We are fundraising to help Paul build Dikan-- the first photo library in Ghana. This is no daydream. Paul is a man on a mission. He's collected 30,000 books. (A process currently on hold because he threw out his back while loading the last batch on a truck.) He's registered his nonprofit in Ghana. He's formed a Board Directors consisting of Ghanaian educators and business people. He's met ministers and government officials. And he's also networked with publishers, executives, and administrators in America. There are plenty of people willing to help by donating resources and expertise. Everyone is currently in a holding pattern while they wait to see if Paul can raise the funds. He's carried the ball as far as possible without money. There will be no stopping him once he's able to purchase some land and begin construction. This is where we come in.
Paul's first priority is to purchase land in Accra-- the capital of Ghana. He has surveyed and researched several properties. The plots that are most suitable to his vision will cost about $500,000. Once the land is purchased, the library will officially have a home and Paul's ability to secure partners and marshal resources will greatly increase. I've been watching him work obsessively on this project for the past several months. I am constantly being amazed by the meetings he has taken and the network he has built. I'm fully convinced that even with the land alone, nothing will stop Paul from completing the project. But....
Next comes the construction of the building itself. Paul has been consulting heavily with architects and contractors. Numerous plans and sketches have been drafted. The current vision involves a modern library, courtyard, photo and film studios, theatre, gallery, events space, outdoor exhibition yard, archival rooms, storage, classrooms, centre for kids and teens, media centre, and offices. The contractors are telling him that an iteration of this can be built for $1,000,000, and can be completed in two to three years.
We have the opportunity to enable Paul to build West Africa's premiere learning center for photography. These funds will allow him to make his current vision real. But knowing Paul, my sneaking suspicion is this: the more real this becomes, the more people will want to get involved. More resources will become available. And when the dust has settled, I suspect we'll realize that these funds have enabled Paul to create something bigger and more impactful than any of us can currently envision.
Thanks to everyone who is able to contribute.
Paul built a website for Dikan, which you can visit for more specifics on his vision: www.dikancenter.org