Report on the Container project 2020
Part 1: How do you ship computer and chairs to Ghana?
It all began with a call from Hartmut Demand in June 2019, who arranged for us to donate 100 chairs and some chalkboards from a vocational school in Lengerich (Westf.).
A donation of 12 computers was already waiting to be sent to CTE. In the IT department of the Gesamtschule Emsland, which was brought up to date with student help, modernized with more memory and fast SSD drives, they had been waiting for months for a good opportunity to start their journey to Winneba to modernize the outdated and hardly runnable infrastructure of the CTE.
Now there was no stopping them, a container was needed. Clemens Vollmer set off and returned after only a few days with the joyful message: "I have been given an overseas container with TÜV as a gift, which saves us costs". The research then revealed that about 3000 € had to be expected for the collection in Emsland and the shipment and transport to Winneba. In dialogue with Morphius it became clear that this would be "a big deal". Cooking utensils, sewing machines, tools for the wood workshop, bicycles, summer clothes and shoes were on his wish list. A vintage car had to vacate its quarters in a hall and space was found for the next few months for the donations in kind that would gradually arrive.
The calm before the storm ...
Part 2: ... a neighbour is moving ...
Morphius and Michael moved into their lodgings in Emsbüren and the container arrived in Listrup. An appeal for donations was formulated and an accompanying article was published in the Lingener
The appeal for donations was not only distributed at the Gesamtschule Emsland, but of course also in the schools where Morphius held his drum workshops this year - among others in Lingen, Lohne, Schüttorf and on the Twist they collected for the CTE.
The first clothes bags and boxes piled up in the hallway at Elke`s and Martin`s place and of course this did not remain hidden from "M&M", Morphius` "interim neighbours". They were just about to move into their new house and were happy to hand over things that were no longer urgently needed. Armchairs, beds, cupboards and tables. Heavy things were driven to the warehouse with "M&M's" Ford Mondeo and the offer was extended to ship the car to Ghana as well. A Saturday morning that was worth it.
Part 3: The hot phase
Everything on the wish list was gathered and much more filled the hall bit by bit. Besides chairs, blackboards and computers, there were various saws and tools, several sewing machines, bicycles,
musical instruments (which were provided by Hartmut's music club and the Emsland comprehensive school), keyboards, drums, various wind instruments, speakers and amplifiers, flat screen TVs,
prams, printers, monitors, mobile phones, children's toys, shoes, clothing, irons, mattresses, the donation of a Lingen-based company for the future wireless Internet (new access points and
routers) and various kitchen utensils piled up in the hall. The willingness to help was immense.
Morphius and Michael organized the packing on their own. After the workshops, many a night shift had to be worked for this: stacking, repacking, rearranging, using every centimetre and keeping an exact list of all items for customs. In between there was pizza and hot drinks. Electricity was installed in the container via cable drum, a construction spotlight and a heating oven helped to turn night into day.
Meanwhile Clemens (if not driving a taxi for the workshop drums) and Martin took care of collecting the donations and researching for a cheap shipping to Ghana and the transport to CTE. It was a nightmare what had to be compared and researched. Pick up to the port, which port of departure, sea transport, forwarding agency on site in Ghana, the separate transport of two cars, (Clemens Renault Laguna waited already one year for an opportunity to be shipped to the CTE), avoiding a price increase at short notice due to new environmental taxes, checking container TÜV and seaworthiness, determining weight data, organizing customs sealing and an official confirmation that all electrical equipment is working properly for the exit customs - who would have thought what all this is involved. Only the customs clearance costs at the home port in Ghana could not be determined in advance.
The freight costs for the container and the two cars to the port of destination Tema in Ghana amounted to about 4000 €. We were very happy when a member of the association donated a third car, which should be sold to cover the freight costs. So the costs for the transport to the port of destination were covered by the collected donations and the bulky items could now be transported even easier to the hall.
The transport of the cars (the Mondeo on wheels, the Laguna without TÜV on trailers) to the customs port in Hamburg was done in one night shift. A barcode on the car window and the key attached to the mirror on the conveyor belt, we left the cars behind and walked out of the port area.
Now only the container had to be picked up and brought to the port of destination. All good, that would be done for now. We thought, unfortunately the truck could not load the container in front of the hall with its sideloader due to lack of space and drove away without having done anything. The date of the transport was fixed. Literally at the last minute a crane truck could be found, which could solve the problem a few days later.
Now the worrying began: Will the customs clearance at the port of departure be successful? Will the cars land on the right ship and will everything arrive safely? We will have to wait two months for an answer. Morphius and Michael started their return flight and everyone is eagerly awaiting the outcome of this relief container action.
Waiting for customs clearance in Ghana...
Part 4 follows ... Customs clearance and transport to CTE
Container under Palm trees