2017: What a great year!
We would first like say a very big thank you to our partners, volunteers, donors, known and unknown. Because of your help, we were able to bring change throughout Ghana and change lives in the rural communities we serve.
Volunteers for Amelioration of Rural Areas (VARAS), in its quest to bring sustainable change throughout typical rural communities, encountered many successes in 2017 and we are excited to share our story with the rest of the world.
- Rural mobile clinic, Hospital Internship, Donation at the Orphanage and School visit.
As part of our effort to bring healthcare to the door step of the rural poor, VARAS in partnership with Gators for Doctors without Borders from the University of Florida in the USA, carried out a rural mobile clinic in May within a rural community in the Volta Region of Ghana, called Tsyome Afedo. In the end we were able to treat 237 locals with common diseases like malaria, cough/cold, and carried out many HIV tests, etc.
The students also job-shadowed local physicians and assisted in giving health care. As part of the program, we donated an assortment of items and school supplies to the Missahoe orphanage in Kpando and Tsyome Afedo E.P primary school respectively.
- Guitar for Esinam
Esinam is a 14 year old girl who has suffered from face tumour since birth. Due to this medical condition, she dropped out of school at grade 3, since the other children were scared of her. Since then, she has been fighting to live like a normal child. With our Sponsor a Surgery project, we met Esinam in 2015 and assisted her to visit the hospital for treatment and to look into possible surgery. It was important to us to put smile on her face while we wait for surgery and also to remove suicidal thoughts which keeps on coming, so VARAS, in partnership with Guitar for Glory, gave her a new guitar to enable her to pursue her passion singing and playing the guitar. Check out this link to see her story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrFUKI0LH9Q
- The Library Project
Emma, a past volunteer and a photographer, was moved when we visited the rural communities and decided to create a documentary of the trouble that rural folks have to go through everyday just to have access to undrinkable water. As part of her documentary, she visited a local school and realized that the pupils can’t read. On her return home, through her passion to help, fundraised to complete the Gbetekpo D/A Primary School library and provided them with books and furniture. The impact was remarkable!
- Kente Weaving and Rural Development Project
The best way to break the vicious circle of poverty is to create the opportunities to develop the rural poor. As part of our rural development project we are introducing the art of – Kente Weaving. This year, VARAS received two German volunteers who learned how to weave and designed a website to create awareness about the fabric. Our goal is to teach local women this trade so that they can have to provide for their families and continue to stimulate the economy. To read more about Kente and buy Kente here: http://varas.org/kente/en_GB/
- Saving lives through Surgery
Esinam had her first surgery and awaiting the second in April 2018. We are excited for new beginnings! Thank you to all who made it possible.
Emmanuel who suffered from a condition known as Myelomeningocele, experienced hydrocephalus, and lacunar skull also had a successful surgery and is recovering well. http://varas.org/sponsor-a-surgery-ghana/
- We welcome Madelynn, the Claudias and Katharina to the team!
To expand VARAS, save lives, and spread awareness throughout the world of the need that many communities of Ghana are experiencing, this year VARAS welcomed our newest US and Germany Executive International Representatives. They will serve in multiple capacities including management of fundraising efforts throughout the United States, spread awareness, and recruit volunteers to aide in our cause.
Looking ahead to 2018
- Phase 2 of Esinam Surgery
Hopefully, Esinam will have her second surgery in April this year. We would love for everyone to support her in any way you can whether it be through prayers, by sharing her story, writing article about her story, or organizing fundraisers to support her future surgeries. Donate here https://www.gofundme.com/esinem-fund to support Esinam and read more about her story.
- Construction of Tailoring and Dressmaking Training center- Dzolokpuita (Begins in May 2018)
We believe in the old wise saying “if you educate a man you educate one person but if you educate a woman, you educate the nation” and “ teach a man to fish” This center when completed will train ten (10) young women who dropped out of school due to poverty, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, physical disability etc.
Join Katharina, a past volunteer who started an online fundraiser to support the project. Start your own fundraiser now or volunteer your skills on the ground. Donate today https://www.gofundme.com/eine-bessere-zukunft-in-ghana and read more about the project here http://varas.org/spring-summer-volunteer-projects-programs-ghana-africa/
3. Volunteer for FREE with VARAS as a Website Designer, SEO (Search Engine Optimizer), and Social Media consultant in Ghana, Africa. Intern as an Internet Marketing Specialist! Read more http://varas.org/volunteer-internet-marketing-specialist/
4. Volunteer on our all year round community programs and projects aim to improve rural communities. These programs and projects are designed in full consultation with the local chiefs and elders hence its sustainability. We look forward to partner with school clubs, organizations, groups, churches and other non profits. Read more about these programs and projects at http://varas.org/spring-summer-volunteer-projects-programs-ghana-africa/
We would love to hear from you! Contact us at:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Phone: US: +18504435355 or +13528572180 Germany: +4917632562266
Ghana: +233209425179 VARAS team.