I am writing to appeal to you again especially those who have been to Hiineteng my village of birth in northern Ghana and experienced the environment and culture there. This is a Samaritan call from the villagers of Hiineteng who are grappling with modernity and social change. As you have been there and see many of the issues confronting the communities there, I will like you to help me support these people for a request they have asked of me for help.
Due to centuries held traditional practice, the Dagara people perform funerals in a public setting. This public funeral ritual means that the deceased is displayed in a pyre mounted on woods and covered with a large cloth for public viewing and mourning. Funerals are the most important rites of passage for humanity on earth and the way cultures celebrate funerals serve to satisfy their beliefs in honoring their dead.
Due to the deforestation in the area and no more trees to cut and mount a funeral pyre, people are moving toward better ways to get a funeral pyre. Majority of Dagara communities have began using metal framework designed by the local metal workers at the Nandom Technical School to make permanent funeral pyres in which communities in one area can come together to purchase one for use when there there is a funeral in their villages. The cost is not cheap especially for these poor communities, but it is a good lasting investment and it helps to save the already poor environment in terms of cutting down the trees to make pyres anytime death occurs.
In line with these changes, the villagers of Hiineteng have approached me to help them acquire a community pyre. They have demonstrated their seriousness and commitment by contributing a meager amount of 150 Ghana cedis equivalent to $100. This contribution has been going on for two years due to their poor financial capabilities. The pyre, made in three sizes, cost between $800 and $1200. When I asked at the NandomTechnicalSchool, the small size of funeral pyre costs 1,200 Ghana cedis about $800. The medium one costs 1, 400 Ghana cedies about $950 and the large one cost 1, 600 Ghana cedis about $1100.
Because of their passionate appeal to me and their commitment to get one for the village I am appealing to you to support us with whatever you can afford. We are looking to purchase the medium size pyre and we hope to get it this year if we can come up with the money.
Like some of you have supported the water project in Hiineteng ten years ago, the people cannot thank you enough. If you wish to help, please make a check out to me and I will make sure your money is put to the cause you supported. After we buy the pyre, I will show to you receipts and a photo of the new pyre. Thank you again for your continued support of me to help my people and I look forward to hearing from you. This appeal is not to you alone but to anyone you think can help us. If you can seek help anywhere for us, we will be most grateful
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