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Derek White

New York, NY, United States

Web Content Manager

Member since February 07, 2008

  • Letter from the community leader for the Millennium Village of Bonsaaso, Ghana

    Poverty, Environmental Design


    My name is Elizabeth Appiah, and my role in my community is to organize the women for communal labor and active involvement in the decision-making process. The biggest success I have witnessed through the Millennium Villages project is the empowerment of women and our increased involvement in communal work. This is a large achievement. I strongly feel it is divine intervention which has come to assist us to improve on the agricultural, health, educational and infrastructural programs in our community.

    Before the project, our food supply was unstable due to frequent flooding of our farms, the scarcity of meat and fish and the periodic shortage of crops. During these times I went to bed hungry at least once a week. We have adopted some modern methods of farming that have been taught to us through the Millennium Villages project. In addition to training we are also supplied with improved seedlings for maize, cocoa and citrus as well as fertilizers to improve the amount of food we produce. Some community members have also been taught how to make soap, which is a valuable product for our community and can also be sold to create income.

    We have had difficulty accessing healthcare. In our region, we have one doctor for every 15,000 patients. It takes a great deal of time to receive care when so many are in need of medical attention and so few can give the care that is needed. The project constructed a clinic and supported additional health staff to serve those in need. Additionally, the Millennium Villages project provided medical care free of charge. This is such a blessing for us as our health has improved.

    Educational materials such as books and uniforms are very expensive for us, and our schools were unable to provide a meal for our children during the school day. We are unable to sponsor our children’s education at the secondary level because it is too costly and beyond our means. Now the Millennium Villages Project awards scholarships to selected children to attend secondary school and created a school feeding program to provide meals at school to every child in primary school. The construction of a community learning center has also started.

    Before the project’s intervention fetching water took a great deal of time and effort. We walked long distances, more than 2 km, which took about 2 hours for us to fetch water for use in our homes. The water we had was of poor quality with a bad taste and color. The boreholes we had were in need of repair and were not available for use. The Millennium Villages Project improved our water situation by repairing existing broken down boreholes so they could be used, saving us time and energy to access clean water.

    My village has unity among our community leaders. The benefit we have received from this project has improved us. We draw inspiration from the support this project has given to our community.

    More info about Bonsaaso, Ghana

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Designing for the bottom billion

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My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
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