Applying for a grant

STOP PRESS.    TWO APPLICATION “WINDOWS”:

  • 1st October to 15th November 2019  – water and sanitation projects
  • 15th February to 31st March 2020  – no theme decided on at present

Ghana School Aid is very sorry to announce that it is unable to accept any applications for grants outside the two “windows” listed above.  The Executive Committee proposal to offer a limited number of “windows” for applications was endorsed by attendees at our June AGM.  The reason is the large number of applications we are receiving.  We seem to be the victim of our own success, and, as more schools hear about us, we, of course, receive more applications.  Those who regularly consult our website will notice that the 1st October to 15th November 2018 window has been removed.  We are very sorry about this, but it is our only way of addressing the large number of applications we have received.  We have some 15 applications in hand that we have not yet been able to consider, and these will be addressed in January 2019.

We have decided to adopt a themed approach.  For certain windows we ask for applications that only fall into a particular category.  We are restricting the October to November 2019 window to projects involving water and sanitation.  Ideas for future themes include “teaching resources” and “sports facilities”.

Please also bear in mind our priorities:  education in the Northern regions of Ghana, and the education of girls. 

If you wish to prepare an application for a grant for your school, please read the instructions below very carefully.

Would your project be eligible for a grant from Ghana School Aid?
Please read the notes below.

What do we fund? 

  • We mainly make grants to public sector (including faith-based) Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, and Teacher Training and Vocational Training Schools or Centres.
  • We fund projects across Ghana, but wish to give special support to education in the Northern Region, Upper East Region and Upper West Region.
  • We seek to support the educational needs of all young people.  However, we recognise a particular need to support women’s and girls’ access to education.
  • Grants can cover building materials, essential equipment like furniture, books and writing materials, and basic computing or technical equipment.
  • We also support School Links between Ghanaian and British schools to enable exchange and new experiences for young people in both countries.
  • We may occasionally identify, develop and support specific innovative projects that have the potential for a wider positive impact on education in Ghana overall.
  • In all our work we seek to support local efforts that aim to help Ghanaian children acquire a sound education in order to take their place in Ghanaian society.

Do we fund computers and solar panels?

Although we wish to encourage schools to pursue their ambitions, we have found that the infrastructure and maintenance funding needed for computers and solar panels are rarely present, and that investment in these items can be wasted at the present time.  We prefer to fund more clearly sustainable projects such as building repairs and improvement, toilets, school furniture, and teaching materials.

What do we not fund?

  • Private schools or colleges whose diplomas and curricula are not recognised by the public education authorities.
  • Volunteer work and placements.
  • Costs of education for individual students – we do not award bursaries for fees or living expenses.
  • General community or village development projects.
  • An institution’s general on-going costs, e.g. electricity bills, staff salaries.

When and how do we make decisions?

GSA Executive Committee meets about four times a year to discuss applications.  We review as many applications as we can, but sometimes we have to defer discussions if we are overwhelmed.  Also, at times we have to close our doors until our backlog is cleared and via the website we announce the date of when we can receive new applications.  Upon receipt of your application we will give you an estimate of when we can submit it to the Executive Committee.  PLEASE SEE THE NOTICE ABOVE REGARDING “WINDOWS” FOR APPLICATIONS.

Your application

Are you now sure that your application is appropriate for Ghana School Aid?  GSA is a small charity funded by individual donations.  The grants we are able to give are modest:  usually between £500 and £2000 (roughly between 3000 and 12000 Ghana Cedis).  We are not able to fully fund major building projects, although we may help towards their completion.  We never fund on-going costs such as staff salaries or individual students’ fees.

Answers to the questions below will help us to establish whether we can support your project. We need to understand the problem you have, what attempts you have made to solve it, and how we might be able to help.  For follow-up applications, we have to be able to assess how much progress has been made and whether our previous grant was well-spent and well-followed up.
Especially from more developed (or established) organisations or applicants, we ask for high quality applications, and reporting.

This is what we need:

General information

  • Your name and your role in relation to the project.
  • The name of the Headteacher or Director of the organisation for which you are making an application to GSA.
  • The name of the organisation (school or college or other body) and what Region it is in, in Ghana.
  • Details about the organisation.  If a school or college, which age-groups are covered; how many pupils are there;  how many people are on the teaching staff;  is it run by the Ghana Education Authority or is it a private initiative?
  • For a private school or college, do pupils follow the GES curriculum and examination systems?  Is the school registered with the GES?  Is the school run on a not-for-profit principle?
  • Has your school or organisation received funding from GSA before, and if yes, when and for what purpose?
  • Please give the bank details for money transfer, which we will need if your application is successful.

The project

  • What are your specific aims for the present application?
  • What groups of people (e.g. the parent-teacher association) have been involved in the planning and how?
  • For large projects, what is the final aim of the project, and when do you hope to complete it?
  • Please provide some photographs of the school or college showing how a grant from GSA might help solve the problem.

Budget

  • What is the total, lowest, cost in Ghana Cedis of the project?  THIS IS ESSENTIAL!  The estimate you send us should be the result of obtaining estimates from at least two different providers to ensure you are getting value for money.
  • How  exactly do you plan to spend the money? How much on labour; how much on equipment; how much on raw materials?
  • Ghana School Aid may only be able to grant you a proportion of what you are requesting. What ideas have you for funding the rest?
  • Please tell us which charity is supporting you already, and/or who else you have applied to for support.

Impact on local community and sustainability

  • What is the predominant occupation of adults in the village or town where the school is situated?
  • Is the village or town community actively supporting the school?  Will the community volunteer to help with the project if GSA can help fund it?
  • Once the project is complete, how will you make sure that it is properly looked after and maintained?

Risks
For large projects, what are the main risks to the success of the project, and how do you envisage dealing with them?

Supervision and reporting

  • Who will be responsible for supervising the project on a day-to-day basis?
  • Is this the same person who will be reporting on the project, and if not, who is responsible for the reporting? Please note that GSA believes that it is essential that women should play an equal part with men in the conception and running of a project and in the management and staffing of schools, and looks for evidence of this in project proposals and reports.
  • For large projects we will require an annual report that describes how the funding has helped you achieve what you planned, and how you see the project progressing year-on-year.  We are looking for clear priorities.

Safeguarding Children Policy

We are obliged, under European law, to spell out to you our Safeguarding Children Policy and ask you to comply with it.  You will find the Policy in the News section.  If your application is successful, we will ask you to confirm that you have read it, and will comply with it.