsor and serve as its backbone, but as AACO became more deeply rooted in the Ashanti Akim community and more familiar with its needs, it added education-focused projects. These projects began with collecting used books, clothes and shoes for Ashanti Akim’s young people and progressed to sponsoring children for their school fees, school supplies and uniforms.

AACO has also helped rehabilitate school buildings, adding a concrete floor, plastering walls and building a classroom for one school. AACO helped move the school in Ananekrom, a remote farming community in the Afram plains, to a new site and used funding from World Mandate Ministries in Northampton to build the school’s block of junior high classrooms. World Vision added a primary school to the site, and now the Ananekrom school serves more than 400 students whose families live in the bush.

Another of AACO’s early projects funded by World Mandate Ministries contributed toward an IMF-supported water project in Dampong, which continues to provide clean water to the community.

Though partner groups such as Ascension Trust, World Mandate Ministries and XLP began sending mission teams to Ghana with AACO in 2000 and 2001, service teams travelling from the U.K. to Ghana became a clearly defined part of AACO’s activities in 2003. Since then other partner organisations like The Charter School have been regularly organising mission teams that travel to Ashanti Akim to help with AACO’s projects and to build relationships with the people they are assisting.

In 2003, the village of Dampong gave AACO 32 acres of land on which to build a senior secondary school. In 2004, a British Christian charity, Spring Harvest, provided the initial grant of £21,000 to build school facilities for Jubilee Senior High School, which opened and welcomed its first students in 2007. The high school continues to be AACO’s biggest, most visible project.  Read more about the school here.

Navigating the challenges of working in Ashanti Akim over the years has taught AACO much, and that knowledge plus the organisation’s continued trusted presence in the region has positioned it to make a greater difference than ever.

Yet, very real challenges remain as AACO works in Ashanti Akim. One current difficulty is finding a head teacher for Jubilee Senior High School, someone equipped and willing to help build this amazing community school in rural Ghana. Finding sources of funding for waiting projects that will improve development capacity in Ashanti Akim is another ongoing challenge.

Read more about AACO’s founder and director Akosua Arkhurst.

Quotes from our students

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