In 2010, Dr. Arnold was invited by the Chief and Elders of Old Baika, of the Buem Traditional Area, Volta Region, Ghana. Upon his arrival, he was made a “Nana” with the elevated stool of Chief of Economic Development. His title name is Nana Bloti Omaboyo I, which means Chief, Father, Patriot. Since 2010, two schools have been renovated; with one being an elementary school in Old Baika and one in New Baika. The Cousens’ Nutrition and Holistic Center was established by the Tree of Life. The Bueman Micro Credit Cooperative Society lending program was established in Old Baika to serve the Bueman people. In Old Baika, the Eagles Nest was established as a PPEP residence and guesthouse. Two submersible water wells (bore holes) have been drilled to provide safe and sanitary water sources in Old Baika. Furthermore, a project to repair broken water pumps on existing wells has been initiated, and a dozen repairs already made. There remains 50 wells in 28 Bueman villages that need repairs as soon as funding becomes available.
Additional activities include: Sport camps for youth, including girls’ volleyball tournament, a marathon to “Save the Last Tree,” Omaboyo Summer Traditional Festival, Diabetes Prevention and Education project, cosmetic camps for women, art classes, chess club, cultural music and dance programs are conducted. Furthermore, establishment of a PPEP office in New Baika called the Omaboyo Center for Buem Development; from there a youth theatrical group, the Young Singers from the Rain-forest, computer literacy classes, Girls’ Education Awareness program, and a FM radio and television broadcasting project. Also, the Street Academy of Accra, the orphanage at Sogakope and a youth soccer program in Takoradi are new additions. Agricultural activities that are supported by the microloan fund include: bee keeping cocoa and organic farming. The Eco-traditional Humanitarian Tourism project is being launched in order to attract professionals from abroad to spend their vacation doing community service/volunteerism during the holidays. Archaeological activities have gained interest as Old Baika’s ancestral home has been rediscovered on a nearby mountaintop in the rain-forest. Mountain hiking, camping, nature walks, historical tours and archaeological adventures are now offered from the New Baika Tourist Center.
The Bueman community is also trying to stop the cutting of the rainforest, which has been devastating and has altered the weather patterns, which has affected cocoa production, as well as, local farming. During the Summer of 2010, a Natural Cure Diabetes Presentation/Sustainable Organic Farming seminar were conducted in the regional capital of Ho. That event helped launch the Buem Diabetes Education and Prevention initiative. Ghana is a great place for volunteerism. Finally, it is safe and the people are very friendly and appreciative. For more information please visit the website at WWW.GHANAOLDBAIKA.ORG