Need donations to send books to Ghana
Wed, 05/11/2022 - 2:34pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor email@example.com
Learn more about ICETEC & how to help Friday, May 20 Cresco Methodist Church 12 p.m.
CRESCO - Rev. Dr. Derrick Okine has a big task in front of him, and he is asking for help from others to help him reach his goal of mailing 10,000 books to his home country of Ghana, Africa.
He already has around 7,000 books that have been donated, the majority of them from his previous parish at Primghar, in northwest Iowa. He is hoping to send 10,000 books to Ghana.
The original plan was to ship the books to Ghana in 2020, but it was difficult to do anything during COVID. That forced the Okine family to move, not only their own family possessions, but boxes and boxes of about 5,000 books from Primghar to Cresco, in June 2020.
Since then, more books have been donated, including various subjects for grades 1-12, along with Bibles, Christian literature, medical and nursing books and more. Pastor Okine still needs about 3,000 books to reach his goal. He has found it will cost about one dollar per book to ship from Chicago to his home country.
Ghana has 16 regions, which are like America’s states. The capital of Accra is in the Greater Accra Region. The city of Accra is where all the books in the country are located. Anyone can check them out, but they have to travel to the capital.
Okine’s plan is to take the 10,000 books and divide them between 25 places in the Greater Accra Region where people congregate, allowing about 400 books at each place.
“People congregate at a church, school and community area,” he said. That is where the 25 libraries will be, instead of all in one location. Then every six months or so, the books can be rotated between the locations.
He is now cataloguing all the donated books on his computer.
Okine started the Shiabu Methodist Church around 20 years ago. The living conditions in the area are very poor. When the Okine family was going to visit the church, the Primghar church put together 100 bags to fill with back-to-school supplies. When they arrived, they found the need to fill 300 more bags.
Rev. Okine sees the immense need of educational material for the people and children of Ghana. Besides money to send the books overseas, shelving, tables and chairs and workers are needed.
Okine has started a non-profit to help with fund-raising, International Center of Education for the Transformation of Emerging Communities (ICETEC).
For those wishing to make a donation, send a check made out to ICETEC, 314, N. Elm St., Cresco, IA 52136.
“When we started the project, it was small. But now it’s a huge project,” the pastor said. As always, Okine looks on the bright side. “A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a step.”