Special projects to mark 80th birthday

This issue of the Focus on Your Strengths (FOYS) Newsletter includes accounts of work undertaken in Ghana by Patience Gibbs in connection with FOYS during September – October 2015


Shortly after reaching her 80th birthday, Patience Gibbs, seen above on the steps of a primary school, spent seven weeks in Ghana. During that time, she promoted and supervised various FOYS and FOYS- related activities. For example, she sponsored two pop-up health clinics and a five-day bee-hive-making work-shop.
On the same visit, she made considered donations to Abiriw Presbyterian Junior High School and to the J G Knol Vocational and Technical Institute.
As has become the pattern on her visits to Ghana, she combined special projects with overseeing the production of soap, necklaces and bags that will enable FOYS to generate income to support future activities

Health Education Pop-Up Diabetes Clinics were held at Anum (21/9/2015) and Abiriw (2/10/2015). That at Anum, where Nurse Rosina Osae made extensive preparations and where local leadership provided great encouragement, resulted in 147 people being tested.
Attendance at the Clinic held in at the ahenfi in Abiriw was affected by power cuts that impeded communications, and, as a result, numbers were down.
In the clinics it runs FOYS links communities with local health services, offers information, and conducts screening. Over the years pop-up clinics have focused on diabetes, glaucoma and hyper-tension tests.

In a development that involved working with new partners, FOYS shipped two storage-boxes of medical supplies that had been collected by members of Trinity Methodist Church, Penarth. These supplies were passed on to Rosina Osae for distribution at her discretion.
Bee-Hive Making Work-shop. Over the years, Patience Gibbs has been in touch with UK-based NGO Bees Abroad (BA), with regular BA visitor to West Africa Brian Durk and with some of those involved with the charity’s partner organisation in Northern Ghana , ADRUCOM. Having secured funding for Victor Ayeboo of ADRUCOM to run a five-day workshop, Patience Gibbs liaised with community leaders and helped Victor assemble materials. The work-shop was successfully conducted at in Asasekokoo, below the Akuapem Ridge, 19th-23rd October.

The skills-acquisition activity was well-supported in a village that had – within the last year – been peripherally involved in violence against bee-keepers. Each of those who attended the five-day course ‘took home’ a hive they had made.
The strips for the top of the ‘top-loading hives’ that had to be precision cut were sourced in the Brong Ahafo Region, but apart all other materials were found locally. They included wa-wa board, raffia-palm, mud, nails, bottle-tops, corrugated iron, and barrels.
Pictures show different kinds of local material being used for the construction of hives, and hint at both the application of the participants and the various age groups involved. Work-shop leader, Victor Ayeboo, can be seen wearing a banded shirt in the final photograph of the work-shop below. That picture catches something of the enthusiasm of participants.

Supporting education and training:
Rather than gathering old friends around her to mark her 80th Birthday, Patience Gibbs donated paint to the Presbyterian Junior High School at Abiriw. Led by the he Head-master, Mr Kwakye-Fianko (seen in group photograph with Mrs and Dr Gibbs), staff and some of the pupils brightened up their environment.
!n consultation with Design Tutor, Pat Azu, Mrs Gibbs donated a specialized sewing-machine to The J G Knol Vocational and Technical Institute in Adukrom.

stablished by the Holland Ghana Foundation as a ‘Trade School that institute is now part of the Ghana Education System. It sets out to offer practical training. However, like many other educational bodies in Ghana ,it is under-resourced. Staff members have great difficulty In providing ‘materials for practicals’, and the Institute lacks equipment. Ms Azu reported that the sewing-machine was much appreciated.
See http://graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/28533-adukrom-vocational-institute-calls-for-help.html ; 2015 10 FOYS Newsletter 2015 Autumn on Ghana/ Ghana 21/11/2015

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