Welcome to our news page! This is where you can find recent news and activities and is where we list the community projects that VAF has undertaken thanks to contributions from individuals and volunteers. Your continued support of VAF will ensure future projects can be developed so stay tuned for more to come.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" - Oscar Wilde
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Diabetes, diabetes, diabetes - On the road again
(May-September 2017)

In May this year, Volta Aid Foundation was the recipient of a $3,000 USD grant from the Rotary Club of Ashgrove / The Gap in Brisbane, Australia, to conduct Diabetes & Hypertension outreaches. These outreaches, conducted in partnership with the Rotary Club of Ho, have continued to educate communities about the effects of diabetes and how to live a healthy life. Over the past three months we travelled to the rural Volta Region communities of Vakpo, Tsito, Adaklu-Sikaman, Abutia-Kloe and Abutia-Agorve, as well as participated in the annual Rotary Health Day in Ho-Ahoe, and screened around 1,100 people.

So influential have these outreaches been, the we were invited by Nurse Theresah in the Central Region of Ghana to conduct an outreach with her community of Senya Beraku. In what was the first ever outreach held outside the Volta Region, the outreach team travelled most of the day to cover the 250 kilometres and spent a night in the seaside community. The following day we educated the community about diabetes, tested over 200 people, and offered ongoing support to Nurse Theresah if she is able to set up a small diabetes clinic in the community.

These outreaches resulted in some key findings for diabetes in Ghana that have been presented to the Nurses at the Diabetes Ward of the Ho Municipal Hospital:

- More females than males attended. Even though women are self-employed and work as much as men, this finding indicates that women take their family health seriously and, even though the average age was high, many brought along dependants for screening.

- 10.7% of people recorded high/low blood sugar levels, indicating the possible presence of diabetes. This is higher than the official Diabetes rate in Ghana which is 6%. All of those that showed signs of diabetes were unaware of what diabetes is and did not know that they were at risk. The need for these outreaches is evident and equal importance must be given not to just screening, but of information giving and providing referrals to nearby hospitals or clinics.

- Abnormally high blood sugar levels were recorded at every outreach. This included levels of 15 at Abuti-Agorve, Abutia-Kloe and Adaklu-Sikaman, while Senya Beraku recorded a patient with a reading of 19, Vakpo 19.4 and Tsito 20.8. These levels represent a critical reading whereby a person is in immediate danger. Blood pressure levels were also taken at the outreaches and many elderly people displayed abnormally high levels and were given specialised information on managing high blood pressure and leading a healthy lifestyle.

We would like to thank Priscilla for volunteering her time to help us on some of these outreaches and putting her nursing skills into practice, all those Rotarians who helped with the outreaches along the way and also to our very own Volta Aid Foundation volunteers, Marissa and Ellen, who helped us implement most of these over the past three months.

Priscilla graduates as a qualified Community Health Nurse
(February 2017)

Priscilla has done it! She has graduated as a qualified Community Health Nurse after her two years at Nurses Training College in Winneba. We are so proud of Priscilla and the diligence she shows in her studies - one of the key reasons in providing her with a junior and senior high school scholarship all those years ago. Priscilla now has skills that can set her up for her future. Educational scholarships are so important as books really can change lives.

Mosquito net distribution
(January 2017)

VAF and the Rotaract Club of Ho distributed 120 mosquito nets to two communities in the south of the Volta Region - Vodza and Alakple. These two communities lie on the thin coastal strip of land surrounded by ocean on one side and the Keta lagoon on the other. Malaria, dengue fever and other mosquito related diseases are all too common in this area with many families sleeping out on the open. Mosquito nets are a simple way to protect a family from these deadly diseases.

VAF partners with Rotary for annual health weekend
(October 2016)

VAF received funding from the Rotary Club of Ashgrove-The Gap to undertake two diabetes outreaches, with one coming under the arm of the annual Rotary Family Health Days. During the course of a weekend, Rotarians and VAF volunteers were stationed at 12 locations across Ho and provided a wide range of free health services, including diabetes, and distributed free dewormers and other medication as needed. The VAF station saw over 400 people and we are grateful to our volunteers who participated in this busy weekend.

Rose is Accepted into Teachers Training College
(August 2016)

We received wonderful news today that Rose has been accepted to study at the Teachers Training College in Hohoe. Rose has been a good friend of Volta Aid Foundation and our volunteers since we were founded in 2010 and after getting Rose through Senior High School a few years ago we are so proud of her taking the next step. We know that she'll make an amazing teacher.

Funding for Diabetes Outreaches
(August 2016)

A huge AKPE KA KA KA goes out to The Rotary Club of Ashgrove-The Gap (Brisbane, Australia) who have generously provided funding that will allow Volta Aid Foundation and the Rotary Club Of Ho to undertake more diabetes and hypertension outreaches. We look forward to continuing our proud tradition of offering these outreaches across the Volta Region.

Bowling for Ghana
(July 2016)

A quick shout-out to our wonderful supports in Brisbane, Australia who put on a fundraising bowls day for Volta Aid Foundation. Chris, Secretary of VAF in Australia, spoke on the day and was well received by all who were impressed with our ongoing commitment to the Volta Region. Thank you everyone for taking part in the day!

Diabetes Outreach Heads to the Waterfall Community of Wli
(June 2016)

Wli is well-known to visitors to the Volta Region for being home to the reported single highest waterfall in West Africa. The community rolled out a special welcome for Volta Aid Foundation and our volunteers Ali and Elmira as we arrived with our diabetes and hypertension screening. With over 200 people turning up this represents a large percentage of the adult community and is testament to the growing reputation that these outreaches are gaining.

RIP Denis
(May 2016)

Today we received sad news from Switzerland - Denis Schmidli passed away after a short battle with illness. Denis first came to Ghana in 2014 and through his generosity we established a small computer lab in Sokode Primary School. He was due to come back to Ghana in April but due to ill health he postponed his trip until a later. Sadly, he never made it back, but his computer lab and generous spirit lives on. Rest in peace Denis, you will be missed.

Oral Health Outreaches with Spreading Smiles International
(March 2016)

Heather returned to Ghana this month on the back of her newly formed charitable organisation in the US – Spreading Smiles International. Several rural communities and schools were visited including Adaklu Dzakpo, Tafi Atome and Tafi Abuipe and over 1000 students and adults participated. This was a great opportunity for these people to engage with Heather and other health professionals.

Rotary and VAF Team Up Again
(February 2016)

Volta Aid Foundation has partnered with the Rotary Club of Ho once more to provide diabetes and hypertension screening for over 400 people. On top of this, dewormers were administered to children and mosquito nets were provided to families in need.

Jackie Makes the News!
(January 2016)

Jackie has returned to Switzerland and is featured in a local newspaper. We don't know what is says but are super proud of her efforts!

(December 2015)

Our Swiss Ambassador Jackie has once again ventured to Ghana to spend Christmas celebrations with several of our partner communities. Our biggest yet 'Kidsmas' event was held in the village of Tongor and other celebrations were held in Kpando with local kids and partners. It was great to see the novelty of unwrapping presents on Christmas - something we all take for granted.

Suitcase Rummages
(November 2015)

Second-hand clothes were the call of the month in Brisbane, Australia with Ashley and Katrice channelling their inner market-lady to set up stall at a local 'Suitcase Rummage'. All clothes sold were donated by friends and family with all funds raised supporting VAF. Simple ideas like this can raise essential funds to sustain our work - try one today in your city!

The Month of Outreaches
(August 2015)

Heather has once again joined the VAF team in Ghana and August was a busy month of outreaches. The team visited the rural community of Tongor for three days and enjoyed the rural life of a slow pace and no running water. Four different outreaches were held in different parts of these scattered communities while a successful educative outreach at the local school saw interest from hundreds of students. The Dental-Diabetes-Hypertension are a outreach unique to VAF and is continuing to educate people on fairly unknown health conditions.

Workshop - Office - Library Construction Continues
(July 2015)

Construction of our workshop / office / library is making steady progress....slowly but surely. The completion of this building will allow us to reopen our community library, save money on rent, and eventually open up a small business to provide us with an alternate stream of income. You can donate to this project by clicking the 'Donate Now' button on the right of the page.

Helping a Rural Community Construct Their Computer Lab
(June 2015)

The local Adaklu Ahunda community continues to renovate an old building for the VAF donated computer lab. Today we helped them out by providing them with some roofing sheets as progress steadily continues.

Eric Turns 30
(June 2015)

A big Happy Birthday to Eric who turned 30 this month. Eric celebrated in the only manner he knows - by selflessly helping those in his community and running an oral health outreach. You continue to amaze everyone Eric!

Fundraiser Provides Support for Priscilla
(June 2015)

Our supporters in Brisbane, Australia were once again at it again hosting a dinner fundraising event. This event raised enough money to pay for Priscilla's third semester of Nurses Training College. Having just completed her first year, Priscilla is eagerly awaiting results after completing a four week practical in Sogakope. You can donate to support Priscilla's future semesters by clicking the 'Donate Now' button on the right of the page.

VAF Volunteer Named Honorary Chief
(April 2015)

The Adaklu Ahunda Junior High School has been lobbying the government for years for funding to open a computer lab in their rural village. The Chief's and Elders recognized that computer training is a way forward for the younger generation and gave Peter Nicolaisen and Eric unique recognition for providing the school with a fully stocked computer lab: they were honoured with community Chieftaincy. Eric was donned Togbe Yingor Zikpuitor whilst Peter was crowned Togbe Yingor and the pair were completely overwhelmed by the level of thanks shown by the community. Whilst the lab is located in an old classroom in the JHS, the community is currently renovating an old building and converting it to a dedicated computer lab.

International Award for VAF
(April 2015)

We are proud to announce that VAF's Dental Screening and Health Education Project, run in conjunction with the Rotaract Club of Ho, was awarded the best project in the Rotaract District 9102 - which incorporates Ghana, Togo, Benin and Niger! Thank you to Heather Lonergan for her everlasting dedication to this ground-breaking project. We even made the news!

Easter Cupcake Drive
(March 2015)

Our partner organisation in Brisbane, Australia undertook a cupcake drive for VAF this Easter. The result was 148 cupcakes were hand-made and personalised by head Chef, Kati Graham, with over $600 AUD being raised. Good job Kati and the rest of the team!

Computer Lab for Adaklu Ahunda JHS
(January 2015)

Following up from November's news story, here is a picture of some of the 20 computers donated by VAF volunteer Peter. Adaklu Ahunda is almost one hour from Ho and is the last of the Adaklu communities that make up the area around Adaklu mountain. The community has a Junior High School with 75 students and a Primary School with 200 students and whilst these two schools are physically seperate, the computers donated and installed by Peter will service both schools. The community are driven to improve the education of their children and are currently renovating a building that will be used as the permanent computer room. We thank Peter so much for his generosity and desire to improve the lives of those in the Volta Region. VAF will be overseeing the running of the lab to ensure that the computers are maintained.

Christmas at Childrens Friend Home
(December 2014)

Eric spent his 2014 Christmas with the children at Children's Friend Home. Past volutneer Ainsley sent a wonderful package full of goodies for the children so they had something to share in at Christmas. Thank you Ainsley for your package - the kids certainly appreciated the gifts. The friendships formed between VAF and our 'projects' are much more than professional, they are personal.

Painting Project at Remar Childrens Home
(December 2014)

VAF, in conjunction with the Rotaract Club of Ho and the Rotaract Club of Lome Zenith (Togo), joined forces to repaint some areas of the Remar Childrens Home. VAF volunteer Morgan then went a step further and purchased nine mattresses for the children. The children were delighted with the new mattresses (as seen) and a big thanks to Morgan and the Rotaract Club for making all this happen.

Computer Literacy Program
(November 2014)

The VAF Computer Literacy program began with our first volunteer from Norway. Peter is currently in one of the Adaklu communities called Ahunda. His presence started this month with the introduction of Computer Teaching in the primary school but the Junior High started a some few months before his arrival. He serves as the main Information Communication Technology teacher for the both schools due to this position being unfilled as a result of low computer knowledge of teachers. Please contact us for more information on this groundbreaking program.

Kat's Kitchen Cook for a Cause
(November 2014)

Kat's Kitchen in Brisbane, Australia recently played host their first ever Cook for a Cause with all proceeds going to Volta Aid Foundation and the construction project. Kat's Kitchen also donated all food meaning an even greater profit margin for VAF. Seven participants learnt to cook several delicacies and then enjoyed the fruits of their labour and tucked into three course meal in support of VAF. We would like to thank Kat's Kitchen for the wonderful day and for their ongoing support.

Donations to Cured Lepers Village
(October 2014)

VAF, in partnership with the Rotaract club of Ho, visited and donated food and clothing items valued at more than $1000 to the cured lepers' village. The project also involved the sharing of conversation and a snack with the people who are forced to live in their own village - those who suffer from leprosy. We were joined by our two Australian volunteers who are currently volunteering at the Anglican Junior High School.

Priscilla off to Nurses College
(September 2014)

Our very first post on this news page, and VAF's very first project, was the initial payment of school fees to allow Priscilla to attend senior high school. VAF ended up sponsoring Priscilla all the way through high school and post school life, and over four years later she has now been accepted to Nurses Training College! VAF will continue to aid her through College until she has graduated and can provide for herself by working as a fully qualified nurse.

Heather Returns
(Aug-Sep 2014)

Heather, VAF's most returned volunteer, is back again for her fourth stint in Ghana working with VAF to provide oral health and hygiene workshops and dental check-ups. Heather visited schools and communities distributing 1200 sets of toothbrushes and toothpaste, and providing free basic dental cleans to hundreds of people. Heather, you are amazing!

UK Fundraiser
(August 2014)

Ex-VAF volunteer Rose held a great fundraiser in Lancaster, UK this month and raised over 1200 pounds! There were two great bands playing - Ice Pops For Breakfast and Red Coal Carpet - as well as a raffle which included a signed Bolton Wanderers FC jersey! VAF would like to extend a massive thank you to Rose and all who attended for supporting the work that we do.