Registered Charity No: 1096242
email:
info@friendsoftafo.org

9 Salmon Mews, West Cottages, London NW6 1RH












 

DUTCH & BL MEYER


 

Mr and Mrs Dutch Meyer are a couple from Seattle USA who decided to devote the first years of their retirement to philanthropic work, and to that end settled in Kwahu Tafo in 2013. In 2015, the Chief of Kwahu Tafo appointed them as Joint Development Chiefs in succession to Friends of Tafo’s Humphrey Barclay.



Asked for some biographical details in 2015, Dutch wrote from Kwahu Tafo: 

“A trip to Rwanda in 2000 changed my life.  I went there with a friend to do an art project.  The genocide that took place there was bigger than art.   Upon my return to Seattle, with the blessings of my wife BL I quit my paying job as a carpenter to devote my time to humanitarian work.


BL worked in a business supplying mobility equipment for medically fragile children. She was introduced to organizations working throughout the world bringing wheelchairs to people with disabilities.  We quickly contacted these groups to see if we could volunteer our services. Again, a life-changing experience.

After working for 10 years in countries from Rwanda to Vietnam to Afghanistan, the time was coming when BL and I had to make a decision as to where we would like to retire and work together. A Ghanaian friend suggested we try Ghana.  I came here alone and had a wonderful experience and came back three more times in the course of two years.  I was convinced that YES, this is a place where we could work and make a difference. 

In 2009 I started Yeko Anim with just a few donors to help us out. Those donors remain with us to this day.  Kids First Enterprise agreed to take us on a program: they work mainly in Vietnam but were willing to let us join so we would have a  501(c)3, non-profit status in the US. Though small we were able to partner with the UK charity Friends of Tafo, and thus our donations were able to go much farther.”



and BL wrote:

“For 25 years my work focused on international development for manufacturing companies making equipment to help people with disabilities. I travelled the world searching out distribution channels for these products.   This work made me astonished that what was readily available to some people just didn’t reach the people who needed them most.

This led me to decide that after retirement I would join Dutch in the developing world, to see if together we could make a difference in some small way. Prior to entering the business world, I was a teacher of special education, and ideas about how to develop educational programs stayed in the back of my mind as my working life moved from the classroom to the boardroom.  

After nearly 3 years in Kwahu Tafo, I have learned that education is still the foundation of all development. Teaching our fellow citizens how to develop their projects is foremost as we strive to improve health, sanitation, schools, jobs, and basic literacy. Self-reliance is the goal and I think we are moving in the right direction.”


Dutch and BL are welcomed to their new home on the day of their arrival in 2013 by Nana Ameyaw Gyensiama III, Chief of Kwahu Tafo, and one of his Elders Nana Daniel Yiadom, a civil engineer who serves Kwahu Tafo Progress Council as its Head of Tender Committee and also heads the Water and Sanitation Committee.
 





In February 2015 Dutch and BL were enstooled as Nana Mintah Kumah II, Nkosuohene, and Nana Aboagywaa II, Nkosuahemaa, Joint Development Chiefs of Kwahu Tafo.





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