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County women take Puppets Without Borders back to Ghana

rehearsal-smPrince Edward County’s Krista Dalby and Susanne Larner will be returning to Ghana, West Africa in February to bring  creative joy to underprivileged children.

02.-After-school-puppet-program,-Bakpe,-GhanaFollowing the success of their 2012 pilot project, they’ll be based in Bakpe, a rural village in the Volta region. The volunteer project is being facilitated by Ghanaian NGO Disaster Volunteers of Ghana. Although DIVOG’s primary work is building schools and sanitation projects, when Dalby approached them in 2012 about bringing arts projects into schools, DIVOG staff were eager to help.

Once again the two women will be working with children to tell traditional stories from their culture through the medium of shadow puppetry. They will also offer their after-school art program, where children can make hand puppets or participate in other art activities.

“Most Ghanaians have very little material wealth compared to our standards in the West, yet the people we met were always quick to lend a hand, to give their time and support to us and our project with no strings attached,” said Larner. “Well, perhaps there was one expectation of us. As one young girl said to us on our last day at Bakpe, “Please don’t forget about us.”

Orphanage-Art-PartyOn their last visit, the two brought 200 lbs of art supplies with them to distribute to children, gifting 180 kids with their own mini art kits. They hope to bring a similar quantity of supplies with them this time. In addition to working in a school, Dalby and Larner will also be returning to an orphanage in Kpando to make some puppets and art with the children there, as well as leaving them with art supplies.

Their final fundraising event, The Reasons for Africa is set for Friday, Jan. 24 at 7:30p.m. The live band The Reasons (Classic Rock 50s, 60s and 70s) is supporting Puppets Without Borders by playing favourite tunes at the Elk’s Hall, 21 Elk St., Picton. Come out and cut a rug, bid on some great items at the silent auction, have a cocktail to support the cause.

Those interested in helping this project come to life can donate items to the silent auction by contacting Susanne Larner at (613) 922-5288. The team is also accepting donations of cash or cheques made out to Puppets Without Borders, as well as credit card donations through their blog at www.puppetswithoutborders.blogspot.ca.

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  1. My favourite part of all of this is seeing the happy kids’ faces and knowing that Puppets Without Borders is having an immediate and lasting impact on them.

    Here’s to another amazing trip!

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