Roe promotes education in Africa

By Eric Hermosada

The Roe Art Studio on Whatcom Community College campus is named after Kathryn Roe, Whatcom’s art instructor from 1971-2007.
Roe is the founder and director of Anansi Education, which is a nonprofit organization that funds high school education for students in Ghana, West Africa.

In 1997, Roe traveled to West Africa during a sabbatical and fell in love with the people, colors and the opportunity to learn an entirely different culture. Roe now travels to Ghana six months out of the year to help the students and the community.
According to the Anansi Education website, their mission is to fund high school education of academically qualified students in Ghana who are otherwise unable to continue their education due to financial need.
Since 2005 Anansi has served over 200 students and introduced the artistic traditions of West Africa to supporters internationally, and facilitated volunteer opportunities for individuals from across the globe.
Mohammed Inuwa is a former Anansi student and now the only paid employee of Anansi.
“Anansi Education is a small organization that changes people’s lives and is an organization that gives hope to the Ghanaian community and to the children that have hope in going to high school,” Inuwa said.
Roe will be hosting an Anansi Celebration on May 13 at 501, 16th St. at 5:30 p.m. where pieces of Anansi art will be sold and all proceeds will go towards sponsoring students.
“I think I get more than I give, the biggest thing I get is being able to watch these kids change into very confident young adults who are proud of what they have accomplished,” Roe said.
The art that will be sold, ranges from Traditional West African necklaces, Ghanaian masks, mud cloth paintings and more. There will be some art pieces that will start out at around $15 according to Roe.

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