Ghana Together School Projects

Ghana is investing significantly in education. One sees few children in Axim playing on the streets or in the ocean during the school day.

Ghana instituted tuition-free primary through junior high school education some years ago. In Axim, that led to a challenge with over-crowding, half-day sessions, etc. So, we've focused on a number of school building renovations, seeing this as a major way to help children.

Community Development Vocational/Technical Institute Men's Dormitory

Community Development Vocational/Technical Institute Boys' Dorm

Completed in time for Sept term, 2016, this building renovation fills a vital need. CDVTI traditionally offered classes in culinary arts,catering, hairdressing, textile design, sewing and fashion design, etc. It's student body was mostly female.

Recently CDVTI added training in electrician, construction, fabrication/welding, computer science, etc. These classes appeal to young men. In order to help boys living beyond walking distance, we renovated a building to serve as a dormitory for 40 guys, including bunkbeds, and we included a toilet.

Axim All-Girls High School Building Renovation

AAGHS Bldg Renovation

In 2014 we worked with Western Heritage Home to fund and achieve the renovation of an old building on the AAGHS campus. They had a classroom building, a science room and a home economic rooms, and office space. The girls eat three meals a day, so they had a cookhouse for meal preparation.

But, the girls had no place to eat, assemble, or study, relax, discuss whatever it is that high school girls discuss!

The girls themselves cleared debris and cleaned up the building site. Ghana Together will provide tables and benches. The PTA group cleaned and painted the inside and is providing chairs for assembly.

WHH leaders and Headmistress Stella Adjei provided overall supervision.

Government "Methodist" School JHS Classroom Building

Methodist JHS Bldg

Completed in early 2014, this building renovation fills a vital need. The JHS classes were meeting on split sessions---half day only--bwith about 50 students in morning class and another 50 or so in the afternoon. WHH and school Headmistress Mrs. Abbey requested Ghana Together's help to renovate a dillapidated building on the campus.

Now all the JHS students attend school for a full day---vital for their educational progress and crucial to their passing exams to be admitted into Senior High School.

Here the students gather in front of their new classroom building.

Community Development Vocational Institute Women's Dormitory

CDVI Dormitory

CDVI is a vocational training school in Axim, preparing students, especially young women, for careers as seamstresses, hairdressers, caterers, marketing, purchasing, basic bookkeeping and money management, basic computer skills, women's health, child care and home management, and English language.

Since there is little affordable transportation, students mostly have to walk to school. Students from outlying villages who could benefit from vocational training need to be able to board near the school.

There was a dormitory, but it was unusable. Rained poured in through the roof, malarial mosquitos through the unscreened windows. "Stuff" hung from the ceiling. The floors were broken and dirty. Electrical installations were outdated and dysfunctional.

WHH and Headmistress Hajara Yukubu asked for help to renovate the dormitory. Now the dormitory will house about 50 students, mostly women.

Glory Hallelujah!!


Public School Roof

Catholic School RoofOur first school project was replacing a roof on a Public Primary School  in Upper Axim.

Jerome Chandler, one of our Directors, noticed the roof was bad, and even before Ghana Together was officially launched, managed to corral enough funds to get it repaired (shown here before repair).

Nearly ten years later, the school is going strong and during the tropical rainy season, the students are DRY!!


Primary School Desks

Boys carrying Anglican Desks

In 2009, on a visit to Axim, we noticed three classrooms completely empty of students at an obviously overcrowded Primary Public School.

On inquiry, we learned that although Ebenezer Mienza and his community of Ghanaian ex-pats in Maryland, USA had managed to repair the roof over the classrooms, there were no desks available. The school was on a waiting list.

Ghana Together worked with WHH to hire a local carpenter to make student desks, teacher desk and side table, and storage cabinet for two classrooms. The third room was funded by the Member of Parliament's Common Fund.

Here the boys carry their new desks to their classroom.


Anglican Crèche--a "Linking" Project

Creche ChildrenSt. Mary the Virgin's Anglican Church in Axim wanted to develop a crèche (pre-school) as a service project to poor families in Axim, especially given the low literacy rate of women (Moms) there. They communicated their desire to Ghana Together when we were in Axim, but how, given basically no resources except an old building being used as a storage shed?

We knew that Barry and Regina Lawler and their St Philip's Episcopal Church in Rochester, MI USA were looking for a service project, preferably in Africa. Voila! We facilitated communication and the two churches did all the work to create a new crèche (preschool) for Axim.

Creche BuildingSt. Mary's had the building and the children! Inspired by some of the ideas in our own Headstart schools, St Philip's raised funds to renovate one building, build a second one, and furnish both.

Meanwhile, St Mary's in Axim purchased building materials, worked with local carpenters, hired a teacher, figured out a reasonable payment scheme for parents, and generally took ownership and supervision of the crèche.

Creche WallIn 2010, Regina travelled to Axim with Maryanne Ward, of Ghana Together, with suitcases full of Montessori-type learning materials, which joined earlier shipments of materials, books, and even a DVD player complete with many learning disks. Regina gave a workshop (using the "big room" in the WHH Community Learning Center) on educational techniques for young children and how to use the materials.

The folks at St. Mary's watched a TV series that features a crèche in Accra, the capital city. They replicated the "alphabet wall" and other ideas from the program. (This also demonstrates the educational use Ghana makes of television.)

While Ghana Together is definitely not affiliated with any faith, we felt the goals of the two churches were within our own mission goals, and so were glad to provide contacts and facilitate communication.

Today about 50-60 very young children attend the crèche. Both churches have fulfilled their missions successfully. Barry and Regina on the US side, and Fr. John Dickson and his successor, Canon Samuel Ghartey on the Axim side, together with their respective congregations, can take satisfaction in a difficult project accomplished! St Mary's has formed a congregational committee to supervise and sustain the crèche, headed by Madame Hagar Quantson, a retired school headmistress.