Thank you For One World supporters!

December 29th, 2010 by april

Please donate $1, $10, $100! We are looking for 100% participation!

Each year we count on your support to continue the progress we have made as an organization and to help children who otherwise would not have an opportunity to attend school, especially girls. If you stand for equality, stability and sustainability through education – you stand with For One World and the Ayi Owen International School, inspired by Ayisatu.

For One World began in 1998 as a small group of college students, who raised the initial money to open the Ayi Owen International School in Ghana, which opened with a handful of students. After twelve years of countless volunteer hours, local donations of land and money, and your donations, we now have 440 students and 36 teachers! And in 2010 the school ranked #1 in the district on the national exam! We have earned the right to be proud of our accomplishments, and our positive impact on the local community.

These are the stories of two of the people your donations are helping (names kept anonymous):
·        She is 15 years old and one of the 18 “orphans” living at the school and 3 years older than her classmates. She is strong in math and science – not the norm. She tutors the others living at the school and pretends to be a teacher. Her mother lives on the street and sweeps the market after hours collecting spilled rice, etc. and attempts to resell it barely sustaining herself. Her father ran away many years ago. She is studying hard for the national exams and hopes to become a nurse some day. Your donations pay for her clothing/shoes (~$26/yr), medical care (~$50/yr), daily food (~$280/yr), school fees (~$175/yr), books/notebooks ($32/yr), etc. Our travel grant winners spend most evenings with her and the other children who live at the school.

·         She is in 7th grade, also started late and older than her classmates. She stays with her aunt in a location of town called “strangers quarters” and it is not clear if she stays in a home or sleeps on the street. Her aunt gets home from the grain market after dark. Her mother ran away when she was little and her poverty stricken near blind father visits every few years when he comes from the frontier. She seems to have had a violent past and teachers spend many hours counseling her on her temper. She is a hard worker, currently below average and finds inspiration in sports. Your donations cover her school fees, books, clothing, and medical care.

2010 For One World Volunteer highlights:

·         Ailis Peterson is 8 years old and on her own asked the principle of her elementary school if she could address the school during Friday assembly. Ailis challenged the students at Carrillo Elementary School to donate their unwanted or unused school and art supplies to Ayi Owen School. Her mother, Bridget Peterson has been spearheading efforts to solicit in kind donations for the Ayi Owen School. The mother and daughter team collected 10 moving boxes full of crayons, markers, pencils, pens and sports equipment! If you would like to make an in kind donations please email

·         Taylor Bowen, a high school student, was inspired by For One World to organize a group of interested classmates as part of her senior project. She is paying her own way to Ghana in February to build an innovative volunteer program for high school students.

·         Loretta Cremmins traveled to the school in 2009 as the recipient of the collegiate travel grant. She continued her dedication to For One World and during her senior year, she was awarded a grant (her site is from the Center for Urban and Global Studies to address the topic of global education and raise awareness on campus regarding For One World.

·         Cyrus Morgan and Tiffany Washburn our travel grant winners for 2010 spent their summer volunteering at the school. Tiffany made great progress with math comprehension and science experiments to help students understand the concepts beyond memorization. Cyrus helped in a program to learn local language first, bridge to English after third grade as well as focused on improving how exams are administered to drive a deeper understanding – key to the higher test results on the national exams.,

2010 For One World donor highlights:

·         Stephen Colbert donated $3,000 from the sale of his Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream ice cream flavor to For One World on behalf of the staff and crew of The Colbert Report. Thanks to Erica Myrickes’ efforts to make this happen!

·         Rotary International provided a grant for $17,600 representing our largest donation to date thanks to the efforts of John Donnelly.

·         Thanks to those who have already made a donation in 2010 including Leverett Smith and Gretchen Peterson’s continued generosity.

·         Thanks to Alex van Voorhees for his continued support of our Travel Grants making it affordable for college volunteers to spend the summer volunteering, critical to driving up quality at the Ayi Owen International School.

·         Wilfred (Bill) and Ayisatu Owen’s donations over the years exceed any other contribution both in hours and dollars. They are an inspiration to all of us!

Looking ahead to 2011, we are taking a big step. We are making the transition from an all-volunteer organization to one with a part time employee, April Acut. Another big step for the organization: new pro bono software, which will make it easier to donate, improve communications and will keep our operating costs near zero. Our board and volunteers give more than 50% of the individual donations, so we are all incentivized to ensure our donations are linked to successful programs with no waste and giving only what is required. Our goal is not to donate forever, but to find long term solutions.

None of the major accomplishments that took place in 2010 would have been possible without you.  We are counting on your support again for the coming year, which promises to be the organization’s most exciting year yet. Please donate today!

Thanks again to each of you.

Happy Holidays!


Wish List for students at Ayi International School

December 3rd, 2010 by april

To all For One World supporters:

We have a container bound for Ghana that has room for more donations.  If anyone is interested in helping out the children in Ghana this year, now would be  a great time to get a parcel together for immediate shipment to the school. 

John Donnelly’s office in Old Saybrook is our central collection point.  (1595 Boston Post Road) If you need an alternate drop off point in the CT area, you can call John and see what can be arranged at (860)399-9499 .

Bill & Ayi’s wish list this year includes:

anything to improve arts at the school, such as
musical instruments
drama supplies and equipment (ie masks & equipment)
colored paper
craft supplies
simple craft books with new ideas for the kids
sidewalk chalk

soccer or tennis balls

small makeup items, such as lipsticks, creams, mirrors, or nail polish for the school orphans

workbooks for the younger school kids

science equipment

There is no definite deadline yet so send your gifts now!

If you are unable to get a donation package together within a week, you can also send donations that will be hand carried by James Mattison and other volunteers in January 2011.

Thank you in advance for your donations, and I hope everyone has a great holiday season.

-Bridget Peterson

Fundraiser at Saybrook Point Inn

November 24th, 2010 by april

Please join us at Saybrook Point Inn for a wine tasting fundraiser for the Rotary,a For One World partner.

Fee is $35 for beer and wine.

Let us all join hands in making the world a better place.

Congratulations to the School

November 8th, 2010 by april

Congratulations to the Ayi International School for scoring the highest in their region on their standardized tests!

Do you want to help a child in Ghana have a better life?

April 18th, 2010 by james

I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather! 

As you know, For One World was founded over 10 years ago to help children in Ghana, West Africa get a basic education. Over the years we have grown steadily and continue to improve our model. We have impacted thousands of children’s lives through the help and support from all of you.

Do you want to help a child in Ghana have a better life?

Iona (volunteer from France) paid her own way to the school, donated her time to work with the community and identified kids who can’t afford education. We estimate the current cost is $263 per year based on current exchange rates and current cost of living. Over the next several years I don’t expect the costs to go above the $1 per day watermark. This amount covers school fees, uniforms, shoes, health insurance, and school materials.

We want to expand the number of people we are helping.  To do that we need longer term commitments on the money we collect, or we risk impacting a family’s future – These children are the future for the entire family! I would like to pair donors with kids in Ghana more directly than we have in the past. I am looking for donors who can make a long term commitment (ie the length of time the student remains in school) to help pay for that child’s education. The birthdays below can give you a sense of your time commitment. A few will have strong enough grades to actually make it to college… we will handle those students as special cases.

The following children can’t afford an education and their families need help:

1. Regina, birthday 2nd November 2006

2. Alima, birthday 8th March 2005

3. Hagar, birthday 15th August 1998

4. Mamata, birthday 8th October 1998

5. Faruk, birthday 11th October 1994

6. Adissa, birthday 21st January 1997

7. Ali, birthday 7th December 2000

8. Mary, birthday 3rd July 1998

If you (or your group/organization) are interested and you can afford to make a long term commitment of “$1 per day” to For One World please let me know. 

Thank you!


PS Of course we cannot afford an accounting system to track donations by child and we don’t have any paid employees to give frequent dedicated updates on each child to each donor… However if you sponsor a child and want an email update, picture or even would like us to put that child on the phone with you – let us know and we can try to accommodate.

Fundraiser at Overlook bar in NYC

April 13th, 2010 by Dan

Please join us at Overlook in NYC to help raise funds and awareness for For One World. There will be a modest cover charge that includes a drink and half of the cost goes to For One World.

There will also be numerous raffles/silent auctions INCLUDING a 2 hour private cruise for four leaving NYC with drinks and snacks included, and Yankees tickets. Come and bring your friends!!

Ghanaian Independence Day

March 13th, 2010 by Dan

One of our teachers at our school wrote us about Ghanaian Independence Day. Ghana’s Independence Day occurred on March 6th, 1957 under Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The Ayi Owen School has always been invited to take part in the anniversary. During the occasion, our teacher took photos of some of the participating students. Click here to read more about Ghana.

What does it take to give a scholarship to a needy child in Ghana?

February 27th, 2010 by james

Scholarships for needy children involve more than you might expect. Here are the key items/costs associated with giving a child a scholarship. Total cost for one child still amounts to less than a dollar a day.

  1. Healthcare – Children can have easily curable diseases that need to be addressed for the child to be able to focus on learning
  2. Clothing and shoes – In a cash society, one of the criteria of a “needy child” is one without shoes and tattered clothing.
  3. Books, notebooks, pencils, etc. – When parents can’t afford flip flops, books don’t make the priority list, so that needs to be provided.
  4. School fees

Volunteer Spotlight: Bouyem Bat Caves

February 19th, 2010 by Dan

We were fortunate to be able to join any school field trips during our stay.  One trip was an excursion with the Primary 4 class.  With the 26 students we piled onto the old school bus and headed off to the Buoyem Bat Caves.

Although the town of Bouyem was only located 8km away, the road there was quite bad.  There were large ruts in the road cut out by the heavy rains and the bus struggled through it.  Luckily we were warned that we would need long pants, shoes, and hats for the day because the trails and caves would be muddy.  We had to pick up a guide first from the town before traveling to the trail head.


The cave went in fairly deep, required getting low again but then opened up to reveal caverns with a ceiling high enough to stand in.  We could hear the bats in the cave before we entered.  The guide explained that these were smaller bats, but there were thousands of them inhabiting the caves.  We could not see the bats at first, only hear them whizzing by our heads.  In this cave, there were two openings in the ceilings that let natural light inside.  The cave was said to be inhabited by the local tribes people seeking refuge during a war many years ago.  This was seen by the evidence of cave drawings and worn rock carvings present on the cave floors and walls.


On our way to the third and final cave, we stopped upon a rock face that had an amazing panoramic view of the lush countryside.  The children had a blast playing on the rocks and it was difficult to get them to leave.  We finally arrived at the last cave which the guide described as containing much larger bats. He also mentioned that we would not be leaving through the same way we entered.  This cave was the most impressive and also had the most history to it.  It was discovered by hunters for the Ashanti tribe.  They caught a bat, cooked it, fed it to a dog, and when they realized the dog did not die, they knew they could eat the bats.  They held the bats as sacred and bat meat became a large part of their diet.  Eventually a war broke out, and the chiefs had to hide in the caves for shelter.  Some people died in the caves, and so out of respect, our guide did a ceremonial libation to the chiefs before we entered.  He took some schnapps, spit it into the air then said a prayer and poured it on the ground.  He offered for us to drink some, but because we wanted to hike out alive we kindly refused.  The libation was to ensure nothing bad would happen to us in the cave.


This cave again required us to crawl on our hands and knees, but this time through a narrow passage.  Bats were flying everywhere as we tried to maneuver through a small tunnel.  It was quite the experience.  The tunnel finally opened up to a large room with a ladder to climb out.  We climbed the ladder and then had to scurry up vines to fully get out of the caves.

The guide caught one of the larger bats and brought it outside for us to hold.  Its wingspan was about a foot and a half in length and it was one of the weirder things I have ever held.  Its bones were so thin and light I thought it might break when it flapped its wings in my grasp.  Its wings were made out of a flexible and stretchy, leathery skin.  The bat tried biting me when I held it, so I held it just long enough for a picture before handing it to an eagerly awaiting student.


The tour was finally over and we headed back to where our bus had last left us. We had come full circle and the trip had taken a little more than two hours, not bad with all the kids.

For One World Annual Appeal and 2009 Thank You!

December 30th, 2009 by james

Dear supporters of For One World,

Thank you to all who have made a generous financial donation to For One World in 2009! If you are considering a donation, this is a great organization with a track record of success and zero overhead. Even a small donation goes a long way in Ghana.

In 2009 we helped support 14 orphans living at the school providing food, shelter, schooling, clothing, love and a great basic education. We supported dozens of children via scholarships, mostly for girls and the poorest in the community by helping to provide basic education, shoes, clothing and medical care.  Alex Van Voorhees coordinated four outstanding volunteers who donated their own time and money to help with skills not locally available: Loretta Cremmins, Max Alderman, Caitlin Mackeown, and Betty Cremmins. These volunteers helped Ayi Owen International School once again attain a rank academically in the top 10% of all schools in the district. Zachary Cutler and Lizzy Edelstein coordinated the most successful gift drive to date thanks to in part by the generosity from the Bridget Kelly Peterson family and Erica Myrickes. It is an honor to be collaborating with so many talented volunteers like John Donelly, Michele Palma and Dan Ochs who have spent countless hours of service
managing our 501c3 nonprofit accounting, acknowledgements and website respectively.

We continue to make improvements to the buildings at the new school site and have expanded to almost 400 students. This is possible through the financial generosity of the Bill Owen family, Anne Ochs family, James Alderman family, Gretchen Peterson and Leverett Smith as well as many others. We can be most thankful in 2009 for founder Ayisatu’s successful operation and return to health.  Thank you!

Looking forward to a great 2010!

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