2008 Through 2011 Ongoing Training Center Construction & Expansion

Please also read our blog for additional updates on our activities.

Director Abu and the Ghanaian Board are now finalizing construction of the Moringa Community Center in the village of Baako, where we will start a fully fledged trade school that will benefit the entire community. Initially, we will teach woodworking and food preservation skills. Meanwhile, in the US, Board is currently working on grant submissions, financial and material partnerships, fundraising, and project planning.

Moringa Community Training Center Progress

Carpenters prepare for the roof on the Community Center, scheduled to open in January 2010.
GableEnds6With gables complete, the Community Center awaits the installation of trusses constructed by the community volunteers. 

Over the course of the summer, construction has been proceeding at a rapid pace.  With weekly updates and the regular updates of digital photos by email, The USA Board has been amazed at the steady progress and excitement that surrounds this unpaid (monetarily, at least) endeavor.  The village volunteers in Baako are working to complete the Moringa Community Center in January/ February 2010.

Foundations were poured, walls erected, and now the roof structure is being completed.  The roof was just approved by the Board following a successful September fundraiser that allowed the purchase of the needed supplies.

Our model is to actively work toward self sustainability of the Moringa Community Training Center and our programs through results-oriented programs and student promotions. 

Effective January 2010 our plan is to assist a targeted number more than 1,000 West African's per year.    

This will include participants in both the Home Canning Food Preservation Classes and the Third World Machine Shop classes.

Class sizes and frequencies for both the Food Preservation Project and Woodwowrking Project are indicated below.

First Food Preservation Canning Class!

RawIngredientsGhanaian Director Abubakar “Abu” Abdulai explains the practices of canning to the first class.  The empty jars wait their contents! 
ClassWatchesThe class watches as they learn about proper canning techniques, jar sanitation, lid use, and resulting sustainability. 
FirstProductsThe class surveys their work with Abu.
GraduatesEach graduate of the canning class was allowed to take only one jar of finished product, due to the limited supply of jars.  

Because farmers only harvest plants that they can be used immediately, there is much spoiling and waste.  It is therefore surprising that most West Africans have never learned “canning”.  This is a low-tech, practical method of preserving food.

Since June we have run several home canning classes in Ghana in advance of our Moringa Community Training Center being completed so we could get a better handle on how quickly the population would embrace what was being offered through Moringa for teaching home canning.

These first classes were run with our small supply of only 240 canning jars currently in Ghana.  This limited the class to only one jar per student to take home, as the remaining glassware is still needed for other classes and demonstrations, but our program is indeed off the ground and running.

Our vision for future training includes 72 Home Canning Food Preservation Classes per year  with a class size of 10 students per class.

Our team in Ghana has reported that the response to the first classes has been overwhelming and we are now seeking the immediate supply of a full shipping container of 12,000 jars and lids.

While 12,000 jars (and many more lids) may sound like a lot to someone who does not typically can, every student will be a home canner after their course completion and also a potential trainer themselves.  Realistically a serious home canner is going to have 100 canning jars if they actually live off of what they preserve. Even if we consider a conservative estimate of 50 jars per student this translates to 2,000 jars a month.  With a 2,000-4,000 per month supply required, a full ship's container will only see us through 3-6 months operations. 

In addition to the success of the classes, the preserved food canned during the first classes in June is now being used to feed the volunteers who labor to complete the Moringa Community Center.

In September 2009, following a trip to Accra for the Innovation Fair, Abu was contacted by a local representative of the PCV in Upper East Ghana. She indicated she spoke to her women's' group, which is about 200 women and they were all greatly interested.

Combined with the excitement of our first classes in Baako, we anticipate this is truly reflective of the enthusiasm throughout the country that will allow for the successful growth of sustainable cottage businesses for the women of Ghana. 

Woodworking Progress: Mr. Jeffry's Third World Machine Shop - Front and Center in Baako

Machine for RoofingCarpenters use Mr. Jeffry's Third World Machine Shop to fabricate the roof trusses. 
MJTWMS undersideVolunteer carpenters show the underside of the Third World Machine Shop - standard hand tools in Western cultures transformed into a whole new use for poverty-stricken Ghana.

The original Mr. Jeffry's Third World Machine Shop is being used for the construction of the roof of the Moringa Community Center. 

Once the Center is open, woodworking training will include 12 Third World Machine Shop classes each year with a class size of 24 people, composed of two teams.  Each monthly class will consist of admission of 8 qualified African Carpenters who make application to the Moringa Community Training Center.  Each Carpenter will be required to bring 2 apprentices of their choice, either boy or girl.  The 8 Carpenters will be divided into two teams of 4 experienced (hand work) carpenters per team. Each of the two teams will include 4 carpenters and 8 apprentices.

The result for each class will be the fabrication of two complete Mr. Jeffry's Third World Machine Shops- (MJTWMS).  Each MJTWMS consists of 1 TableSaw,  1 Jointer/Molder, and 1 Planing/Milling machine.    Distribution of machinery will take place at then end of the course through the award of the two complete Machine Shop's to the best two African Carpenter/Woodworkers who submit the best business model for how the machine devices will be used.  This model will be evaluated based on the anticipated income produced to fully pay back the $600 cost per unit required to fabricate the machinery. 

  Dateline - September 2009.  Moringa Community Training Opening - Coming Soon!

Roof On
The Training Center in December 2009 with the roof in place.
Carpenters finish work on the roof structure of the Training Center. 

With the roof structure completed in early December, the Training Center awaits the final touches for the grand opening celebration in April 2010! 

 Founder Jeffry Lohr has visited Ghana for two weeks in early 2010 to participate in the final preparations for opening the Moringa Community Training Center.  

As a recipient of a Rotary International grant, Jeffry and Abu have made a highly praised presentation to the Rotary International Takoradi Ghana Club during his stay in 2010.

Watch for continued and extended updates over the next three months as the Training Center becomes operational and our exciting and effective programs begin. 

We are excited and proud to watch the project move from a vision to the reality of a self-sustaining endeavor that will continue to strengthen the community of Baako.




See where we've gone from here by clicking Jeffry's 2010 Trip to Ghana

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