Dan – Iron & Glass

A teacher at heart, Dan’s primary mission is to alleviate poverty by giving every child in his adopted home village a chance to learn to read.

You are struck by his quiet demeanor when you meet him, and you sense his patience as he takes every question with a smile.  Meet Dan, who together with his assistants is transforming discarded glass and metal into beautiful pieces of functional art – their artistic contribution to cleaning of our planet.

 

He started out as a teacher, guiding artisans in remote villages to perfect their skills and ensure product quality.  Through this work, he discovered his passion for art and design.  He took a leap of faith, leaving the city to find solace in a small town where he would pursue his new passion: transforming discarded glass and metal into art.  Why the village?  Dan tells us the rural location provides him the peace and quiet he needs to be creative, while also allowing him to serve his community by providing employment to the men and women in the village.

Dan’s educational background is varied; he attended technical college where he obtained a Mechanical Engineering degree and went on to earn a diploma in Rural Arts and Industry from the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.  He brings this background to the training of his employees, providing them with the skills needed to achieve economic independence, regardless of their level of formal education.  He tells us, “Parents drop off children they cannot afford to support; others come here looking for an income to make ends meet.  But I tell them: you are here to learn skills which, depending on your willingness to learn, can shape your life; in the process you can also earn an income.”  Currently he has eight assistants, and has the reputation of helping his employees attain higher education.  A majority of his employees are pursuing higher education in a variety of fields, including communication, nursing and welding.

A teacher at heart, Dan’s primary mission is to alleviate poverty by giving every child in his adopted home village a chance to learn to read.  He tells us, “We need to give the children the opportunity to read and fill their minds with worthwhile things.”  To this end he has started a community library, currently housed in a small 8’ x 8’ room donated and staffed by community volunteers. Part of the proceeds from his iron work sales are used to purchase books for the library.