Calgary Ghanaians constructing a group centre they name a dream come true

Ghanaians who now name Calgary house are working collectively to construct themselves a group centre that can bridge generations and rejoice their distinctive tradition.

Ghana Home is tucked away in an industrial space north of Sundridge Mall in town’s northeast. It lately acquired $100,000 from the federal authorities to assist make it a actuality.

A small military of group volunteers have already been busy ripping out the inside of the outdated constructing, serving to take the primary steps into remodeling the house into one thing that everybody will be a part of.

“They are excited as a result of this has by no means occurred in our group earlier than,” mentioned group chief Charles Odame-Ankrah.

“It is one thing that we have been eager to have: a spot that we will have an identification, a spot that whenever you enter you are feeling that you just’re in Ghana.”

“You possibly can see the joy locally. And a lot of labor has gone into right here, lots of sweat,” he mentioned. 

The volunteers have already saved shut to $15,000 in demolition prices by doing the work themselves. 

Volunteers have been working alongside contractors to become involved in constructing their very own group centre. (Submitted by Charles Odame-Ankrah)

“Those that could not come donated cash, purchased lunch or introduced water. Some seniors popped in and helped us carry damaged drywall, children as properly,” mentioned Odame-Ankrah.

Ghana Home will embrace sports activities amenities for youth, a kitchen and assembly rooms, in addition to a seniors lounge, the place elders can play conventional Ghanaian video games and educate these video games to new generations. A second ground will embrace a digital library and boardroom for seminars and coaching. 

Totally different cultural teams inside the group will have the ability to meet and use the house to rejoice their very own distinctive tribal identities. Non-Ghanaians and second-generation kids may also tour the centre to study extra about Ghanaian tradition. 

“It is a spot to fulfill and really feel that cultural bond away from house and clear up issues and raise every different up,” mentioned group member Patrick Adda.

“Quite a lot of us get homesick. This facility gives us the possibility to come back and discuss in our personal dialect and language and really feel a part of the Canadian dream. We’re all elated. It is a dream come true and we’re very enthusiastic about it,” mentioned Adda.

Adda says it is going to be a invaluable addition for brand new immigrants who can get assist to assimilate into Canadian life and enter the financial system and workforce shortly.

One other huge driving issue behind the imaginative and prescient and creation of Ghana Home was the isolation that the group skilled through the pandemic. Seniors, specifically, had been minimize off from their group and tradition.

Charles Odame-Ankrah says Ghana Home has already unified his group. He says that when it’s completed, it will likely be a legacy undertaking for Ghanaians and the broader metropolis. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

“We wish to guarantee our seniors aren’t remoted, and that can assist their psychological well being, as a result of through the pandemic what I noticed as a group chief broke my coronary heart,” mentioned Odame-Ankrah.

Odame-Ankrah says Ghana Home is far more than a group house — it is a part of an even bigger imaginative and prescient for town.

“It’s time for us to embrace a society the place there’s sturdy range and to assist every group to thrive. I am calling upon all smaller teams to additionally stand up and become involved and let individuals know who they’re so we will construct a real metropolis of many colors and the place everybody’s identification is revered and honoured,” he mentioned.

The federal contribution of $100,000 is already secured, and leaders are exploring the potential of future municipal and provincial funding together with a push locally to safe no less than one other $300,000. 

“It’ll be a legacy undertaking the place individuals can see and really feel what their funding has completed,” he mentioned.

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