August 27, 2014

HBSA President Leads School Building in Ghana


HBSA President Rosemary Hua (center) in Ghana last summer. She returned during winter break to build a school.

Haas Business School Association President Rosemary Hua, BS 14, spent her time off this winter just as she has three other breaks in the past few years: working with Bay Area students to help build a school in Ghana.

Through a nonprofit she co-founded called Empathy FX, the Haas senior led a group of 14 Cal students to the rural Ghanaian village of Abeadze Dominase to join local workers in constructing a primary school for local youth. Next door was a three-classroom junior high school she helped construct with 10 high school students over three weeks last summer. This year’s team also included two pre-med students who volunteered at a local hospital and ran a free clinic that saw more than 100 patients in a single day.

Hua co-founded Empathy FX when she was just 16, after traveling to Ghana on a scholarship. There she met co-founder Nana Aggrey-Fynn, who still coordinates the nonprofit’s activities in Ghana, including identifying villages to visit and hiring workers to assist with construction.

“It’s truly a partnership,” says Hua. “Many of our employees are Ghanaian. When we work on the site itself, we work alongside the local masons and the local carpenters. The process of building it is when all of the learning comes.” Hua said. “We both learn a lot from the experience.” In addition to picking up construction skills, students also absorb the language and culture by living with local families.

For more about Empathy FX, visit empathyfx.org.

Topics:    Student News