Three faculty members from the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences were invited to give the inaugural lecture for the UK College of Medicine Global Health Initiative lecture series. Dr. Ann Vail, Director, School of Human Environmental Sciences, Dr. Kwaku Addo, Interim Chair, Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles, and Dr. Janet Mullins, Associate Extension Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, spoke about their work to diminish the effects of hunger on the health of children and families.
The presentation focused on the ongoing work with the Kentucky Academy, a kindergarten built in Adjeikrom, a village in Ghana. The previous kindergarten in the village was in dire condition, with no electricity. Thanks to leadership from Dr. Addo, support from faculty at the University of Kentucky and the School of Human Environmental Sciences, UK student support, and community volunteers in the Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association, the school has been renovated with new a new roof and flooring, desks for all students, electricity, a dining pavilion, and a kitchen that provides meals daily to students.
Additional work is underway to further enhance the Kentucky Academy. Monica Fowler, a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science will be traveling with the group to Ghana this summer to collect data on the school lunch program. With guidance from Dr. Mark Williams, faculty member with the College of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture program, the group will help the community install a drip irrigation system in a newly established school garden.
As work continues, faculty from the School of Human Environmental Sciences continue to provide leadership and oversight. Efforts now underway will help empower self-sufficiency within the village of Adjeikrom. Coordination is provided through Kentucky for Ghana, Inc. If you would like to get involved, visit the project Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KentuckyAcademyGhana.
By: Samantha Reisdorph, UK Dietetic Intern and Kim Henken, Assistant to the Director, School of Human Environmental Sciences