Saanich, B.C. delivery driver works 7 days a week to create library at former elementary school in Ghana

Isaac Oduro will never forget the day he was doing deliveries and received a $100 tip.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, I haven’t seen this before,'” he says with a smile. “I was so excited.”

It was so different than what Isaac experienced back in Africa.

“It was hand to mouth,” he explains. “Travelling here was a big opportunity for me to come so I could take care of my family.”

Isaac moved to Canada alone and worked for years to support his wife and sons in Ghana before they could join him. Two years ago, he returned to his hometown.

“I feel so sad when I went back,” Isaac says of the old elementary school he last attended 30 years ago. “(It) was in a deplorable state.”

Issac says the problems ranged from a roof filled with holes to classrooms empty of books.

“I wasn’t happy about what I saw, so I decided I’m going to do something.”

Isaac immediately bought seven whiteboards for the school, before making a commitment to do even more later.

“I’m going to go back to Canada,” Isaac says, after posing for pictures in the school with the new boards. “And in two years I’m going to come back and build a library.”

When Issac isn’t working two jobs (10 hours a day, seven days a week) to earn funds for the renovations, he’s requesting book donations from local companies, including Victoria’s Russell Books.

“Right now, I have 3,000 books,” Isaac says.

Isaac has packed up most of the books and arranged for them to be shipped to Ghana, along with bags of new school supplies. The library is slowly but surely being transformed, with a new roof, floor, paint and fans. It’s on schedule for Isaac’s return this fall to help finish the project and fill the school with with hope again.

“(I hope) to keep them reading, to keep them learning,” Isaac says. “So somebody can also come from that school and be like me.”

The sort of person who uses a $100 tip to buy gifts for others.

“Now that I’m Canadian, I want to do what Canadians do,” Isaac says. “And that’s be generous.” 

Are you planning to travel over the May long weekend?

Contact Us

If you have a news tip, story idea or to reach a radio host, contact us here.