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Bringing 'Dalylight' to Ghana

"It's hard to be away for so long, but the work is really rewarding, and it's hard to come back from Ghana as well," Brown said.

She stays with here parents, Edward and Mary Jane Brown, while in town.

"Kekeli" means "daylight" in Ewe, one of several local languages. It speaks not only to the light needed for photography, but for the opportunity it can bring to many of the children the organization benefits.

Helping the students learn to take pictures develops motor skills and helps Brown develop learning games for use in the classroom. Something as simple as attaching a name to a picture of a local plant can make a big difference.

"Many of them don't know how to read or write, so we're trying to get the students familiar with recognizing words and names," Brown said.

Those who are gifted photographers might even go on to make a living of it. The school is investigating a micro-loan program where students can purchase equipment by paying back the cost over time.

Many of the children who attend the school are orphans, cured lepers or have special needs. In Ghana, organizations like Kekeli will be the only help these children can get.

"Anyone with a disability"there's such a stigma attached to those things they're often ignored," Brown said, adding that breaking that stigma is part of the school's mission.

"It really has people in the community looking at what they can do differently," she said.

While Kekeli has its own offices, Brown also travels to area schools to teach photography to children there.

Now, she's working with these students on projects for the 2012 Cultural Olympics in London, where their work on local storytelling will hopefully be featured.

The funds and equipment that make Kekeli possible come from donations here in the states. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.kekeliinc.com.

Checks may be sent to Kekeli, Inc., c/o The First Reformed Church of Bethlehem, 38 Church Road, Selkirk 12158.""

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