December 2, 2013

Esther and Kwaku Addo did not forget family and friends in their native Ghana when they moved to Lexington. Kwaku had secured a position as an assistant professor in what is now the University of Kentucky's Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  The following year, Esther began her work in UK Chandler Hospital as an RN in neurosurgery and later in the newly-formed stroke unit, which is now part of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute.

"We felt like family at UK," Esther says. "But we had no idea at first how much that would really mean."

Upon their return from an eye-opening return trip to Ghana and Esther's home village of Adjeikrom, the couple began fundraising in earnest; in 2000 a modest building with two kindergarten classrooms and an office opened in Adjeikrom. The International Book Project sent materials, and Kwaku brought UK students to Ghana every year on a study abroad/service mission to make improvements.

But now Kwaku's work is leading the couple to Houston, where he has taken a post as associate dean for academic programs in the College of Agriculture & Human Sciences at Prairie View A&M University.

Read more about the couple's continuing efforts in Ghana and their deep connection to the University of Kentucky.