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What are we doing and what are we planning?

Our latest visit to Ghana concluded last weekend, and we are delighted to finally announce the plans we have been making.

The Co-operative House in New Koforidua was built around 12 years ago with the vision that it would be a haven for fair trade supporters and campaigners nestled in the heart of a cocoa growing community.

But over the course of the recent pandemic - when it wasn't possible to travel - the house started to fall into disrepair and the decor was starting to look a little tired.

So when Samuel and I visited in October 2022 we hatched a plan. We would refurbish the house, bring it up to a good standard and market it as the holiday accommodation it was always intended to be, providing work and opportunities for the people of New Koforidua.

Our first - and most expensive - plan was to tile the floors. Out went the tired, ripped lino and in came professionally laid floor tiles, which both look and feel warmer.

We hired local workmen from Konongo and New Koforidua itself, including a carpenter to replace mosquito screens on the windows, an electrician to replace sockets and light bulbs and painters to spruce up the walls. A plumber is heading our way to replace the bathroom fittings and phase two will entail replacing bedroom furniture.

If you join our tour this summer we will dedicate all our profits (around 10% of the price) to the development, which includes something very special. Our ultimate plan is to convert one of the rooms in the house into a chocolate making workshop - the aim is for the Co-operative House in New Koforidua to be known as the Chocolate School for the region's cocoa farmers and their families. This is an extension of the Chocolate Has A Name project which fosters aspiration and knowledge about chocolate in cocoa growing areas of Ghana and we hope it will help increase incomes and diversify skills in the community.

Of course we'll keep you up to date with when you will be able to book the house - likely to be August 2023, so those who sign up to this summer's tour will be the first to stay in the newly refurbished house.

So if you're thinking of joining one of our tours, now is a great time. Most of us hope that our holiday will do us good, but how many of us can say that our holiday will do good for rural communities in Ghana?

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