Continued education support for La’Angum Learning Center graduates provided by the Milburn Gift Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation

Yapoa began pre-K at LLC in 2008, and is now in senior high school.

It takes a village to raise a child, and often that village is global. The OKC based board of PAMBE Ghana works to find revenue sources to support the students at La’Angum Learning Center (LLC) – both during their younger years at LLC and after they move on to the next stage. With funding from the Paul Milburn Gift Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, graduates of LLC who enter junior high school (grades 7-9) and senior high school (grades 10-12) are offered support to help continue their education. Students are provided uniforms and school supplies including notebooks and pens, a set of math instruments and a scientific calculator. Nearly all LLC graduates go on to junior and senior high school, with the inaugural pre-K class of 2008 set to graduate from high school next year. Yapoa, who began pre-K at LLC in 2008 as a shy youngster, is now a confident high school student. “La’Angum Ka Toom” – “Many hands make light work”!

Junior and senior high school students receive school supplies from Head Teacher Majeed Salifu.

Shop at PAMBE Ghana’s Global Market 2021 In-Person to support the children at La’Angum Learning Center and Fair Trade

After a year’s hiatus, PAMBE Ghana’s Global Market returns in 2021 with a new location at 2420 N. Robinson in the Uptown 23rd Street neighborhood. “We are thrilled to be able to re-open our in-person shop, and also to have the chance to tap into the energy of the historic Jefferson Park neighborhood,” said market manager Sara Braden.

The Global Market specializes in fair trade items from around the world, made by artisans who are paid fair, living wages for their work. This is critical in 2021 because the Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many artisans to get their goods to market. Many have struggled to feed their families.

Braden said Global Market shoppers love the broad selection of beautiful items from countries on almost every continent. There are baskets from Africa, felted wool from Nepal, scarves from Guatemala, carved bowls from Indonesia, metal goods from Haiti and so much more. “Our variety makes it easy to find something for every age and interest,” Braden said. “We add new items each week, so we encourage shoppers to keep coming back.” The market closes on Dec. 24.

Founded in Oklahoma City in 2008, PAMBE Ghana realizes the dream of OCU graduate Alice Azumi Iddi-Gubbels to build a model school in an underserved area of northern Ghana. Oklahoma City friends embraced Alice’s vision and started the Global Market to fund that dream. Today, the La’Angum Learning Center (LLC) provides basic pre-K through Grade 6 education for 275 girls and boys from remote villages—most of whom would otherwise face very limited futures.

Global Market proceeds provide crucial funding for LLC. PAMBE Ghana has also developed partnerships with local villagers, as well as with individuals and service organizations in Ghana, the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Global Market opens on Oct. 14 at 2420 N. Robinson, just north of 23rd Street. It will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. through Dec. 24. “We are powered by volunteers,” Braden said, “and are grateful to Tom Spector and Shawn Churchman for donating this tremendous space.”

PAMBE Ghana’s Global Market at Scissortail Park: A Fun Way To Shop For Mother’s Day

Catch PAMBE Ghana’s Global Market on Friday, May 7, at The Night Market at Scissortail Park.

This is a great chance to shop in person at OKC’s beloved fair-trade market – just in time for Mother’s Day and summer birthdays. The Night Market will be open from 5:30 to 9:30. Celebrate spring, explore the park and shop the Global Market’s unusual, colorful and fun selection of fair-trade items.

Your Global Market purchases do a world of good, all over the world. Every item is certified fair-trade, from the stunning handmade copper bells and wind chimes from India to the felted wool birdhouses from Nepal. Global Market proceeds support PAMBE Ghana’s grade school in underserved northern Ghana, enabling almost 300 children to attend school each year and opening doors to their futures.

This will be the Global Market’s first in-person market in more than a year. Seasonal specialties include a three-piece garden tool set and terra cotta animal pots planted with locally-grown herbs, which make lovely gifts for all gardeners. Other gifts for friends and family include hand-woven ties from Guatemala; wooden toys, puzzles, and musical instruments; baskets of all shapes, sizes, and colors from around the world; kitchen tools, towels and bowls.

Make May 7 your night to explore PAMBE Ghana’s Global Market at The Night Market at Scissortail Park!

A New Tax Deduction for You!

Yes, you can get a new tax deduction for making a contribution to a charity.  You can make a contribution up $300 and still write it off - without itemizing deductions.  You can still take your standard deduction AND get a $300 deduction under the CARES ACT for COVID relief.

Even better, if you are 70.5 or older, you can make a contribution directly out of your IRA for any amount (up to $100,000) without paying any taxes on it. 

Yes, you can do both! You could donate $1,000 from your IRA (70.5 and older) and $300 (no age limits) from your checking account and get the tax savings from both.

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project at LLC Is Complete – Funded by Rotary International in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Wainwright and Revelstoke, Canada and Tamale, Ghana


Through a partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Wainwright, Alberta; Revelstoke, British Columbia; and Tamale, Ghana; PAMBE Ghana received a $49,000 USD grant from Rotary International to fund significant water and sanitation work at La’Angum Learning Center (LLC). The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project has been largely completed, and LLC now has a functional latrine system!

This milestone achievement for PAMBE Ghana fulfills Executive Director Alice Iddi-Gubbel’s long term dream to implement biogas generation at LLC, and it is among the largest single grants that PAMBE Ghana has received. This is a significant step toward our goals of increasing health and sanitation and reducing deforestation around LLC.

The project involved:

Construction of two environmentally-friendly 4-cubicle low-flush bio toilets with a bio digester, hand-washing points and grey water recycling system.

—A new 4-cubicle toilet building for girls and female adults.

—A remodel of the existing pit latrine for boys and male adults.

—A biogas digester to digest human and other waste materials.

—A system to capture and use the biogas in the kitchen for the school lunches.

—A rainwater harvesting system for the toilet building roofs, including collection, storage, and distribution.

—A grey water recycling system for flushing the toilet, including a solar-run water pump.

—A solar energy system for pumping the water and lighting the buildings.

An increase in the supply of clean drinking water.

—A rainwater harvesting system is on the roof of a nearby buildings, including collection, storage and distribution.

The significant benefits to the community include: more water capture and storage, increased sanitation with functional toilets and hand washing, biogas generation, reduced deforestation, and reduced burden on women and girls to carry water and collect wood for cooking.

Thank you for your continued support 
Update from Alice Iddi-Gubbels

Help PAMBE Ghana match funds from the Paul Milburn Gift Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation

This year, PAMBE Ghana has received a grant of $30,000 from the Paul Milburn Gift Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. The grant will provide funding to continue teacher training, new curriculum learning materials, education support for La’Angum Learning Center graduates and a teacher dormitory project. The grant will also support an enhanced internet connection, training in digital literacy and computer equipment used by both students and teachers.

To receive the funds, PAMBE Ghana must match the amount with individual donations. Please consider a donation to help us obtain these generous funds and promote literacy at the La’Angum Learning Center in rural northern Ghana.

Thank you for your continued support - Update from Alice Iddi-Gubbels

Impact of COVID-19 on La’Angum Learning Center in Northern Ghana

Fortuitously the Northern Region of Ghana has had few reported cases of COVID-19; Executive Director Emerita Alice Iddi-Gubbels and Program Director Baba Bukari are happy to report that the La’Angum Learning Center (LLC) and PAMBE Ghana family are currently healthy. Strict orders from the Ghanaian government required all schools including LLC to suspend in-class learning in March. Recently, the Ghanaian Education Service phased in classroom openings for older students, but this reopening did not extend to elementary schools. The abrupt school closure presented immediate challenges as LLC students live in several villages that in the main lack electricity and internet. The kind of home-based online learning implemented in parts of the United States – albeit with mixed results – is not possible at all in this region. Stressed children and their parents are eager for school to begin again.

Since March, PAMBE Ghana has continued to pay LLC teachers and staff, who have spent this time of closure furthering their own educations and designing a plan to engage with students in the four communities served by LLC. Teachers will travel to each village and meet with groups of 3-4 children at one time to review concepts and distribute worksheets. They expect to meet with 2-4 groups of children per day. Once all students have been reached, the teachers will begin the rotation again, reviewing worksheets, reinforcing and extending concepts and helping the students feel connected to school. In these visits, the teachers also will meet with parents to teach them about COVID-19 precautions and to ask parents to let their students engage with the visiting teachers. If permitted, future plans include allowing older and prior students to visit the LLC library and computer lab on an ad hoc basis.

Program Director Baba Bukari used his time this Spring to help LLC teachers gain computer literacy skills. In 2019, the Ghanaian Education Service announced a new curriculum with an emphasis on digital literacy, and the pandemic has created an immediate need to master and utilize these critical computer skills. The LLC teachers have met twice a week from March-July in the LLC computer lab with the school’s ICT (technology) teacher to improve their facility with and expand their skills on computers as well as smart phones. Teachers are now using these new skills to hold weekly virtual staff meetings from their various home villages – even though to connect they must go to a specific internet access location. Despite these advances, virtual classroom learning remains untenable as LLC students lack electrical power, suitable internet connections and devices at home, and data remain very expensive.

While distancing, handwashing and mask protocols are in place throughout the Northern Region, much of the local economy is informal and depends heavily on social interaction. Thus, work such as gathering and selling firewood or bringing crops to market still continues. The president of Ghana has shown strong leadership and broadcasts weekly addresses to the nation to inform the population about COVID-19.

 

Market Shifts: Leslie Batchelor Helps PAMBE Ghana’s Popular Fair Trade Market Go Online

How can a small Oklahoma City nonprofit survive a pandemic? Dream big and talk to your friends – PAMBE Ghana is lucky to count attorney Leslie Batchelor as a friend and loyal customer of its seasonal fair trade Global Market. When the nonprofit’s way forward was clearly to move the Global Market to online sales, Leslie Batchelor offered space adjacent to her law office for an inventory warehouse and sales office.

Leslie Batchelor shows a basket crafted in Uganda

“Once it became clear that PAMBE Ghana’s Global Market would have to change course from its traditional storefront model, we put our heads together and agreed that the Market must continue. Profits from sales provide crucial funding for our elementary school in rural northern Ghana,” said Tom Ziebell, president of PAMBE Ghana’s board. The school, La’Angum Learning Center (LLC), enrolls 275 children in pre-K through grade 6.

PAMBE Ghana is excited at this new community partnership, which enables them to start a new adventure in online marketing. Leslie and her dad, Dan Batchelor, agreed that PAMBE Ghana could use vacant space in their building, The Center For Economic Development Law. Leslie, president of The Center, has been a regular customer at the Market, which has operated seasonally since 2008. She notes, “I have shopped at the Global Market most years when I’m looking for unique and special gibs. I like that I can be doing good by supporting artists working in their communities for a fair wage and supporting LLC at the same time. Elementary education and the arts are basic building blocks for communities wherever they are.”

Sara Braden and Seaira Hull picking up orders at the learning tree in Oklahoma City.

The new online Global Market offers fair trade items from around the world, made by artisans who are paid a living wage for their work. New items are being added weekly and will continue through December. Shoppers may visit www.pambeghana.org to order. Currently orders are available for pickup only at learning tree toy store, 7638 N. Western, Oklahoma City.

PAMBE Ghana began in Oklahoma City in 2008 with the dream of OCU graduate, Alice Azumi Iddi-Gubbels. Her dream: build a model of quality basic education in an underserved area of northern Ghana. Oklahoma City friends embraced Alice’s vision and began the fair trade Global Market to support her dream. The La’Angum Learning Center has flourished through partnerships with local villages in Ghana, friends and supporters in Oklahoma City and Canada, and now Leslie Batchelor and her dad.

For more information visit www.pambeghana.org.

Inaugural Preschool Class Heads to High School after outstanding National Exam Scores

Ghana’s educational system requires students nationwide to take a qualifying exam called the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) after completion of the ninth grade. The purpose is twofold – those who successfully complete the exam will receive a Basic Education Certificate, and those with high scores will be placed into a corresponding senior high school.

LLC grads Rashida Mohamudu (L) and Joshua Moyom (R) were among LLC’s high scorers on the 9th grade achievement test.

La’Angum Learning Center’s first students – who began their educational journeys as preschool students in 2007 – have completed 9th grade and achieved outstanding BECE scores. These 24 students (14 girls and 10 boys) have gained admission into the upper echelon of senior high schools in the northern region.  Each has qualified for government scholarships that pay their tuition, room and board. Their BECE achievement is one in which every PAMBE Ghana supporter shares.

Pictured are three of LLC’s graduates, Rashida, Nemau and Bokupoa, preparing to walk from Bumboazio to Langbinsi where they boarded a bus to their new school for the fall term.

“The end depends on the beginning.” Thank you!

 

 

Rotary International Funds Milestone Water and Sanitation Project at LLC

Through a partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Wainwright, Alberta; Revelstoke, British Columbia; and Tamale, Ghana; PAMBE Ghana has received a $49,000 USD grant from Rotary International to fund significant water and sanitation work at La’Angum Learning Center (LLC).

This milestone achievement for PAMBE Ghana fulfills Executive Director Alice Iddi-Gubbel’s long term dream to implement biogas generation at LLC, and it is among the largest single grants that PAMBE Ghana has received. This is a significant step toward our goals of increasing health and sanitation and reducing deforestation around LLC.

The project, once completed, will:

Increase the supply of clean drinking water.

  • Build a rainwater harvesting system on the roof of a recently completed building, including collection, storage and distribution.

Construct two environmentally-friendly 4-cubicle low-flush bio toilets with a bio digester, hand-washing points and grey water recycling system.

  • Build a new 4-cubicle toilet building for girls and female adults.
  • Remodel of the existing pit latrine for boys and male adults.
  • Install a biogas digester to digest human and other waste materials.
  • Install a system to capture and use the biogas in the kitchen for the school lunches.
  • Build a rainwater harvesting system for the toilet building roofs, including collection, storage, and distribution.
  • Construct a grey water recycling system for flushing the toilet, including a solar-run water pump.
  • Implement a solar energy system for pumping the water and lighting the buildings.

The significant benefits to the community will include: more water capture and storage, increased sanitation with functional toilets and hand washing, biogas generation, reduced deforestation, and reduced burden on women and girls to carry water and collect wood.


 

Did you know?

PAMBE Ghana’s teachers presently earn less than those who serve at Ghanaian Education Service (“GES”) schools and La’Angum Learning Center risks losing Montessori trained teachers to the GES. Thanks to the generosity of the Liddell Foundation and Mother Huggers, PAMBE Ghana will begin to implement its long-time plan of responsibly raising teacher salaries. Please join Mother Huggers by making a tax deductible donation to support increased teacher compensation. Please see more at motherhuggers.us to see that organization’s good work done locally and internationally

Teaching and Learning Materials With Local Ghanaian Roots

Teachers at PAMBE Ghana’s La’Angum Learning Center (LLC) are putting their Montessori skills to work producing classroom materials their students can use. This idea came from Program Director Eric Bugri Gumah, who brought back several ideas from a Montessori conference he attended last year. He discussed his findings with the teaching staff and voila! The idea to use local materials to build teaching and learning materials was born.

Teachers are building grammar and filler boxes, which are used to teach students the English language. Using local wood, they are able to replace the plastic boxes and reduce the dependence on imported boxes.



 

Donate Today

Your Donation Today Will Help PAMBE Ghana Provide:
-- Teacher's salary
-- Children’s health insurance
-- Montessori materials
-- Teacher education

PAMBE Ghana is a 501(c)(3) registered charitable organization.


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