2016 Year End Letter

Dear Friends,

year-end16-1Wow – look what you’ve done! Together, we have had the courage to create a school that now serves 266 students. We have 25 graduates attending junior high (right). We’ve never had a student drop out. We are building a library. We have outfitted a solar-powered computer lab in a locale without electricity. We teach children how to read and write English. We have dealt with surprises and crises with honesty and hard work. What a feat. And what a responsibility!

year-end16-2Eight years ago, Yaapoa Miba (left) was a timid little girl in the village of Bumboazio, Ghana with no prospect of getting an education. There was no school nearby for her to walk to. Her parents, themselves non literate, could not afford to send her away to a distant school. Today, Yaapoa (below) has completed her elementary education at La’Angum Learning Center. She is now a young student in seventh grade, with many dreams of a brighter future.

You made it possible for Yaapoa and 24 of her mates to complete their elementary education successfully and to embark on the next phase of their education journeys, stepping into junior high confidently. Your continued support has given Yaapoa and many other children in this rural community in northern Ghana the audacity to dream of a better future not only for themselves but also their families and their community.

year-end16-3This last year has brought challenges that we never envisioned. Yet we had unwavering support from you, our caring friends, who generously stepped in with emergency funding. Thus, our water crisis is over. The big tanks no longer leak, we have some temporary supplementary containers, and the school can continue to function. Is this enough? Unfortunately, no. We still need significantly more water storage capacity. It is part of our infrastructure that has not yet kept pace with the growth of the student body.

Similarly, the computer lab is a wonderful asset, but its six computers are not nearly enough for all 266 students. Your previous gifts built the lab building, which will comfortably house more computer stations. But our solar electricity generation is at capacity. To add more computers will also require additional solar panels and battery storage. The payoff? A much richer experience for each student in this important, and necessary technology.

Another crisis from the past year has yielded a new line item in our budget: screening all incoming students for Hepatitis B. This wasn’t in our first year-end16-4budget, eight years ago. But when we discovered this destructive illness in some of our students, we were confident that you would help us with the immediate problem, and you did. Through your special gifts, we screened and vaccinated every student and teacher. And we treated those who were infected. And we’ll continue each year, screening all incoming students. For some, this will be life saving.

This next year will be an important time to focus on what happens inside the classrooms, developing, strengthening, and enriching the quality of our students’ learning experience. Because a school is far more than a building. This work will involve individual teacher coaching, formal training with curricula and materials, demonstrations and workshops. We will continue to pursue and refine assessments and comparisons of our student outcomes for grades 3 and 6. We’ll also continue to follow the progress of our graduates to ascertain how LLC can best prepare students for success in junior high.

Most of these items are contained within our annual operating budget – they’re what we do. While they’re not flashy, they are crucial. Your continued support today for these bread and butter items enables us to deliver what we have pledged to our students. Long term, through our endowment fund, we aim to create a reliable source of income that will sustain the school’s normal operations. This will take years to build, but we’ve already started that important work, and we welcome your participation.

La’Angum Learning Center became a reality because of your generous spirit. It has grown because you continued to care about the children and their futures. You expected your dollars to work hard, and they have yielded so much more than anyone originally expected, because your gifts impact more than the students – they help families and communities grow stronger together.

We say at La’Angum Learning Center, “Sirinsaa yani, la’angum ka toom,” which means, “Many hands make light work.” We welcome you to join our work - together we will make another year come true for today’s 266 students. Reach your helping hands across the Atlantic to ensure a sustainable future for those students who come next. By your caring gifts, we bring to life our hopes and dreams for the future.

I speak for our children, now and in the future,

Thank you.

alice-signature
Alice Azumi Iddi-Gubbels
Executive Director, PAMBE Ghana

We greatly appreciate the support of our PAMBE Ghana donors and friends!

This group is volunteer driven, so your feedback is always appreciated to ensure we are doing our best for the students in Ghana. We hope you had a chance to review the end-of-year giving letter in December. We hope you felt as inspired to give as our friend, Frank. We love hearing from you!

"Please pass along to Alice how much the PAMBE Ghana annual appeal letter impressed me. No pics of the executive director receiving an OKC Citizen of the Year Award or shaking hands with local politicians, or of board members with a proverbial shoulder to the wheel; no emotional "poor us" language and no sleep-inducing budget report. 

Just straightforward, matter of fact details based on what needs previous contributions have helped meet in the past and what needs additional contributions will meet in the future. Good stuff. Alice's letter stood out. Well done! Carol and I didn't hesitate to double the small donation we intended to make. (The little bio on the young lady who had just completed seventh grade didn't hurt either.)"

Uplifting Experience

Letter to the editor, The Oklahoman 11.23.16
http://newsok.com/article/5528131

Every year at this time, I return to Oklahoma City to assist with fundraising for the Oklahoma City-based nonprofit, PAMBE Ghana. I founded the organization in 2007 to start an elementary school in a rural part of northern Ghana. My dream was to give children a chance for an education near my home village. As a result, the La'Angum Learning Center has been in operation since 2008, graduating the first class of sixth-graders this year. My dream was supported and continues to be supported by kind and caring Oklahomans who shared my dream. Recently, I was reminded of the generosity and kindness inherent in many Oklahomans. As I drove down NW 23 Street early one morning, my car broke down. I was immediately surrounded by several people offering to help. These Oklahomans were clearly different in ethnicity and culture. However, they all worked together to help an African woman get herself and her car safely off on the street.

I was truly uplifted by this experience. This letter gives me the opportunity to thank these and all the wonderful Oklahomans who have helped me over the years.

Alice Azumi Iddi-Gubbels, Ghana
Iddi-Gubbels is executive director of PAMBE Ghana.

Volunteer Spotlight: Diane Parker

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Diane Parker brings her considerable experience, persistence and dry wit to PAMBE Ghana. She has been working with PAMBE Ghana since the early days, recruiting her sister, Mary Ann Johnson, to volunteer at the Global Market. Recently, I talked with Diane about her life and work. — Jane Wheeler

JW: I know that you work in the Global Market, but also volunteer in other ways. What keeps you coming back?

DP: I like the “expressive” volunteer activities: telling everyone I can about the Global Market. I wanted to get the word out to businesses on Classen Boulevard, so I drove around collecting addresses, following up with cards and posters advertising the Global Market. It gave me a chance to spread the word.

JW: Have I ever asked you to be on the Public Relations and Marketing Committee?

DP: Yes and I told you no.

JW: You have been involved with PAMBE Ghana from the beginning. Were you in the Temple’s living room with the group that encouraged Alice to make her dream happen?

DP: I was there from the beginning, but not in the Temple’s living room that time. I wonder where I was? I knew Alice personally, but didn’t know about PAMBE Ghana’s birthing until it was born. And I knew Patti Tepper-Rasmussen and Linda Temple from the World Neighbors days, so it was natural for me to join the group of volunteers working to make the dream a reality.

JW: Are you from OKC originally?

DP: Oklahoma City is my hometown. After graduating from Harding, I attended OU. While I was in college, I got the travel bug and spent my summers working in projects in San Francisco, Roxbury, MA and Yellowstone. After OU, I got a job teaching in Oakland, California. Being young, I didn’t know how to set boundries, so I got overwhelmed and in too deep. It seem like a good time to vacate the premises, so I bummed around Europe for a year.

JW: Only a year?

DP: Well, Mom called: “Would you come home for your sister’s wedding and stay awhile?” So I did.

JW: What path did you follow when you came back?

DP: The city hired me to work with Roosevelt (“Rozie”)Turner. We created the Mayor’s Action Youth Organization (MAYO), a program for disadvantaged youths. I continued this work with the City of Oklahoma City, the Community Action Program and the YWCA/Job Corps from 1968 until 1974.

JW: Where did you meet your husband, Charles Parker?

DP: Charles was working as an investigator in the Legal Aid office, which was across the street from our office. He would come over and flirt with all the girls. He was looking for a new wife, so I took the job. After we became a couple in 1970, I convinced Charles to go back to school. This took us to Miami, Florida, where he studied industrial arts.

JW: What adventures did you find in Florida?

DP: We both taught school. I worked at a vocational school in Homestead teaching migrants at night. I had a wonderful time! One girl couldn’t read at all, so I taught myself phonics and taught her how to read. That was really rewarding.

The plastic frantic lifestyle in Florida drove me to graduate school looking for some kindred spirits, so I went to Florida International University. There, I got a masters’ degree in public administration.

Then, the Department of Defense hired Charles to teach in the base schools in Germany. We got married so I could go overseas with him. When our son, David, was old enough to go to school, I applied for a position as budget analyst with the Army. We were there for 15 years until the Berlin Wall fell. Charles’ school closed and I transferred to Tinker, AFB.

After 30 years, I retired. It seemed like the right time.

JW: Besides PAMBE Ghana, what are you passionate about now?

DP: I like to learn by reading and taking classes. Recently, I attended a class on neuroplasticity, learning that we have a lot of choice as to what goes into the mind.
I love to laugh, exercise, and listen to live music. And, travel, of course! Mary Ann and I went to Hannibal, Missouri recently. We learned all things Mark Twain.

I am not ADD, but I do have ants in my pants.

JW: We love to laugh with you, Diane! Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with me today.

Alice in Oklahoma: What’s It All About?

Alice speaks to students at Heritage Hall Middle School

Alice speaks to students at Heritage Hall Middle School

Dressed in her traditional Ghanaian attire, Alice Iddi-Gubbels enters the lecture room at Oklahoma City University Law School and hands her flash drive to the technical support person. He will get her Power Point up on the big screen so that Alice can tell the PAMBE Ghana story to a new audience.

“It’s important to broaden our support base,” says Alice, who spends a large chunk of her annual fall visits to OKC drumming up support for La’Angum Learning Center, which today has 266 students from pre-K through grade 6.  “It’s an intense time. We have new challenges as the program has gotten bigger and more complex, and expanding funding sources is extremely important.”

Alice spends roughly 4-6 weeks in Oklahoma City each year, usually from November through early December. Her visits coincide with the seasonal opening of the Global Market, where she is a regular visitor with volunteers and shoppers. That is, when she’s not otherwise engaged in the scores of visits, appointments, meetings and presentations on her calendar. There is no typical day. Or week.

“I visit with many old friends who have been committed supporters over the years. It’s a chance to have one-to-one conversations,” says Alice. Other days she might be preparing to speak to first graders at Heritage Hall, whose art show proceeds have been a regular contribution for several years. Or engaging with a local church congregation at coffee hour alongside a mini-Global Market sales table. Or participating in a radio interview.

A big component of her visits is in-person time with the board, to provide briefings, examine resources and discuss program priorities. She is the bridge between the OKC-based nonprofit headquarters, and the Ghana-based school. She is a cultural bridge as well, ensuring understanding and appreciation on both sides of the Atlantic.

What about the nuts and bolts of life? During her visits, Alice is a guest in the homes of supporters. This year she’ll spend the first half of her visit near downtown, and the last part of her visit on the Northeast side. She drives a borrowed vehicle while in town (and has to readjust to driving automatic vs. stick). She uses a temporary pay-as-you-go phone, which requires her to get a new number each year. And she comes prepared to cover her traditional, tropical African attire with serious cold weather gear for Oklahoma’s winter, which, like Alice, arrives each November.

Volunteer Spotlight: Don Oliver

Don Oliver

Don Oliver

Two years ago, when The Men’s Corner first appeared in the Global Market, creator Don Oliver was excited and apprehensive. This was a new level of participation for the long time PAMBE Ghana supporter who has a history of creative involvement in the community.

Don first heard of PAMBE Ghana through board member Jane Wheeler, who works out at the gym he owns: Don’s DO Fitness at 5118 N Shartel. She was looking for a performance venue for the African singer and dancer Kaberic, who was making promotional appearances throughout OKC on behalf of PAMBE Ghana a few years back. Anyone who knows Don knows he can’t say no to dance. Or to music. And if he can learn something in the process, he’s there. And if he can also be altruistic? He’s right in front of you. Don opened his spacious and bright exercise room to a crowd of all ages, and thus began this warm and rewarding partnership.

Don is one of the world’s creative people. He says he’s always been a dancer. He taught dance throughout his high school years in Guthrie, OK, and during his college years at the University of Central Oklahoma. At his gym, he incorporates dance moves into his step classes. Don has a strong sense of design, which he tapped to create the industrially chic space for his fitness center. He’s also a musician, playing drums in club gigs with bands. But then he picked up the harmonica.

“I started playing straight harp, which is when you’re playing the exact notes of the song,” explained Don. “A friend said I should learn cross harp, when you play a note that is harmonically balanced with another note: Four steps above the key of the band.”  Don never looked back. “I hear it and I feel it,” he said. “You’re flying between the guitarist and vocals. You can move in between them or back them up or mimic them – you can do anything. It’s a blast.”

Don still plays the occasional band gig. He also loves to go out dancing (you can catch him out on the floor somewhere on most weekends). But he puts a lot into his business and into his community, donating his time to PAMBE Ghana and other nonprofits. “I’ve always been taught to make the world a better place,” says Don. “Whether it’s volunteering or running my business or doing a job, if people feel good about themselves, this just goes out into the world.”

For the Men’s Corner, Don spends hours shopping fair trade suppliers for the right products. Before the Global Market opens each year, he sets up the space to spotlight the products he feels will appeal to men. Don is picky, as a volunteer who works with him will attest!  But he’s got a job to do and the experience and skills to do it with. And he’s the first to let loose with a big laugh. Because life is joyful. And Don Oliver is full of life.

Plans for the 2016-17 year

10-goalsLa’Angum Learning Center began the 2016-17 school year in September. Executive Director Alice Iddi-Gubbels provided a list of what she hoped to accomplish between now and July.

  1. Continued teacher training and support in Montessori education: Two 3-day workshops with Mr Eric Gumah from Bawku, Ghana.
  2. Continued support for two teachers to complete their North American Montessori Center/Faith Montessori Diploma course.
  3. Initiate a lending library for students.
  4. Follow up and support with our graduates who are junior high school students at Unity Junior High School in Langbinsi.
  5. Outcomes assessment for grades 3 & 6.
  6. Hepatitis B screening, followed by vaccination and treatment of infected students. This is a very important health project to continue with our new Pre-k and transfer students. This includes administering booster shots a year after the initial inoculation, to provide for a 10-year protection.
  7. Continue to raise funds for expanded water resources and improved sanitation.
  8. Complete Montessori demonstration classroom. This will be an important practical support for teachers and students alike.
  9. Leadership development plans.
  10. Increasing friend and fund raising, in Ghana.

Plans for PAMBE Ghana’s 2016-17 year in OKC include:

  1. Continue to provide funding and support for LLC, its facilities, operations, students and teachers.
  2. Diversify and expand funding sources by focusing on grants, donor development and friend raising opportunities.
  3. Help populate LLC’s new lending library with donated books.
  4. Expand and refine social media presence.
  5. Expand Global Market hours. This year it will remain open until 7:00 pm on Thursdays. The Global Market will open November 3 and close December 24.

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Temple

10-linda-temple-alice

You could say that PAMBE Ghana started at the Temple’s home.  One Friday night, at “soup night,”  Alice talked to the friends gathered about her dream of going back home to start a school.  They’d heard it before. However, this time they pushed her forward. In the gentle but firm manner of good friends, they said, “Alice, do something about it or quit talking about it!”

That did it. Alice put a group together and they created PAMBE Ghana.  Linda offered to do a global fair trade market for PAMBE Ghana nine years ago. Her volunteering commitment to PG continues as strong as ever.

Linda still brings a wealth of talent and experience to our organization. She coordinates the Global Market, including overseeing the buying of merchandise from Fair Trade organizations and training of volunteers.  Linda also serves on the Public Relations and Marketing committee of PAMBE Ghana.

Linda has worked with Fair Trade since the 1980’s.  She developed a strong interest after she heard Sister Leona Leucke from the Peace House speak to the local weavers guild about her work with weavers in Guatemala.  The weavers were widows and mothers selling their work to support their families. After the inspiring talk, Linda and Anne Murray started buying yardages and selling them at coffee shops, churches, and parties in homes.  They collected $200 from local weavers to get started with the project.

After a couple of years,  Anne and Linda visited the project in Santa Apolonia, Guatemala. It was a dangerous trip because of the brutal civil war ongoing at the time.  Looking back, Linda wondered if the trip was the best idea, but explained it by saying, “The things you do in your youth! “

When they returned, they kept selling until everyone they knew had as much Guatemalan  stuff as they could use or give away.  So, they expanded to a “Market Day” concept. They got  Oklahoma State non-profit status and bought through Fair Trade groups, which had developed in the decade since they first heard Sister Leucke. They used the proceeds to benefit different groups, such as a school in Nepal and artisans in Haiti. And they always sent something back to Guatemala.

Linda and Anne went on to help World Neighbors with their Fair Trade gift shop, coordinating and keeping it stocked and organized.  Eventually, Linda worked for World Neighbors in their publications department, while still doing the shop. She and PG Board Member Patti Tepper-Rasmussen,  did the purchasing for their annual “World Fest Market.” When World Neighbors decided they no longer needed their help, they shifted energies and converted it to the PAMBE Ghana Global Market.

Linda’s drive to help others is a value  instilled in her by her parents. Her parents  were activists, taking up for the rights of others and taking care of those in need.  As a high school student,  she witnessed these values in action, as her parents, especially her mother, became more involved in civil rights and feminist issues during the 1960s. They also fostered many children over the years.

After graduation from Muskogee High School, in 1964,  Linda attended OCU on an academic scholarship.  She was an elementary education major, which was selected for her by the administration. After student teaching,  she realized that she didn’t want teaching as a career path. “Student teaching should come at the first, rather than the end of school,” Linda said.

Linda met Tom, her husband, at OCU, and the pair moved to New York City for a couple of years to work with the Catholic Workers Movement. Linda also worked as a secretary for the vocational rehabilitation unit at Harlem Hospital. After leaving New York, they moved to Peabody, Kansas, where she worked for the local paper.  Linda remembers, ”I got to do everything at the paper from running the printers to photographing for the stories.”

However, events caused Linda and Tom to grow up fast.  When they were 25, Linda’s  mother died leaving two young brothers, ages 8 and 11. They came to live with the young couple. It was time to settle down and provide for the kids. Linda ran a day care center and Tom went back to school.

They eventually moved back to Oklahoma City so Tom could work on solar energy projects with architect Jon Robison. Linda started work as a secretary at Red Rock Behavioral Health Services and worked her way up to the Director of Administration.  Although working at Red Rock was very rewarding, Linda wanted  to diversify her resume, so she got a job as the Director of Development at the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Later, she worked in the publications department of World Neighbors and at OU, where she was assigned to work in technical writing at the Department of Human Services.

After that, she was able to go to Library School at OU, earning a Master’s degree and fulfilling a childhood dream. After completing her degree, she worked for the Oklahoma City County Metropolitan Library in Midwest City.

Linda gives her time and talents to PAMBE Ghana and other worthwhile projects, including editing a quarterly textile newsletter for Weave A Real Piece (WARP).

Additionally, Linda is a Master Gardener and spends a lot of time in her yard, especially propagating native plants. She still identifies herself as a weaver, although these days she mostly only does tablet weaving bands. She and her husband Tom enjoy traveling and are frequent tent campers and hikers.  They travel to London a couple of times a  year to spend time with their son, Blaise, his wife Melissa, Nicola, 9, and Quinn, 7.

PAMBE Ghana is just one organization that has benefited by Linda’s boundless commitment to help others make their way in the world.  Thank you,  Linda!

Alice Azumi Iddi-Gubbels Before PAMBE Ghana

10-aliceAlice arrives on Nov. 2!

Most of us are familiar with Alice Iddi-Gubbels accomplishments in Oklahoma City: graduating from OCU with a Masters degree in early childhood education and Montessori Teaching Certificate, teaching at Westminster School and starting PAMBE Ghana.

However, Alice’s education and experience before PAMBE Ghana goes far and wide.

Alice was among the first in her village to go to school and is one of the fortunate few to go on to college.  She has a diploma in Home Science and Nutrition from the University of Ghana, Masters degree in Social Development Planning and Management from the University of Wales-UK.

The common theme throughout her professional life has been education and social development in marginalized communities. Her work has been in health care, water supply, functional literacy and local leadership.

From 1980-82, Alice led a community-based health care program in northern Ghana, organizing and training volunteer community health promoters and traditional midwives.

Alice worked as the World Health Coordinator for the Integrated Rural Development Program in Bassar-Togo from 1983-86, and as Family Health Advisor West Africa from 1986 to 1987.  She worked with Oxfam-GB from 1987-1997, first as Deputy Regional Representative for West Africa and later as Country Program Director for Burkina Faso.

Alice moved with her family to Canada in late 1997. In 1998, she managed the francophone Africa program, which included West Africa, the African Great Lakes region and Madagascar for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace based in Montreal.  She provided management and support to Oxfam Canada’s food security program in Ethiopia from 1999 until she moved with her husband to Oklahoma City in 2000. Since then, Alice’s career path has shifted to early childhood education,  with the starting of PAMBE Ghana and La’Angum Learning Center.

 

2016 School Enrollment

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Ibrahim Bukari Issah and Chief process enrollment at the start of the school year.

Grade Boys Girls Total Teachers Teaching Assistants
KG1 20 13 33 2 1
KG2 22 14 36 1 1
Pr. 1 24 15 39 2 1
Pr. 2 15 19 34 1 1
Pr. 3 19 16 35 1 1
Pr. 4 17 8 25 1 0
Pr. 5 9 19 28 1 0
Pr. 6 17 15 32 1 0
ICT for P1-P6 1
143 119 262 10 5
Head Teacher 1
Exec. Asst. 1
Exec. Dir. 1
School Security 2

From World Neighbors to PAMBE Ghana: Richard Williamson

9-williamson-richard-400One of the best things to happen to PAMBE Ghana in 2009 was that Richard Williamson, CPA became Treasurer. He has helped us navigate the tricky waters of international exchange rates, which can wreak havoc on our dollar-based budgets. He’s guided us through salary issues tied to Ghana’s high inflation rate. He prepares our 990 tax returns and heads our very prudent budgeting process. And he’s done this all as a volunteer.

Richard’s day job is with the American Cancer Society’s probate and trust department. “The planned giving people get donors to put us in their wills and trusts. I’m at the end of the process, when we’re collecting the money people have left to us.” This familiarity with the nonprofit environment has been one of Richard’s contributions. Before his ten years at American Cancer Society, Richard spent ten years as the chief financial officer at the beloved Oklahoma-based nonprofit, World Neighbors.

“I met Alice through this, because her husband Peter and I worked in the same office for about six years,” recalled Richard. “Peter introduced me to PAMBE Ghana because they needed someone to help.” Richard wasn’t sure at first if the small organization would survive financially. Today, he is pleased with what we’ve accomplished. “It shows what a person can do if they want to, “ he said. “A lot has been accomplished by Alice’s determination. Somehow she finds a way.”

But some of the behind the scenes, non-sexy things that Richard does help. He insists that PAMBE Ghana budgets a year out – so we raise money in year 1 for year 2. The money we’re spending this year is already in the bank; the money we’re raising today is for next year. “I’ve seen both large and small nonprofits go out of business the other way,” says Richard. “If you’re fundraising to make current expenses you’re always on thin ice.”

Before moving into the nonprofit sector, Richard’s world was oil and gas – for 20 years. He was born in a small Oklahoma town, got his BA and MBA from OU then, after four years in the army, he got his CPA. For nearly the next twenty he worked in the oil and gas business. The first several years in the 1970’s were boom times, when oil and gas was a fun business. But the last years in the 1980’s were the worst the industry has even had. Jobs dried up as companies folded. Richard got a job with a trucking company where he prepared bids for contracts. He had to figure out how to make the low paid workers work harder and faster so that the company would make more money. This experience led Richard to think about what would really satisfy him. That’s when he moved to nonprofit.

He explained that in accounting, the actual job that you’re doing is the same from place to place, but in the nonprofit setting, the mission of what you’re doing is much more satisfying. “You work there because you believe in what they’re doing.” But when the work you’re supporting is in the third world, you are removed from actually seeing the fruit of your labors. Richard has had the good fortune to see first hand some of his results. He’s traveled to Central America twice and Africa three times. This last trip, to Ghana in 2015, was to see PAMBE Ghana’s La’Angum Learning Center.

These trips, to see how the money is being used, make all the difference in the world in understanding what is actually being accomplished. Richard explains, “There is always some skepticism about how the money is being used, and if it’s getting where it needs to go. When you travel overseas and actually see the school building, that there are kids running around smiling and happy, staff members, outfitted classrooms – you get to see what the money is being used for, and you can report back to your donors. Most donors don’t have this opportunity, but we can go, and report back to them.”

Richard has always worked for what he believes in, and helped build strong foundations for new endeavors. As a soccer dad, he was central to building the soccer fields west of Hefner Parkway. He was literally in charge of getting the fields ready for their first season. That meant getting a sprinkler system installed. And grass. But before that, picking up rocks. The site was covered with rocks that had to go before any other work could occur.

Most recently he helped his wife Susan build her retirement dream – a nonprofit duplicate bridge club that welcomes and teaches beginners. With Richard’s help, she opened Fun and Games Duplicate Bridge Club earlier this year at OKC’s Northpark Mall. “We call it our lake house,” jokes Richard, “because instead of a lake house, we have a bridge club!” Richard and Susan’s youngest son, Stuart, a software developer and his wife Kristin, Director of Children’s Services for the Metropolitan Library System (and PAMBE Ghana supporters) went with him to Ghana to visit the school last summer. Their oldest son, Clint, and his wife Natalie, are both radiologists with Integris Hospital. The Williamson’s have six grandchildren.

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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