Arriving in Ghana Monday, 20 Feb

Friends, I’m on a pilgrimage to Ghana, February 19 – 26, 2012. Although I have spent a great deal of time in Africa, this is my first experience in Ghana, a major historic nexus for the North Atlantic Slave Trade.  While I am here, I will reflect on such history in Ghana as well as have a chance to look at Episcopal Relief & Development’s partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Tamale and its implementing organization, the Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organisation (ADDRO). With more than 20 years of experience working in communities in northern Ghana, ADDRO administers integrated programs that address the challenges of malaria, improving food supplies, gender and reproductive health, disability rehabilitation and water and sanitation.We will also visit some of the country’s renowned attractions: the Paga Crocodile Pond in Bolgatanga and the Cape Coast Castle and Kakum National Park in the central region. Most Ghanaians are small landowners relying on subsistence farming, with one-third living below the poverty line. Ghana’s northern region is especially vulnerable to chronic poverty and food shortages due to erratic rainfall and a short harvest season. In addition, this area has the country’s highest malnutrition and child mortality rates, with malaria claiming the lives of 22% of children under five every year.