ARA stands for "Agricultural and Rural Development Association", and is a non- profit and non- governmental organisation (NGO) geared towards the rectification of the basic environmental and agricultural problems facing rural communities in Ghana. ARA is a legal organisation under the registration No. G.306 of the Republic of Ghana. ARA works with rural folks to build a better community by increasing agricultural productivity and rural employment, opportunities to generate income, while protecting the environment.
ARA believes that agricultural innovations and diffusion of new technologies are much more important in the rural communities. To promote small-scale, rainfed agriculture in marginal areas. ARA is committed to achieving long-term development, not short -terms solutions. We believe that the human resource activities in our projects have the greatest long-term impact. We respect the needs, values, traditions and mentality of the communities in which we work, while encouraging their capacity to advance their own development.
ARA was founded by Mr. Kingsley Addy, a Ghanaian born. Mr. Addy studied at the faculty of International Agricultural Development at the Technical University of Berlin. He graduated and specialised in international agronomy. Through his engagement in both, national and international development organisations, he and other qualified ghanaians in the field of rural development projects founded ARA in 1995.
Aims and Objectives
1. To create a forum for people interested in the rural developments projects in Ghana. 2. To develop and implement grassroots campaigns on agriculture and environmental issues. 3. To develop links with national and international NGO`s and community-based organisation. 4. To Promote employment opportunities for young people in the rural areas. 5. Extension service and consultancy for farmers. 6. Initiating of rural developments self-help projects, with the aim of food security and income generating. 7. To promote vocational training for youth and especially women. 8. To organise international youth Workcamps during vacations for tree planting exercises, agricultural and other rural development activities.
ARA Experimental Farm
This project will aim at conducting studies and seminars on different types of farming systems in Ghana. Ecological and sustainable ways of using natural resources will be implemented on this farm. Researches, farmers, and students who are interested to contribute to the project are kindly welcome. The Experimental farm is in Agona Swedru in the central region of ghana. On this 2-3acres of fertile soil, ARA intend to promote agricultural productivity and food security.
ARA Vocational Training
The programme aims at using the resources and the potentials of the the youths effectively. It will facilitate students to prosecute their studies in line with the individual aspirations. It will concentrate on providing training’s for self employment. All such training’s would be designed commensurating to the dynamic demand of emerging markets and providing job for any ARA certificate holder. This would enable ghanaians in the rural areas to get the opportunity of learning a profession than leaving the rural areas to the urban, with the hope of getting a job. Following vocational training projects are proposed:
1. Solar cooker Workshop
ARA is planning to implement activities on Environment and Ecology. In this aspect renewable energy is considered as one of our main activity components. Solar cooker serves as a very important alternative energy to Fire woods (Chaco). Using the Sun to cook (Solar cooker) will cut- down the cost of money which would have been used for Fair woods. The ever increasing of population rate in our country, indicates that there is need of finding other alternative sources of energy.
2. Computer Training Centre
The project offers an efficient channel to equip Ghanaian youth with quality computers donated by individuals and industry to enhance instruction and to meet the needs of employment for qualified workers.
The ARA Computers projects solves educational and social problems that would otherwise require hundreds of millions of Cedis in government spending. This is possible because this effort is sharply focused and the benefits are highly leveraged. ARA solicit assistance from people from such communities, at least to construct a multi-purpose vocational training, to serve the community
IBM-Compatible computers 286, 386, 486 or faster Apple / Macintosh computers Modems, mice, disks, and peripherals Working Printers, and software’s
Items such as type writers, computers, carpentry tools and other vocational implements will help to close the urban-rural educational gab.
Ghana has a lot of attractions including natural scenarios and varieties of cultures to appeal to foreigners, visitors and tourist from abroad. ARA offers ecological and culture oriented tourism. Guides (students and NGO-workers) will provide a package of information’s facilitate visits in and around Accra city and in some selected rural areas. The visitors and tourists who are able to adjust to the country’s living conditions would be provided with facilities to live with local families. These will extend horizon of tourism and give expatriates, visitors and tourist a deeper insight in the social and cultural life of the country. What is a Workcamp?
A workcamp is an international youth meeting, where young adults from various different countries live and work together for 2- 4 weeks. Apart from the daily work of 4- 6 hours the camp normally have a study part which is an opportunity for the participants to discuss and deal with certain Topics. A workcamp is a life changing experience for young adults, by getting to know new cultures, religions, alternative ways of living and working as well. A workcamp enables young adults to create changes in their lives and in the world. Our international counterparts are the Kolping Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste (Köln) and International Jugengendgemeinschaftsdienste IJGD), Berlin.
Aims and objectives of Workcamp
1. To organise international youth workcamps during vacations for tree planting exercises, agricultural, and other rural development activities projects.
2. To promote global understanding among youth of different cultures, by inviting youth from abroad to attend workcamps in Ghana.
3. To assist the rural folks in their farming and other working activities.
4. To encourage voluntary service in rural communities
Who can Participate
* You should be a Ghanaian between 18 and 30 years of age * Both female and male are welcome * Able to speak the english language (camp language)
How to apply
* Application forms should be completed and submitted to the ARA office. * A 2 day preparation seminar is compulsory *The minimum annual subscription for all participants is 1000 Cedis
Every participant should contribute an amount of 420 DM for 3- week camp. ARA pays for : Lodging Meals 3X Worksite Materials Programme Materials Detailed Worksite project Directions And much, more and more
What Types of Work are Available?
The work will be conducted by a competent person (ARA member). He or she will explain e.g. how to weed, drill a hole, where to set the plants etc. Help is need on a variety of nature conservation, renovation, and social projects. The work in all categories involves simple tasks which unskilled volunteers with limited or no language skills can be taught to do in a day's time. The working aspect of ARA camps is very important, because we have the ambition of giving our best. Working time is about 30 hours per week.
Typical tasks to expect include: mixing and pouring cement, transporting building materials, scraping and painting walls, hammering, etc.
Expect such tasks as wielding pickaxes, shovels, and rakes; weeding, pruning and transplanting vegetation; cleaning riverbanks and mapping pollution sources.
Leisure time and study
Leisure time is an important part of the youth meeting. In expeditions, walks and sightseeing tours you can get an impression of the way of living and of the culture of the region. You can have fun activities like playing games and short excursions. The group plans their evenings and weekends together. There may be excursions to local sites on the weekends and evenings are often spent talking, singing, playing games, and visiting local residents You will have free time to write care cards to other participants and relatives.
Accommodation and Food
The accommodation is normally very simple, e.g. in sleeping bags and isolation mats in a community room, at local junior and senior secondary school. Volunteers help to prepare meals and clean up afterward on most projects. There will be no extra cost for food and accommodation, this will be paid by ARA.
Items to bring
Essential: * Mosquito Net,* Malaria prophylactic medicine , * Toilets Articles * Work clothes * Boots * Gloves * Flashlight * Raincoat * Sleeping bag.
Optional: *Water Bottle *Swimming suit *Musical instrument * indoor
and out door games
Executive Director(MSc in Agronomy)Mr. Kingsley AddyP.O. Box 173Darkuman-Accra* 2 2 8 4 4 7Fax: 2 2 4 2 8 2OrMr. Kingsley AddyTaylorstr.4a14195 Berlin*/fax: 49030 8132478 Chairman(Accountant)Kennedy BurndamC/o Copyright ServiceP.M.B Ministries of Ghana* 2 2 8 4 4 7Fax: 2 2 4 2 8 2
Area: 238.537 square kilometres. Population: 17.5 Mio. -average population growth per year 3 % Major languages with numerous dialects and ethnic groups: 75 - 45% of the nation’s population speaks Akan- (Ashanti, Fanti, Brong), 16% speak Ewe, 10% speaks Ga-Adangbe, and the most ancient Ghanaian language- Guan- is spoken by 12% of the Population.
Capital Town: Accra including the area of Tema, and Teshie etc. (1995) aprox. 1.8 Mio. population. Other important cities: are Kumasi (800.000), Sekondi- Takoradi (300.000), Cape Coast (100.000), Tamale (200.000).
President: Jerry John Rawlings
Economic Activities: Agriculture (Livestock, fisheries and forestry) accounts for over 50 % of the gross domestic product (GDP), with about 65% of the population engaged in subsistence farming. Apart from agricultural products there are other manufacturing industries such as food processing, textile, wood processing, bottling, brewing and distilling, chemical assembling, building materials, metal etc.
Massmedia: Ghana News Agency (GNA) entertains 10 regional - and about 110 district officers and also agencies overseas
Radio: Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) maintains about 3 radiostations and about 53 channels. Private Radiostations since 1994 permitted (Joy FM, Gold FM, Groove FM,).etc.
Export: Gold. Diamonds, Aluminium, cacao, Tropical Woods, Handicraft
Import: Investment goods, Fuel, consume commodities.
Location, Geography & Climate
Much of the attraction of Ghana is based upon its legacy as the centre of the gold, ivory, and slave trade during the 17th and 18th centuries, when the mighty Ashanti empire held sway here. However, Ghana also possesses one of the best game reserves in West Africa, a multitude of good beaches, and plenty of hospitality.
Ghana is one of the five African nations along the northern coastline of the Gulf of Guinea. It is bordered on the west by Cote d'Ivoire, on the north by Burkina Faso, and on the east by Togo. The country consists mostly of low-lying savannah regions, with a central belt of forest. Ghana's distinguishing geographic feature is the Volta River, on which was built the Akosombo dam in 1964. The damming of the Volta created the enormous Lake Volta, which occupies a sizeable portion of Ghana's southeastern territory.
Lake Volta is also the site of Kujani National Park, though Ghana's best-known park is Mole, located in the north. Unfortunately, neither Lake Volta nor the river itself have yet been developed for touring--although lake cruises are offered, the great majority of water traffic consists of cargo ships.
Rainfall is fairly heavy, particularly from April through September.
History & People
Ghana's rich history centres on the once-great Ashanti empire, which rose to power during the late 17th century and continued to prosper as a centre of the 18th century slave trade. The Ashanti capital, Kumasi, was during this period one of the finest and most advanced cities in Africa, and the Ashanti state even employed significant numbers of Europeans as advisors and administrators. The European presence in Ghana is also marked by the multitude of colonial forts that dot its coastline--strongholds that anchored the European trade in gold, ivory, and slaves. Although Ghana, then known as the Gold Coast, was largely considered a British territory by the latter half of the 19th century, it wasn't until 1900 that the British succeeded in defeating the Ashanti and the area's other strong kingdoms.
More on the Ashanti
If Ghana was late in coming under European control, it was also the first African nation to win back its independence, in 1957. However, corruption and internal military strife proved to be apparently intractable problems, and Ghana went through an extended period of instability in the 1960s and 1970s marked by military rule. The country has been since then been moving steadily toward political stability and economic prosperity, and seems today to possess one of the most promising futures of any of the West African nations.
Most of Ghana's 17 million people practice either Christianity or Islam, which are prevalent depending on the region. Christianity prospers in the south, while Islam dominates the rural north. Local religions also endure in Ghana, and are often practised syncreticaly with the mainstream religions. The country's main holiday, Akwasidee, comes from the Ashanti religious calendar, and features an ornate ceremony involving the Ashanti king, known as the Asantehene.
Accra is a city that has managed to escape the overblown fate of many other world capitals. Though it was once a major centre of the gold and slave trade for four different empires, its tree-lined streets have the same intimate feeling that comes with the word town.
Accra is an excellent place to meet locals and buy native Ghanaian art and craftwork, especially at the Arts Centre. Visitors here can find practically anything: sculptures, game-skin drums, exotic beads, and superb examples of the colourfully expressive Kente cloth. The Makola Market, also abundant in goods and bargains, is a fine place to experience a true West African bazaar.
Mole National Park
Mole National Park, which extends over 500 sq. km., is a fairly basic but eminently inexpensive destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The game population is abundant, and includes elephants, various species of antelope, an abundant and diverse bird population, monkeys and crocodiles, and even a small number of lions. Unlike many other wildlife reserves in Africa, Mole offers visitors the opportunity to drive or walk throughout the park at very reasonable costs. The only place to stay is the park hotel, which offers excellent views out over the surrounding parkland.
The Coastal Forts
Ghana's role as a focus of the gold, ivory, and slave trade resulted in the construction of an entire string of colonial forts along its coastline, and many remain as picturesque legacies of that era. The forts at Dixcove, Elmina, Cape Cove, and Apam are all open to tourists, and some even offer accommodation and meals. While the forts are reason enough to tour the coast, the area's outstanding beaches are an equally compelling attraction.
This major city was the capital of the Ashanti empire, and it continues to serve as the cultural centre of the Ashanti people. Although the historic city was destroyed almost a century ago, modern Kumasi contains a good cultural centre and museum as well as the modern palace of the Asantehene.
The Craft Villages
In the region surrounding Kumasi are four settlements known as the craft villages. They are the towns of Ahwiaa, Ntonso, Kurofuforum, and Bonwire, and their inhabitants have been the royal artisans for the Asantehene for generations.
WHAT TO SEE
Ancient artistry in fabrics with the colourful and popular Ashanti Bonwire Kente Cloth now adopted a focus of identity by many people of African descent the world over
An antique collector's haven for ancient terra cotta work, traditional gold jewellery, Krobo beads, northern leather and straw products, wood carvings of Ahwai-Ashanti. The practice of ancient herbal and alternative medicine side byside with orthodox medical practice throughout the country; herbariums preserve the ancient medicinal heritage.
Colourful traditional festivals full of pageantry with Chiefs and Queen Mothers riding on lushly gilded palanquins. Colourful traditional open markets and lorry parks provide the sounds and of the African bazaar.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial park and Mausoleum (A Great Pan-Africanist) Dr. W.E.B. Dubois Centre for Pan African Culture
George Padmore Research Library of African Affairs World Heritage Monuments
(Cape Coast, Elmina Castle and Fort Jago) Industrial and Technology Ghana
African Market Atmosphere (Sale of food, Cloths, African Artifact and more)
Museums and Cultural Centres in Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast The Ashanti
Gold Mines in Obuasi (The first African Company on the U.S Stock Market)
Bonwire, the home of the famous colourful KENTE Cloth Universities and
Colleges in Ghana Aburi Botanical Gardens (Where lovers meet to enjoy the
tropical Plantation) New Tafo Cocoa Research Institute Ghana is a chief
export of Cocoa Chocolate is made out off cocoa) Akosmbo Dam and the Volta
Lake (The Largest Man-made Lake in the World) Each craft village has a
particular claim to artistic fame. Bonwire is the capital of the Kente
cloth, while Ntonso boasts the Adinkra cloth. Ahwiaa produces outstanding
carved figures, including Ghana's traditional fertility doll, and Kurofuforum
specialises in the casting of brass