Background & Beliefs
Statement of Beliefs
Being a Christian organization, we believe the entire Bible is God’s word, upon which our ministry and mission is based.
We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that anyone who opens their heart to Him, will experience eternal life through faith in Him. We believe that all Christians are called to demonstrate the love of Christ as the Holy Spirit works through us to touch and change lives through tangible acts of kindness and God’s love.
We commit to taking an unbiased approach. Serving people and reaching out to minister to their physical and material needs also, irrespective of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
Changing Lives Together Inc. was founded by George Hanson & his wife Jean, a Ghanaian couple who have spent over 12 years, living and working in the United States.
Hanson obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering in Ghana in the early 1990’s. After graduating from college, he was assigned to the Sumaman Secondary School in Suma Ahenkro as a High School Mathematics Teacher on a National Service Program, administered by the Ghana government, for a one year term.
The level of poverty, hardship and suffering he witnessed in this rural community was staggering, very much unlike the middle class life he had experienced, growing up in the capital city of Ghana. Most families in this small rural village lived on an average household income of $1 – $2 a day.
He taught mathematics in a rural school where most of the basic supplies including text books, notepads, pencils, chalkboards etc were to a large extent, absent. Most of the classroom infrastructure was failing and unsafe. Student attendance was hampered in many ways due to their families’ inability to afford necessary supplies and to provide academic support at home. These factors and many others resulted in a very troubling statistic. Many students couldn’t obtain passing grades, not only in mathematics, but in most of the other subjects they were taking.
In addition to the inadequacies of the educational system, Hanson witnessed firsthand, the poor living conditions and the subsequent serious impact on the health of many of the 6000 residents of Suma. Poor nutrition, consumption of unclean, contaminated water, and extremely unsanitary living conditions created significant healthcare challenges within the community. Adequate health care facilities were in very distant locations, many miles away. Treatable conditions that could not be managed at the health center in Suma left many at the mercy of their illness. Hanson quickly found out that the situation was very similar in the surrounding villages and towns he visited.
After serving his one year term, he returned to the capital city, with a heavy heart and a resolve to return to rural Ghana someday to assist in whatever ways he could. Hanson left Ghana in 1999 to attend graduate school in South Carolina. He obtained his master’s degree in Civil Engineering and in 2003, he moved to Northern California with his wife and family, where they currently live and work.
Changing Lives Together, Inc.
In 2005, with the Lord’s help, Hanson founded a Christian charitable non-profit organization, Changing Lives Together (CLT) Inc, in Folsom, CA. CLT’s mission is to touch & save lives in rural Ghana and help alleviate poverty by establishing self-sustaining systems in healthcare, education, and water & sanitation, that eventually empower these villages and communities in rural Ghana to improve their quality of life.
Shortly after founding the organization, Hanson traveled back to rural Ghana in 2006, with a core team, on a data collection mission and to assess how their lives and living conditions had changed over the 12 years he had been gone. The team conducted interviews with elders of the villages, school faculty, past and present students at high schools, PTA members, health workers, and everyday families. Gathering critical information and data that will eventually serve as the basis upon which CLT has built and developed sustainable programs to address the urgent needs in these rural communities.
Since 2007, CLT has been conducting various humanitarian projects in rural Ghana and assisting these communities.