It’s been only five months since the Gilbert Sister Cities adopted Guabuliga, Ghana, as the town’s first "Friendship City," but the community has already begun to transform education there.
Gilbert High School teenagers and a Gilbert law firm are among the first to reach out to the tribe of 250,000 in the Mamprusi district.
"Imagine kids today sitting under trees with no pencils, books or papers," said tribal chief Masu Issifu, who’s lived in Gilbert since 1995.
Schools in his homeland region in Ghana are bare, with only chalk and chalkboards, he said. Most learning is done through song and dance.
But thanks to Gilbert High School junior James Walker and his Helping Other People and Humanitarian Outreach clubs, about 20 boxes of school supplies are ready to be shipped to one of the schools of 200 children in kindergarten through eighth grade.
"A lot of people are feeling good helping other people, with the idea that we’re not just sending food, but helping them make their own, helping them fend for themselves," Walker said of school supplies donated.
In March, the World Children’s Relief Fund completed two schoolhouses for the tribe costing $15,000. Gilbert attorneys, and brothers, Ben and Doug Lodmell, are administrators for the fund and visited the village during construction.
Issifu, a member of Gilbert Human Rights Commission’s diversity task force, now hopes local businesses and the community can help build more schools, high schools in particular, and help establish a safe drinking-water system.
For information or to donate to the Mamprusi Development Fund or to Walker’s collection, write to P.O. Box 1951, Gilbert, 85299, or call (480) 813-7931, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.