Forward Ever, Backward Never

My name is Marlene Page Ware. I am a teacher at Teaneck High School in Teaneck, New Jersey and the Director of THREAD, Inc., an organization that my fine and performing arts students and I founded in 2005. THREAD is a coalition of students, parents, and teachers who travel abroad annually to Ghana, West Africa, to take part in a cultural exchange and philanthropic outreach with orphanages, schools, colleges, and universities. Through service and exchange activities, THREAD fosters understanding, seeks to eradicate prejudices, and provides an experience that broadens participants' perspectives in cross-cultural thinking, language, and behavior.

We embarked on our first mission trip to Ghana in April of 2005. Each day was filled with volunteer work and cultural-exchange theatrical performances. During the trip we met a young Ghanaian, David Boamah, a textile artist from Ntonso, a village that is recognized for its extraordinary printed fabric textile artwork called Adinkra. When we visited Ntonso, we were stunned by the poor conditions in which the people lived, so we decided to adopt this village to impact the lives of this rural community.

Thread's Projects:

Providing Clean Drinking Water to the Ntonso: The Well Project

When THREAD first arrived in Ntonso, the village had limited access to clean water or proper sanitation, which plagued the villagers with diarrhea and disease. The women of the village were particularly impacted by this situation as they had to make two walking trips a day back and forth to a river several kilometers away, carrying water-filled vessels on their heads back to the village.

Upon returning to the United States, THREAD members immediately began organizing fundraisers. Through our efforts and community support, THREAD raised enough money for the Adinkra Village to build a well.

A well was constructed in 2007 to provide the village with clean water.

Building a Classroom: The Education Project

The Ntonso school is a dilapidated, open-air structure that struggles to foster a positive learning environment. When we first arrived, we saw the weakly constructed chairs and desks. In 2007, THREAD raised enough money to purchase 250 chairs and desks for two schools in Ghana. We also equipped the schools with safe playground equipment and provided each student with basic school supplies.

Helping the Abandoned Victims of AIDS: The AIDS Hospital and Orphanage Project

THREAD also supported the Mother Teresa Orphanage and AIDS Hospital in Tema in 2006. We raised funds so that a four-year-old orphan named Stephanie could have brain surgery. Prior to the operation, Stephanie could neither walk nor speak. She has recovered and can now do both. We also purchased a generator for a birthing center in Assin Manso, where women were giving birth to their babies by candlelight.

Helping a Little Girl in Assin Manso

Cynthia is deaf. She would watch the other children go off to school. We are arranging for her to attend the School for the Deaf in Cape Coast. 

Our goal is to change the lives of the people by providing them with the means to combat their poverty. Through educational assistance, economic empowerment, and improved health care, THREAD aims to provide them with foundations to become self-sufficient and self-sustaining. To reach this goal our organization needs financial assistance and sponsorships from businesses and individuals who are interested in helping us continue our efforts to build a sustainable future for the people of Ntonso.

THREAD became an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) in Ghana in July, 2008.
THREAD is a nonprofit 501 (c-3) and your donation is tax deductible.
Exemption Number: 204-500-802/000
Please send your donation to: THREAD, 100 Elizabeth Ave., Teaneck, NJ 07666

You may email me at

THREAD would like to rebuild the deteriorating school house in Ntonso: to construct walls with mounted chalkboards, to bring indoor plumbing into the school, and to build separate boy's and girl's bathrooms. Our dream is to supply the school with laptops, more furniture, and to sponsor the orphaned children in this village.

With your contribution, no matter how big or small, THREAD will be able to save another life, bring another smile to a young face, and positively change someone's future. There is beauty in this African community that values things we often take for granted, such as clean water, enough food to eat, and an education. With your help, THREAD can continue its campaign to support the people of Ntonso.

The Ntonso “The Adinkra Village” needs the following:
•  Laptops
•  School Supplies
•  Teacher Materials
•  Maps & Charts
•  Blood Pressure Apparatus
•  Wheel Chairs
•  Medical Supplies
•  Mosquito Netting
•  T-Shirts
•  Underwear

Last updated on  July 21, 2015