Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 9 (May 28) - Echoing Hills

Today, Thursday, we travel to Echoing Hills Multi-Purpose Clinic near Medina. We were all feeling a bit burned out and this was very obvious today. This Clinic is a center for individuals with disabilities in which they are educated and learn vocational skills. This is also a center where wheelchairs are sent for the disabled in Ghana. Apparently they have already distributed over 90,000 wheelchairs. However, I was still shocked to see how many wheelchairs they had on site, in storage. In order to get a wheelchair, they claim an individual must have a doctor's prescription. Going to the doctor can be very expensive and time consuming, not to mention how would a person get there if they are immobile? This was hard for me to handle after the number of people I had seen using scooter boards.

Many of the individuals with disabilities that do not have wheelchairs, use a scooter board - a wooden board with wheels on the bottom much like a skateboard. They use their hands to propel themselves along the street. I only saw one person using flip-flops on their hands, the others use their bare hands along the pavement. These are very dangerous as the individuals are seated on the ground and cars cannot see them.

All the residents at Echoing Hills seem very well cared for and the center is located on a beautiful piece of property. They grow their own food, bake their own bread and sell items they make. Several volunteers (one from England, the other from Spain) are there to teach the students. The center requires that volunteers teach the christian doctrine and do not accept non-christian workers. Ghanaians do not like our separation of church and state, they believe they should be one.

Pictured below is a remarkable young woman we met at the center. She had amazing skill precision coloring and writing using her mouth.

Tonight the seamstress who was making our clothing came back with the finished products. Wow. I was very impressed with her skill and creativity. I will definitely be having more clothes made on my next trip to Ghana!!!

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