Faith Matters - The Church Program | Faith Matters - The Church Program | DW | 02.03.2014
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Faith Matters

Faith Matters - The Church Program

A Queen in Ghana - The Story of a German Nurse

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Bettina Landgrafe is celebrating an unusual tenth anniversary: her own royal jubilee. In recognition of her work in the Ghanaian settlement of Apewu and neighboring fishing villages, she has been elevated to the rank of ‘Nana’ (queen) by the local people. The German nurse’s royal title gives her more authority than a minister.

Raised by her grandparents in the Ruhr Valley, Bettina Landgrafe trained as a nurse after leaving school. She travelled to Ghana for the first time in 2001 to help out at a clinic in the bush. And Ghana has become her second home.

Bettina Landgrafe is an impressive, energetic woman who divides her time between the capital, Accra, and the village of Apewu. The 37-year-old German has no fear of tackling bureaucracy when it comes to putting her plans into action. She doesn’t view herself as a project boss but rather as a mentor who conducts development work on an equal footing. The villagers are actively involved and decide for themselves what they need and don’t need in their settlement.

The royal celebrations take place over four days. The residents and elders of twenty villages are among the guests. Five Paramount Chiefs from three regions and the King of Ashanti himself arrive to honor this remarkable German aid worker.