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New Canaan Girl Calls Attention to Ghana Project

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Julia Tuttle wants your old cellphones, digital cameras and iPods. These electronic devices will help her as she tries to give children in Ghana a chance at a better education.

Tuttle, a senior at New Canaan High School, leads the student group Hope 4 Ghana, which helps to send children at the Good Shepherd Orphanage to high school.

Since Jan. 2, Hope 4 Ghana has had a box in front of New Canaan High to collect electronics from students, teachers, parents and other visitors. Club members have also placed boxes on the porches of their homes for visitors and passersby to leave their old items. The electronics will be given to Eco-Cell, an organization that recycles old batteries and electronics to keep them out of landfills. Eco-Cell will give Hope 4 Ghana money in exchange for the old technology.

“We’ve got a good amount so far. We’ve got a lot of old cellphones. Obviously, we’ve had a lot more of those than laptops,” said Tuttle. The collection also features old laptops and handheld cameras, complete with strap handles. “The more money we can get, the more we can make and use for our cause.”

The cause, in particular, will help Hilda Amoah and Racheal Tetteh attend high school. The girls will be the first in their families to get an education beyond primary school. Tuttle said it will take about $2,000 to cover their schooling expenses for one year.

Tuttle, 17, has had an interest in Ghana thanks in part to her parents, David and Lisa Tuttle. They are the founders of the Ghana Children’s Fund, an organization created to help raise money for the children of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Tuttle has been to Ghana six times and plans to returns this summer with clothing and other items. The family has previously given more than $400,000, providing the money for the orphanage to build a kitchen, dining hall and school building, among other items.

“Knowing the kids personally makes it so much easier to stick with it, despite the hard work,” Tuttle said. “I’ve experienced their life first-hand, and anything I can do to make a difference is great.”

Collections will continue next week at New Canaan Library.

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