All posts by Hollie

What do you get when you mix Neem leaves, grasscutter dung, and spent ground nut plants? And, why would you want to?

What do you get when you mix Neem leaves, grasscutter dung, and spent ground nut plants? And, why would you want to?

Members of the Building Solid Foundations Agriculture Team are searching for the optimal compost recipe. At first they intended to include leaves from the Neem tree because these trees are so plentiful in Apam. They’ve since learned that Neem trees are also known as insecticide trees because their leaves repel insects and bacteria. As any composter knows, microscopic organisms play an important role in creating nutrient-rich compost.

Agriculture Team members, including Sam Vaughn and Ackie Atkinson, and Master Gardeners Frank Reed, George Fetrow, and Jerry Cook, are rethinking the perfect compost recipe. When the team travels to Dawurampong Technical High School and Apam High School next September, they will be ready to test a revised compost recipe.

Students at those High Schools have been using 5-10-10 fertilizer, bought by Building Solid Foundations and shipped to Ghana, for the vegetable gardens that they are learning to plant and tend.

Where to buy 5-10-10 fertilizer in Apam?

Even if packaged fertilizer was available in Apam, who could afford it? Not the schools, not the students, not their parents. The solution, according to Building Solid Foundations Head of Agricultural Projects, Ackie Atkinson, is compost.

Grace Quartey, Co-Founder and Executive Director, explains it this way “The Team could routinely ship fertilizer to Apam, but that defeats our goal of helping Apamers improve their lives through sustainable projects. We want to assist Apamers by sharing skills and knowledge. We don’t want to create a climate where people are continuously dependent on our support.”

Teaching students and teachers how to build compost bins and brainstorming the perfect compost recipe rank high on the Agriculture Team’s plans for 2013. Their passion is sharing their combined 100+ years of gardening experience with students – in the classroom, and outside digging, planting, and caring for vegetable gardens.

Gardens that are currently underway or in the final planning stages at the schools include garden eggs (small-ish eggplants), ground nuts (peanuts), tomatoes, okra, hot peppers, and beans.

You can help…

Do you have a gently used rake, garden hose, hoe, shovel or other gardening tool that you aren’t using? Please email if you would like to donate them for the Apam vegetable gardens.

Medical Team Was 8-Year-Old’s Last Hope for Normal Life.

Medical Team Was 8-Year-Old’s Last Hope for Normal Life.

Apamers who ask the Building Solid Foundations’ medical and surgical teams for help aren’t necessarily looking for miracles. They are just looking for care that they otherwise couldn’t afford or that isn’t available nearby. One day, during the October 2012 trip, a miracle is exactly what one small child and her family received.

Dr. Robert Davis explains, At first we didn’t want to get involved. It is a very rare condition, but we knew that the family would never be able to afford to get help for her. Extrophy of the bladder is a congenital condition where the anterior abdominal wall is open. The child had no bladder wall, and was constantly wet from the urine flowing over her belly. The mother knew her precious little girl would face life as an outcast. She would never marry. she would never have children.

The medical-surgical team members put their heads together and decided to perform the corrective surgery, and it went well. We’ll see her during our 2013 trip so that we can continue to supervise her care.

175 Surgeries Performed During 10-Day Mission Trip Pushes Total to 1,000.

Since the first Building Solid Foundations mission trip in 2004, more than 1,000 Apamers have received life-changing surgeries. Not all have been as dramatic as the child whose story appears above. But, each was necessary, and each was performed without charge. Many thousands more Apamers were cared for at blood pressure screenings, and during clinics held by Building Solid Foundations’ medical volunteers during each mission trip.

Many More Children and Adults in Apam Need Your Help.

Your gift makes it possible for Apamers to continue to receive life-changing medical and surgical care. Your gift buys supplies, pays shipping fees, and underwrites travel for the doctors, nurses, and technicians – all volunteers – who make the trip to Apam each year.

“Like” us on Facebook!

Did you know that Building Solid Foundations is on Facebook? You can keep up with our latest news by “liking” us on Facebook.

Just go to and click the “like” icon, and then you will be able to keep up with all of our latest news and views.  It’s that easy!

You can also keep up-to-date with BSF on Twitter at bldgsolidfnds.

See you in cyberspace!