If you travel from Ankaase to the village of Dumakyi, you will walk through heavy brush and patches of mud until finally you cross a stream by balancing on a piece of wood that serves as a bridge. During the rainy season, the mud can cake your shoes and during the dry season the dust coats them. It’s not an easy walk, but our staff in Ghana makes the trek regularly to visit families in this village.
Residents of Dumakyi have migrated to southern Ghana from the northern region in order to caretake the land of other farmers. Because the climate is dry in the north they find it difficult to farm the land. In order to survive, they have uprooted to the wetter climate in the south. They build their houses from mud and thatch, unlike the more common adobe and tin roof structures common in the southern region. Many residents of Dumakyi speak their tribal language, Dagomba, but can also speak the local tribal language, Twi.
There is one school in Dumakyi that serves children in grades first through sixth. After sixth grade, most of the children must stop their education because it is too expensive for families to send their children to other village schools. If students do walk to other villages to continue their junior high education, they can walk up to an hour each way to reach the school. Beside the school is one borehole (water well) that serves those who live near the school. Those who live in other settlements further from the school fetch their water from streams and rivers nearby.
There are many needs in the village of Dumakyi, one of which is light. The village has no source of electricity, which means families must end their day of work when the sun sets - usually around 6 p.m. Children are affected because they are unable to do homework, read, or study for tests after dark. Flashlights require batteries, and there is no place to purchase them. A remote village like Dumakyi is at the mercy of sunlight, and when that is gone, they are literally in the dark.
During the summer of 2014, one church in Tulsa, Okla. asked children in their Vacation Bible School to donate funds for the purchase of lanterns that would be distributed in the village. The total raised was $1,662 - enough to purchase a solar lantern for every family in the village. The lanterns will be delivered during the week of September 16, and the families of Dumakyi will finally have a reliable source of light. The lanterns are manufactured specifically for this purpose, and are durable, long-lasting, and priced so that non-profits can provide them to villages in the developing world.
Rising Village seeks to meet needs in Dumakyi so the burden of poverty can be eased, and parents and caregivers can provide for the needs of their children. As we work in Dumakyi, we keep in front of us our mission: transforming villages through family preservation.