Decisions on our projects are taken jointly by our committees in Ghana and UK. Our Ghana volunteers have an unenviable job as the need is vast. They thoroughly check out all reasonable requests for help, making use of their connections that stem from long experience in local government and with Ghana Education, as well as their deep understanding of local culture.
Back here, we look at requests and, where possible, try to find help from donors that we think may be sympathetic. We are without the expertise of professional bid writers but we have the advantage of our exceptionally strong track record over the past 20 years. And that we can show that we spend only 2% on administration and can build at a quarter of the costs that others spend, largely due to our privileged position of defeating the norm of corruption.
This is what we want to do now.
In our seven Vocational Schools for Girls:
- Meet the pressing need for more equipment. This has arisen because of their popularity. We need everything from looms to mixing bowls and from printers to dyes.
- Supply consumables, including cloths for printing; threads for looms; gas cylinders for cookers; shampoo for hairdressers;
- Make necessary repairs to sewing machines, type-writers, computers, fans and lights (where there is electricity)
- Complete a follow-up research programme to strengthen the evidence we have of the major long-term impact of our vocational schooling.
- Provide many more graduate loans. These enable girls to set up small businesses in their own villages, preventing migration to the towns and cities.
- Make prompt repairs following flood/ weather damage.
For Women in villages where we have opened new schools, repaired schools or supplied much-needed desks.
Extend our income-generating loans scheme to more villages. This will further cement the mothers’ ability to send all their children, including all the girls, to school regularly. We want to give loans to 200 women in 3 villages this year. The most urgent need is in Lukula where our schools are extremely successful.
In Lukula we have truly transformed education. We also have already introduced a successful system of loans for mothers. We have a waiting list of 120 mothers, each needing up to £100. Providing these cements the new tradition of sending all girls to school.
In our Primary and Junior High Schools
We will continue to work closely with heads and teachers to ensure that recruitment and attendance levels for girls remains high. Our major role is encouragement and small-scale improvement-measures, responding to the real needs of the teachers. This maintains morale with a consequent impact on standards of teaching and learning. We will continue to liaise with the District and regional education departments to ensure that our most remote schools are receiving their quota of equipment and books, that all teachers are paid regularly and ensure that books are used by the pupils. We will regularly monitor fabric of the schools, with particular attention to floors and roofs.
Schools that urgently need repairs to be made usable again
In Northern Ghana we are seen as a life-line, stepping in to help where others are unwilling to face the problems of distance and neglect, but where communities are really striving to improve education. A measure of our success is the step change in numbers of girls in ‘our’ schools. We are approached by many districts to help, and carefully look at needs. We want to help at Kubori primary (360 pupils) and Licha primary (280) pupils. Being so old Kubori needs a new roof because the old roof is rusted and leaking, walls are cracked and dangerous and floors are very dangerous with deep holes. Repairing Kubori, urgently before it collapses, will cost approx £7,500. Licha does not need a new roof but the walls, floors, doors and windows need to be changed. Licha also has very few desks. For Licha we need to raise £6,000.
Yagaba Vocational School
This is another very remote district. The people are impressed by the life-changing benefits of our other vocational schools and are desperate to have our help. It will cost a minimum of £30,000 to build and equip, and we will also need to provide a hostel for the girls.