Africa Heartwood Project is a grassroots non-profit seeking to redress causes and symptoms of poverty in West Africa. We act in partnership with selected beneficiaries to identify and eliminate specific constraints to their freedoms using sustainable, participatory, results-oriented methods. We are an all-volunteer organization with no overhead, funded primarily by individual and community donations. We invite you to join us in this inspired cause, making a measurable and lasting impact in the lives of our many friends in Africa. Every one matters. Every one benefits. Every one grows. So can YOU!
Volunteers are the lifeblood of Africa Heartwood Project. From the beginning it has been volunteers who are passionate about making a difference that have shaped our programs and projects. Without the giving of time, talent, and money Africa Heartwood Project would cease to exist. The largest part "About Us" is YOU, the volunteers who take personally the invitation to become actively involved in creating and implementing projects and fund raisers that directly benefit the poor in West Africa. Please visit our volunteers page to learn more and take the next step to changing lives today.
Timeline for Development of AHP
Chapter One of "The Story" Behind AHP
The seed that grew into Africa Heartwood Project was planted in the hearts of Andy Jones and Kayla Thompson during their engagement in the fall of 1999. The desire for a "humanitarian honeymoon" landed them in a Liberian refugee camp between Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana. The circumstances at Buduburam were so deplorable that the efforts they made to identify, provide food for, and matriculate in school some orphan refugee children seemed almost insignificant; yet to help in even a very small way required great effort, notwithstanding the support of Andrew Wreh, LDS Charities, and others.
PHOTOS FROM THE JONES' FIRST TRIP TO GHANA, 1999In between efforts over three months at the camp, Andy and Kayla spent time in Koforidua at a Unit School for the Deaf where a friend, Annalisa Jensen, was working with the Peace Corps, in Accra in the company of missionary service couples, and in Peki, Dzake where they became acquantied with a community of drum builders and family of Ghanaian master drummers. While staying with the Lawrence Nkulenu family Andy and Kayla tasted the joy of the Ewe dance and drum culture: building drums by day, singing and dancing by night, and learning from the children and aged throughout. After the Jones' return to Brigham Young University (BA International Development, Africa Studies Minor - 2002) in the U.S. they received many communications from their new Ghanaian friends, some of which suggested the possibility of having them help sell percussion instruments as a means of providing livlihoods for the drum builders. Andy and Kayla, willing to do what they could to help, started receiving small quantities of drums and selling them for the Ghanaian carvers to music stores, to friends and family, and through the internet, and sending money back to Ghana. Over the next four years this continued on a very small scale with logistical help from Erik Allebest, while Andy completed post-graduate work in England (U. of Sussex - MA Int'l Educational Development (Honors) - 2004) and Kayla gave attention to a growing family and providing natural birth coaching service as a doula.
After completing their education in 2004 and relocating to Salt Lake City, UT, Andy and Kayla decided to dedicate their full-time attention to expand markets and job opportunities for cottage cultural artisans, to see if it could be taken to scale, made sustainable on Ghanaian terms and financially viable in the U.S.. Gratefully, some level of success has been attained in fighting poverty with drums, despite the enormous learning curve and obstacles that have and continue to present themselves in terms of import logistics, purchase contracts and distribution, and human resources. Thanks to that success, since 2008 other needful humanitarian and development projects have been identified, planned, and executed under the official organization of the 501(c)3 Non-Profit / NGO. Andy is involved in the day-to-day operation of the various projects, while continuing to manage the US-side of the social enterprise that supports cultural artisans in West Africa. Kayla, along with their children Simon, Ruby, Charlie, and Ivy, continue to be passionate and involved supporters and active volunteers.
Follow this link to hear a podcast interview with Andy as he speaks about how Africa Heartwood Project came to be. Interview courtesy of ExperienceDrums.com's Community Saints Radio program.
Africa Heartwood Project would like to thank Google and the Google Grant Program for its donation of over $150,000 in services. We are grateful for this substantial donation and the continued support from the Google Non-Profit Program!
Support AHP Just By Searching the Web!
Raise money for charity Africa Heartwood Project in SLC, UT just by searching the web and shopping online!
Africa Heartwood Project
We are also a registered NGO in Ghana effective October 17, 2008, and in Liberia as of June 2010.
All donations, contributions, and gifts are tax deductible under IRS code 170, up to 50% of adjusted gross income.
AHP is an all volunteer organization with no overhead; 100% of donated funds go to direct implementation of your pre-selected project.
|©2009 Copyright Africa Heartwood Project||Home | About Us | SiteMap | Donating to AHP|