New Jersey Businessman, Don Felder, Funds School for Girls in Ghana

Felder stands with graduate Mary Sassa Credit: Gwendolyn Glenn WYPR
Felder stands with graduate Mary Sassa
Credit: Gwendolyn Glenn WYPR

Don Felder, a wealthy New Jersey African-American businessman, has paid to build and equip schools in rural areas of Ghana.

He’s given some students scholarships to attend those schools and funded water and other projects throughout the West African country. Much of that work has gone unnoticed by the general public, but his generosity has had a significant impact on the lives of those he’s helped.

There’s Mary Sassa, a tall, soft-spoken woman, who’s about to complete a master’s degree in human resources next July. Sassa, 28, grew up in the remote town of Obodan, where getting a high school diploma was an unusual accomplishment for a girl, let alone an advanced degree. “I’ve not seen any girl who has achieved where I am now. None have graduated from college,” Sassa said. “Some of them are willing to climb higher, but the money is a problem.”

In Obodan, surrounded by lush mountains and abundant pineapple farms, there was no high school for girls until Felder came along in 2001. At that time, many families, whose incomes were barely a few thousand dollars a year, sent their sons away to school. Their daughters stayed home and helped on the farms.

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Source: Atlanta Black Star

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