Life After Chase: Japhet Aryiku
JPMC Execs Help Him Help a Community in Ghana
There is a proverb in Ghana: “Let not what you cannot do tear you from what you can do.”
As founder and president of the Adakum Educational Foundation (ADMEF), Chase retiree Japhet Aryiku is doing a remarkable amount to improve the lot of the people of his native Ghana.
On October 16, 2009 in New York, a $100-a-plate gala dinner will honor Dina Dublon, former CFO, JPMorgan Chase; Martha Gallo, Senior Executive, JPMorgan Chase, and Catherine Heron, an ADMEF board member and retired teacher, who have helped Japhet in his work. (For more information, see: www.admef.org and below.)
Japhet worked at Chase from 1974 to 2001, leaving as a corporate controller. He founded ADMEF in 1998, and it was formally incorporated as a public 501-C-3 organization in 2006, with the following broad mission: “To provide financial support to the L&A Memorial Academy in Ghana, West Africa, in its mission to promote education, to help alleviate hunger, to provide increased healthcare awareness to disadvantaged children and their families; and to work to reduce illiteracy, poverty and poor health conditions in Africa, by creating and supporting programs dedicated to improving the education and health of disadvantaged children and their families.” Within this broad mission, the Foundation operates specific programs and activities that it seeks to promote and support within the school environment.
"We believe the school setting is one of the most effective and efficient ways to reach and deliver services to children, their parents and the immediate community," Japhet explained. He is focusing on Mallam, one of the poorest areas on the outskirts of Accra. L&A Memorial Academy, the first school that the Foundation has supported in Ghana, was started in 1998 in Mallam with three nursery-age children in a small hut. It now educates 325 children, ages two to 14, in a brick complex, with 17 teachers. The Foundation seeks to replicate the success model of the L&A Memorial Academy in other parts of Ghana and other countries in Africa.
ADMEF also supports specific activities to empower females, a particular issue in traditional African societies.
Highlights of the Foundation's activities in the last year include:
Completion of a Health Center building with contribution and volunteers from the Project Ghana Team at JPMorgan Chase.
- A free mosquito net installation program: Over 230 mosquito nets have been installed in the homes of students and their families. Students from City University of New York and other young professionals from New York City visited the L&A Academy, which ADMEF created and sponsors, and assisted with the installations.
"Over 2,000 African children die each day from malaria. With each net installation, we gain on reducing this number," Japhet said. He explained that even something as simple as the distribution of mosquito nets can have its complications. A few years ago, a well meaning health agency distributed the type of mosquito net that requires connections to bed posts – except the families in the Accra exurbs don't have beds with posts. The mosquito nets ended up being sold on the black market as wedding veils and fishing nets.
"We are working for an educated, healthier next generation of Africans," Japhet said. Goals for the next year incude:
- Funding to start our Adult Education program, beginning with 50 adults: $130,000 for two years;
- Installing 100,000 bed nets in the homes of the school children, at a cost of $11 each;
- Sponsoring students: $865 per elementary school student; $1,277 per high school student, including boarding fees;
- Underwriting Health Center operations, to provide basic health care for the school children, their parents and the immediate community, at an estimated cost of $100,000; and
- Creating a Computer Lab, at the cost of $450 per laptop.
ADMEF has a local management team, in Accra, serving the Southern Region, and at Obuasi, serving the Ashanti and the Northern Regions. (ADMEF supports the Adullam Orphanage at Obuasi, the only recognized orphanage in the Obuasi/Ashanti Region. The Orphanage was founded by an Australian minister, Rev. Louise Timothy, and serves about 210 children, some abandoned at birth, some orphaned when their parents died of AIDS and some children of single destitute mothers.)
In addition to funds, ADMEF is looking for in-kind contributions of equipment, medicine, food, clothing and shoes, as well as volunteer teachers, teacher trainers, doctors and nurses. For additional information, contact Japhet or his wife, Ellen, ADMEF's executive director, at:
Adakum Educational Foundation
525 West 141st Street
New York, NY 10031
Phone: 212/283-8080 or 212/281-6612; 917/885-3008 (cell)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Christ Church United Methodist, 520 Park Avenue, NYC (60th Street)
For more information, contact: 212/283-8080