This year, marks the 11th house that West End has been a part of helping to build in partnership with Habitat. This year's partner is also a fellow methodist as well. Get to know more about him and his family.
Kwame grew up in the small town of Kpeve, Ghana in coastal West Africa. His was a quiet, sparse childhood. “We didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing. I didn’t wear shoes until the 9th grade.” He moved to Ghana’s capital, Accra, when he was 20 years old. He studied engineering for two years before taking a job with the National Disaster Organization working on infrastructure and relief projects. He quickly developed a passion for development and relief work; by the time he was 31 he was overseeing operations at a camp for 27,000 Togolese refugees. His work gave him the stability to marry and start a family. He is the proud father of sons, Worlanyo, 19, and Sitsofe, 13, and daughters, Eselasi, 17, and Delaena, 8. He also had contact with many expatriates and relief agencies including Habitat for Humanity, an agency he volunteered with in Ghana.
In 2004, Kwame and his wife divorced. “I was still determined to have a better life for my children. I knew that college degrees from the U.S. and Europe were recognized by the entire world. I decided to go abroad, sacrifice and do any job, so my children would have opportunity.” In 2005, he arrived in the U.S., first to New York City, then Connecticut, and finally Nashville. He worked in shipping and as a machinist before taking his current position as a direct care provider in 2012. Kwame was lonely in his first years in Nashville. He had yet to connect with a church community, much to his mother’s chagrin. A colleague suggested Kwame try going to Crievewood Methodist Church. On his first visit, “I felt lost. I didn’t know it was all white people. I sat in the last pew, but after the service everyone introduced themselves, including the preacher.” The preacher took special interest in Kwame and made sure he felt welcomed into their community. Now Kwame can’t imagine his life without the support of the Crievewood Methodist community. “They are great people and they are doing positive things. They don’t just study the Bible; they help others. They are like my second home. I feel like I have somebody behind me.” The support the church provided when Kwame’s children arrived from Ghana in 2012 “was overwhelming. They came to the airport with me to meet them and they organized a welcome party.”
Kwame and his three younger children currently share a one‐bedroom apartment; Worlanyo is studying at a university in Ghana, but he is trying to transfer to an American university, preferably in Nashville. “It bothers me that my children don’t have rooms of their own. I want to provide a decent environment for them to live and study.” Kwame came to Habitat because he saw the power of the ministry when he volunteered at the build site in Ghana and Nashville. Randy Cortner, longtime Habitat supporter and Crievewood Methodist parishoner, encouraged Kwame to turn in an application for a Habitat home. “It means so much to me to that my home is sponsored by the Methodist community. You have already given me so much! You are like my brothers and sisters and I give you a very big thank you!”