ABOSO BENSO D/A SCHOOL: GHANA
We are proud to announce the completion in late spring 2015 of a two-classroom school house in the village of Gomoa Akroful, Ghana. Thanks to a generous donation from Leslie Moser's Harvard Business School section which covered almost 60% of the costs for this project, Gary's Fund provided the funding to complete a beautiful and spacious school which was desperately needed for the community's pre-school and kindergarten students. As with all of our projects, 100% of our donated funds went to the construction costs and materials, not a dime was spent on administrative or overhead costs in Ghana.
The community of Gomoa Akroful is a poor agricultural village with a population of about 4,000. It is located approximately 2 hours southwest of the Ghanaian capitol city of Accra.
Gomoa Akroful has shown a strong committment to the education of its children going back over 70 years. The people there have managed to continuously maintain and operate a primary school which was built for them in 1947 by the British government. However, three years ago when we first received our project proposal, the primary school was at full capacity with no space for kindergarten or pre-school classes.
In Ghana, the formalization of early childhood education is a relatively recent development and has created the need for pre-schools.
Because this is a poor community lacking the resources to construct a pre-school, prior to our project, the village's youngest students were attending class with their teacher in the only available structure…a dilapidated, unhygienic goat shed. The shed had space for 20-30 children at most and the roof leaked so badly class could not be held on rainy days.
Due to space limitations and the deplorable conditions, many other young children in the community who wanted to attend pre-school were forced to stay home.
In November 2014, Gary's Fund accepted a proposal to fund the construction of a pre-school/kindergarten in the village of Gomoa Akroful.
In early 2015, Gary's Fund made a donation of $13,000 to our partner in Ghana, Ghanaian Mothers Hope, in order to completely fund the construction of this school including:
An office and store room,
A 5-seater latrine,
Furniture and books.
THE COMMUNITY''S CONTRIBUTION:
The existing primary school has a school management team and parent teacher association and managed to raise a portion of the funds for the construction of our pre-school project.
The local district education office provided educational materials.
A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT:
Our school in Ghana was completed in late spring 2015 and was immediately occupied by around 30 young children in grades Kindergarten-1 and Kindergarten-2 along with their teachers. As 2017 draws to a close the school is thriving with an enrollment of 73 children at the end of last term.
Because Aboso Benso D/A School was technically operational prior to our project (even though it was located in an abandoned goat shed), and was loosely affiliated with the village primary school, it is already registered as a government school with the Ghanaian Ministry of Education.
All photos provided by Ghanaian Mothers Hope.
2018 - AN UPDATE:
Gary's Fund was recently in touch directly with the school's head teacher, Irene Essel who has thanked us once again for this project. The school is nowable to accommodate twice the number of children for pre-school/kindergarten than it was prior to our project.
Today 4 teachers are happily working with 70 young students. Gary's Fund recently donated the funds to provide the application of the external and internal cement plastering and paint for the classroom building. These funds will also allow for the finishing of the storeroom and teachers' office. Brightly colored paint is important to the local culture and will be a major enhancement for the school. We are delighted to continue supporting this school project and look forward to adding updates as they become available.
2017 -Twp years after the completion of our project Aboso Benso D/A Pre-school continues to thrive. Last school year 73 young children were enrolled, about triple the number of children who previously attend pre-school/kindergarten when class was being held in a tiny, dilapidated goat shed. As word spreads the headmistress of the school expects enrollment to increase.