Mwalimu to Ghana Volunteer Trip

This story begins with a group of women who went to Ghana in July 2017 for a cultural immersion experience.  Ashay University's Trip to Ghana was life-changing! 

Among the many experiences that touched our hearts was the visit to Atasemanso Primary School in Kumasi, Ghana.  Though financially improvished, the energy of Joy and Light we felt in these precious children moved us deeply. 

Upon hearing about some of the needs of the students, our spontaneous donations supplied 100 children with new toothbrushes and toothpaste!  

Mwalimu Melodye Micere Van Putten, Ms. Dawn Sutherland of Bridge-to-Africa Connections and Rev. Sister Grace, Headmistress of Atasemanso Primary School.

After a tour of the school, the entire student body was assembled to greet us.  As an educator for over 30 years, whenever I see young people, I am always compelled to share words of encouragement and motivation.  I can't help myself - I have to share!    

My brief, impromptu talk with the student body resulted in an immediate request to return!   Last month, I received this letter with a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to volunteer at the school as an Educator-in-Residence.  OMG!  I have been formally invited to share my expertise with students, parents and teachers!  

I was estatic!  However, the process of accepting the invitation was not automatic.  Because Atasemanso Primary School is a rural village school with very limited resources, I would not be compensated for my work.  As an independent, self-employed educator, I am not in the position to volunteer nearly a month's income and finance a trip to boot.  Yet, the consensus of my family, friends and students was that I MUST accept this invitation and KNOW the conscious community, along with the abundant Universe, will clear a path to provide what is needed.   As I began to talk with a number of people who were thinking of ways to make it happen, it was my son who said, "GoFundMe!"  

Consequently, the purpose of this request for donations is to assist in obtaining funds for trip essentials - airfare, expenses, shipping of materials, etc.    By desire and necessity, this important initiative must be a community endeavor with multiple partners.  It has  already been embraced by Bridge-to-Africa Connection, Inc. (BTAC) and Ms. Dawn Sutherland, who will provide housing and meals; Strategic Solutions and Mr. Lyndon Williams will provide Ashay academic materials that I will customize for students and teachers; and the students of Ashay University will furnish two classrooms at Atasemanso Primary School with desks and chairs as part of the Desk/Chair Project of BTAC.   Will you embrace this important initiative and be a partner in this worthy cause?  

A little more background:  For over 30 years, I have been blessed to do this work and live my purpose, teaching students, training teachers, conducting community workshops, writing books, creating materials and developing curriculum that utilize the lessons of our global history to empower and inspire our community. 

The journey of Educator-in-Residence has taken me  from my native Philadelphia, PA to a number of places in the United States, including Charlotte, NC, Ft. Worth, TX, West Palm Beach, FL and Palo Alto, CA .   I have also had opportunities to share my gifts and talents in Bermuda, The Bahamas, Tanzania and South Africa.  Currently, my Bermuda journey is a work of purpose-fulfillment and joy, teaching adults and children...

Ashay University's The Freedom Fighters Class

Ashay Clubs at The Berkeley Institute

Ashay Kids! at North Village Community Centre

It has been amazing, yet my work is not yet done.  The idea of facing a life-threatening illness just a few years ago to the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to empower and inspire students and teachers at Atasemanso Primary School in Ghana, is beyond what I could imagine... !!!

Ase' is a Yoruba word with two meanings - "It is good" and "The power to make it happen."  Without a doubt, this blessed invitation is good; it is my hope that you will help make it happen.  Ashay!
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Melodye Micere Van Putten 
Philadelphia, PA
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