The farm looks great! Edward and I visited the farm early last week and the crops are already growing.
The two acres of corn are growing quickly. The one acre of beans was being planted as we were there, and the planting of the one acre of cassava sticks was completed last week. The remaining half acre will contain both beans and plantains.
By June, the first harvest of corn and beans should be ready. The cassava takes approximately 8 months to mature and thus, this first crop will not be ready until late November/early December.
The rains have been falling and our Farm Manager, Martin, is pleased with the progress of the crops. He has done a wonderful job coordinating labor efforts on the farm and is dedicated to having a successful harvest.
Edward and I also visited Mama Esi and the children at Ryvanz-Mia to discuss the progress on the farm. They are all very pleased and looking forward to fresh food!
The due date for our educational scholarships is right around the corner (May 15th). This past Friday, Edward and I met with Florence, the Public Relations Officer of Ghana Education Services in Kpando, to provide a workshop on how to fill out the application. Florence noted that she had been receiving questions and we felt it best to address them as soon as possible.
We had good attendance of applicants for both the Secondary and University scholarships. We went over the entire application and noted: the qualifications onevillage is looking for; requirements applicants must meet; and guidelines of the application itself. Edward and I feel that this session was extremely helpful.
We have begun creating a review board to review the applications-invitations will be sent to individuals we have selected to be on the board by mid-week next week.
Once the applications are reviewed, the board will select the individuals they feel are the best candidates to move forward with a home-interview. After the interview, the board and onevillage founders will select the applicants who will receive the scholarships.
We are looking forward to beginning the review of the scholarship applications by mid-May and providing the scholarships to deserving students.
Cards are in! The health insurance cards for the first 40 individuals registered utilizing onevillage’s subsidized Health Insurance Program have arrived in Kpando from Accra.
Edward and I have been diligently calling these individuals and have arranged a meeting with them on Monday, May 5th, at 10 am at the Office of Social Welfare. At this meeting we plan on distributing cards, administering our first follow-up surveys, as well as providing an educational session taught by an employee of the Department of Health Insurance discussing the ways that health insurance can be used.
We have also contacted individuals who have submitted applications to the Department of Health Insurance over the last couple of months. We have conducted home-visits for the qualified applicants and will be registering these individuals next Monday after our card distribution meeting.
We are now entering the Monitoring and Evaluation phase of our programs.
We will begin to quantify our programs’ impact, illuminate areas of needed improvement and continue to disseminate information about our programs to the entire community.
We know that as our programs prove to be successful, the community will begin to ‘spread the word’ about onevillage and community involvement will increase each month.
It is an exciting time for onevillage. Thank you for your continued support!