My name is Joke Jaspers. I am 27 years old and I studied criminology in Leuven. After finishing my degree I first wanted to do something new, something exciting before getting myself into the seriousness of work and life. So I started looking for some voluntary work in Africa. It didn’t take long to decide. On the 3rd of November 2010 I went to Ghana for six months. I was supposed to go to an orphanage at the sea cost, but I ended up in a school in Esaase, a small village near Kumasi in Central Ghana. (that happens if you travel with an African organization. Arrangements are never certain) I was going to be a teacher for the next six months.
Mr Boateng, my host father, however, asked me if I wanted to teach in another school. His daughter Emelia started a new school in Asuadei three weeks before I arrived and they could use some help. So I initially started in class one as a teacher and when we had enough local teachers, I became the tutor and sports teacher. During my six months in Asuadei, I already decided that I wanted to keep supporting Emelia’s project. Emelia and her family became my family and my heart stayed in Asuadei. I promised them my lifetime support. "Akwaaba Asuadei" which means "welcome in Asuadei" was born.
In the first place Akwaaba Asuadei wants to take care of the infrastructure. We expect the school to provide in the daily expenses like food and fuel etc. In the long run, we even hope the school to be independant of us. Our ultimate goal is that one day the school will run without us, on their own strenght. Although I must admit, i will never let go of them completely.
In november 2013 Kim Van Genechten joined me on my yearly visits to Asuadei. She was already interested in the project and was already supporting our school. But she wanted to see for herself. After a few days of adjustment, she started to love the land and the people just as I do. She decided to join me in the project and I was happy to accept this proposition. Since november 2014 also Ree Symoens joined our team. Ree was already there since the beginning, helping us in every activity. Because of her enthousiasme for our project and her dedication to help our school we kindly invited her to become a permanent member in our association. With the three of us we can do even more for our school.
In september we decided to join forces with A.M.I.E. , a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of disadvantaged children. By cooperating we can take our project to a higher level. Feel free to take a look on their website: http://www.amie-be.org/.