A diverse group of young people
2014 the 9 founding members met in Ghana during their volunteer work. We lived together in a shared house for several months and talked about our experiences in the schools in which we volunteered, on a daily basis. The country as well as the people left a lasting impression with all of us, which is why we decided to continue to support the schools once we returned to Germany. It took 2 years to get our organization registered with the district court in Bonn but ever since we have been enthusiastically engaged in raising money for the projects we selected. To raise money we for example regularly participate in culture festivals and christmas markets where we sell our products: toiletry bags made of Ghanaian fabric or shea butter produced in Ghana. At the end of each year the revenue is distributed fairly between all four projects and sent to Ghana. Meanwhile we have reached almost 40 members that live all across the country. We are happy about every new member that wants to join us in our endeavors.
The 4 partner institutions are privately run schools, so non-governmental schools, and are therefore only receive very limited subsidies. All the schools are located in the rapidly growing city Kasoa in the south of Ghana, roughly 30 kilometers outside of the capital Accra. We consciously selected these 4 schools because with these we can be sure that they take devoted care of the students. None of the schools uses violence as an educational measure nor do they think too economically: every child that wants to go to school is accepted, even if it sometimes is unable to pay the tuition fees…
We maintain good and close relationships with the directors of each school and are glad that we have been able to establish a cooperative partnership. We have a collective Whats-App group in which we regularly exchange ideas and come up with plans for the future. Our principle is to take the schools‘ needs into consideration and collect donations especially to improve the infrastructure and the learning environment. The issues that need to be addressed are always brought forward by the schools and we then collectively discuss how the support and implementation from our side could look. Through this cooperation we can ensure that donations are correctly utilized, and a sustainable support can be ensured. That way we have so far been able to achieve that one school purchased windows and doors, another one was able to buy a water tank, a third one built an additional school building and the fourth one will soon be able to buy a school bus. All of these were (and will continue to be) produced with local materials and by local companies/ workers. Each school pays close attention to providing the best possible learning environment to the kids in which we want to optimally support them.
Not everyone in Ghana sees education as something essential. Especially towards girls this attitude is often deeply ingrained as it is by many seen as superfluous for girls to graduate as they will anyway have children and be responsible for taking care of the family. Earning money is more important. The fact that in most cases education will lead to a better job and therefore in the long run result in a higher income isn’t clear to everyone. This is also something that we want to create more awareness for.
We are aware that if we don’t want the development cooperation to simply be a drop in the ocean, we will need a lot of perseverance. Creating a good and learning friendly environment and ensuring that children can visit a school are long-term and consist goals of our association.