Rise Up Development Collective (RUDC) is an international, volunteer-based organization focused on improving the lives of the people of Wli Todzi, Ghana. RUDC is project based, meaning we identify issues the people of Wli Todzi have, and create projects as solutions. The most pressing issue is medical care in Wli Todzi. Since July 2011 we’ve been working on the Ghana Clinic Project (GCP). The GCP’s focus is to construct, stock, and staff a medical clinic in Wli Todzi. So far we have completed the clinic structure, and we are working on providing equipment and continuous staffing. To get a more personal introduction, check out our crew!
There are a couple of very pressing problems in the village, but thankfully, there are also clear solutions. The mission of the Rise Up Development Collect is to provide the community of Wli Todzi with the tools needed to address these problems. Our first goal is to complete a hospital clinic on the mountain. Currently, if someone is in serious need of medical care, they must be carried down the mountain on a stretcher to nearby Hohoe. This perilous trek, undertaken by villagers more than five times a month, is documented in the TV Africa Documentary. The only viable route to the village at this time is a narrow, 7- 8 mile long footpath running straight up the mountain. When someone’s life is in jeopardy and they are in immediate need of medical attention, the time spent traversing this dangerous path can be extremely costly. The construction of a medical clinic in Wli Todzi will prevent dozens of needless deaths that currently occur because of the lack of local medical care.
RUDC seeks to utilize social capital to allow Wli Todzi to use what it already has to actualize their vision of what their village can be.
400 years ago, the founders of Wli Todzi climbed to the peak of Agumatsa (ah- goo- mahch-uh) Mountain to settle. Attracted by the fertility of the land and its abundance of plentiful game, clean water, and natural beauty, they established the village of Wli Todzi. It has endured to this day in its original location nestled within the Ghanaian rain forest. Most villagers sustain themselves by farming, which they do with award-winning skill. The culture runs deep with music, drumming, and singing, and for the most part, daily life in the village passes with peaceful regularity.
Since Wli Todzi’s founding, the villagers have lived in relative isolation, which has allowed the local culture to flourish and engendered a unique way of life. Most locals live in clay houses with thatched or iron-sheet roofs that provide shelter for large families. Families must work together to survive and to keep spirits high in their secluded setting. The most common crops, cassava and corn, are made into a variety of creative dishes, like akple, fufu, and banku. While most of the day is spent farming, cleaning, and preparing food, there is still occasionally time to perform borborbor, a drum and dance used for celebrations, and akpi, the warrior dance.
Wli Todzi is rich in natural wonders, from the upper Agumatsa Falls to the nearby caves. The surrounding forests have a diverse ecosystem replete with a great variety of fruits and plants including “miracle fruit,” tominache berries, jocli, and kola nuts. These exotic food sources are found alongside more well-known crops like cocoa, coffee, banana, pineapple, papaya, oranges, and avocado, which are farmed in the surrounding fields and hillsides. The village is primarily supported by the three nearby rivers which provide water for swimming and drinking. Although the village is still very agrarian, Wli Todzi is naturally rich in life, culture, and spirit. With some support, key problems can easily be solved, making Wli Todzi a more hospitable home for its people.