Friday, October 9, 2009

I Need Some Help Here

"I wish i could solve this myself, but it is beyond my capability"

The above quote is from an email I received today. And I'd really like to reply with some gung ho cheerleader speech about how gosh darn it, we are all capable of everything if we just put our minds to it.

Sadly, I knew the deep truth behind the words, and it caused me great upset.

The words came from a very decent young man I met in Ghana. His name is Toufic, and I count him among my friends. He lives in Larabanga, a small village that I visited in Northern Ghana. I have lent some small support to building a school there, and Toufic spent the summer in his village, working as a volunteer teaching english to the children of his village. He is beyond his years, the kind of person for whom "giving back " is instinctive.

His father has passed, so his uncle has become his patriarchal figure. Remarkably, Toufic was among the first of his people to have attended high school, (he walked 8km each way every day, I know this cos I drove the road) chased by elephants and harassed by baboons. Even more remarkably, he managed to pass the very stringent Ghana University Entrance Exams, so that he could study in Tamale. Seriously, these exams are very difficult, especially given the varying quality of high school education.

He completed his first year of post secondary education, thanks to support from his uncle. Tragically, his uncles farm was struck by disasterous floods which means that there is no crop and therefore no money to pay for Toufic to go to school.

So this is my appeal to you. We need to raise $750 cdn so that Toufic can attend school for this semester. He is currently in attendance, but he will get kicked out if he doesen't pony up, so there is some urgency here. This money includes textbooks, classes and living quarters.

While I am championing microprojects, I also want to champion the idea of microgiving.

The maximum donation that will be accepted is $5 US. Any donations in excess of this amount will be returned. Exceptions will be made when one donation is made on behalf of multiple givers.

Where I really need help to make this work, is for you to tap into your networks to help spread the word. I simply do not have enough people on my network to make this work. It is beyond my capability. A repost with a recommendation is more important than a donation at this point.

Rest assured that every dollar raised will go directly to Toufic and I will pay the first 20% plus money transfer costs, so we really only need to cough up $600 cdn. 120 times five dollars.

Toufic has worked very hard to create opportunity for himself, and while this situation may be beyond his capability, it is most certainly not beyond ours.

You can microgive with the security of PayPal at

UPDATE: Toufic is attending school in Tamale, Ghana. Thank you for your support.