January 2019 Grants Awarded

At our GSA committee meeting on 17th January, we awarded grants totaling £11,245 to the following eleven schools:  Kanvilli-Tawfikiya JHS;  Yilonaayili Anglican Primary School;  Tibung JHS, Northern Region;  King’s Academy, Eastern Region;  Kpachelo E/A Primary School, Nanton, Northern Region;  Karbo Primary School, UWR (towards the EducATE project there;  Asin Asamankese T.I Ahmadiyya Basic School, Central Region;  Dokykrom D/A Basic School, Brong Ahafo;  Aboagyaa-Nkwante AME Zion Basic School, Brong-Ahafo;  Sumaman SHS, Brong Ahafo;  Techimantia T.I. Ahmadiyya Basic School, Brong-Ahafo.

We still have six applications which will wait until our next meeting in April.

We will expect further applications, focusing on water and sanitation, during the next “window” 1st October to 15th November.

Grants awarded September 2018

In September we awarded grants totaling £13.700 to the following fourteen schools.  Hartley Trust Foundation School;  Sandema Project (UER);  Kings Academy, Etwereso;  Atwedie (Kenyasi No. 3) D/A Primary and JH School;  Kenyasi No 2 Methodist Primary School;  Esinianim No 2 D/A Basic School;  Asunsu No 2 Catholic Primary and JH School;  Asanteman L/A Primary School;  Wassa-Nkonya D/A Basic School;  Akim-Batabi Presbyterian School;  Aboabo L/A Basic School;  Suponso-Onamabi Basic School;  Offinso State A Primary School;  Kwaboanta D/A JH School.

The next window for applications will be 1st October to 15th November 2019 for projects involving water and sanitation.

“WINDOWS” FOR GRANT APPLICATIONS

In order to enable us to properly assess the great numbers of good grant applications we are receiving, we are introducing specific periods during which we will accept applications.  We are very sorry, but we will not accept applications outside these “windows”.  The next “windows” are as follows

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

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.

2018 AGM – Chairman’s Report

It has been a busy and very challenging year with record income and expenditure.  We have taken on several new projects, and demands for funding continue to increase.  According to official statistics provided by the Ghanaian Education Authorities, there are 18,655 junior and secondary schools in Ghana.  We have helped just over 100 of them.  This is a clear sign as to what a huge task we have:  our contributions have been a mere drop in the ocean, but to the 100+ fortunate schools, our efforts have meant such a lot.  We must go on.

By now you should have received your copy of our Newsletter which gave prominence to our long-standing founder member and treasurer, Stanley Anthony, who sadly died last year.  Stanley was passionate about the achievements of Ghana School Aid and he remained an active supporter right to the end.  He leaves a huge gap which will never be filled.  Full details of Stanley’s life are included in the special obituaries in the Newsletter as well as on our website.  Sadly, two others of our long-standing members also died during 2017, namely David Heaton and John Urquhart Burn.  Both David and John gave generously over the years and they will be missed at our annual reunions.

Indira Ghandi, in an address to the people of India in 1974, stated that women’s education is almost more important than the education of boys and men.  She added, “I do not mean in India, but all the world, and women’s education seems to have been neglected in so many countries.’  We at Ghana School Aid are concentrating our efforts on women, particularly in rural areas.  If Ghana is to become what we want it to become, with a modern, rational society and firmly based on what is good in their ancient traditions, and in the soil, Ghana needs a thinking public, thinking young women who are not content to accept what comes from any part of the world but are willing to listen to it, to analyse it and to decide if it is to be accepted or whether it is to be rejected  – and this is the sort of education Ghana wants, which enables its young people in this changing world to be able to contribute to it.  So we continue with the hope that all of Ghana will be aware that no job is out of reach of those with a good education.

Some people think that only by taking up very high jobs, you are doing something important or you are doing a national service.  But we all know that the most complex machinery will be ineffective if one small screw is not working as it should, and that screw is just as important as any big part.  It is the same in national life.  There is no job that is too small, there is no person who is too small.  Everybody has something to do.  And if he or she does it well, then the country will run well.

In our superstition, we have thought that some work is dirty work.  For instance, housework has been regarded as lowly.  Only some people can do it, others should not do it.  Now take the example of manure:  we find that manure is one of the most valuable things that the world has today and many of the world’s economies are shaking because there is not enough fertilizer – and not just chemical fertilizer but ordinary manure and all those sorts of things which were considered dirty.  Now we see how beautifully balanced the world was, with everything fitting in with something else. Everything, whether dirty or small, has a purpose and every person is important.

‘There is no job that is too small;  there is no person who is too small.’

So I hope that all of us who have this great advantage of education will not only do whatever work we can, keeping Ghana’s interests in view, but will make our own contribution to creating peace and harmony, and bringing beauty and success to the lives of our people and Ghana.  I think this is the special responsibility of the women in Ghana.  We want to do a great deal for the country, but we have never regarded Ghana as isolated from the rest of the world.  What we want to do is to make a better world. So we have to see and analyse Ghana’s problems in the perspective of the larger world problems.

Last year I announced that I was considering relinquishing my position as chairman and I took the opportunity to ask for a volunteer replacement.  To date, no-one has come forward.  So I am using this opportunity to make another appeal.  For my part, I will willingly be available to see through the installation of any successor.  I must add that every member of the executive committee has been magnificent throughout the year and this has made my duties much less demanding.  So I end by thanking everyone, especially Penny Sewell for organising today, Jo Hallett for her coordination efforts, Nigel Dennis for being such a useful treasurer and Jennifer MacDougall for producing our Newsletter.  thank you everyone.

Ted Mayne, Chairman.

 

2018 AGM Proceedings – summary

We held our 2018 AGM and Reunion lunch in the crypt of St. Mary’s Church, Islington.  23 people attended.  The Hon Chair gave his report; the Hon Treasurer took us through the figures, highlighting particularly the legacies we have received; the Hon Secretary summarised our activities since the last AGM, which have been manifold and, as far as we can see, very successful.  As a way of stemming the flow of applications for grants, attendees expressed support for the idea of having two “windows” of about 6 weeks annually for grant applications.  Also mentioned were our policies about child protection, data protection, and the fact that we have blocked advertising from appearing on our website.  The committee was reelected nem con and we are pleased that Rita de Graft and Beatrice Monney will be co-opted on to the committee.  We had an excellent lunch provided by Carluccios, and time to view the exhibition of photos and texts of school projects completed this year.  In the afternoon, we first of all held the annual raffle, with very many of us winning prizes.  Then we were delighted to hear Ms Afua Gaisie, the new Head and her Deputy, Ms Grace Boakye-Dankwah, of the Education Section of the Ghana High Commission, who talked to us about their work and promised to support GSA in any way they can.  Jo Hallett updated us on the Let’s Read project.  Jane Scott, dressed in a beautiful Ghanaian two-piece dress made by apprentices at Wulugu, gave an encouraging report on that project;  Patrick Heinecke reported on the Sandema project, mentioning their use of solar power (wonderful) but battery maintenance is a problem. Rita de Graft and Mary Owusu talked about the new library at Hia, with most books now catalogued and being used by several schools, Penny Sewell reported that the Joe Bedu school at Daffor-Awudome goes from strength to strength,  We discussed reasons why we are getting so many applications for basic equipment.  Many factors are involved, among them the government’s feeding programme and the fact that secondary schooling is free.  Both policies have driven up numbers of enrolled pupils, putting huge pressure on schools to accommodate more pupils without the extra resources needed from central government.  We ended with tea and biscuits and hope that more supporters will be able to come next year.

Grants awarded May 2018

At our committee meeting we awarded grants amounting in total to £7,630, to the following ten schools:  Kenyasi No. 2, Brong Ahafo;  Ahwerese Primary School, Eastern Region;  Lingbung-Gurugu and Lingbung-Gundaa Primary Schools, Northern Region;  Salamba Zion and Malshegu Ahmadubni Hambali Primary Schools, Northern Region;  Kayoro Wuru E/A (English-Arabic) and Kayoro D/A (District Assembly) Primary Schools;  Anamase Presbyterian Primary School, Eastern Region.

We in fact discussed the applications of 22 schools, which had put in requests amounting in total to over £30,500.  We are a small charity and simply do not have the resources to meet such demand.  Also, we have to be careful to spread our grants fairly evenly across the country.  We had, therefore, and regretfully, to turn down twelve valid applications. 

Leslie Beckett 1929-2017

Leslie, and his wife Mary, were science graduates.  In 1955 they sailed to the Gold Coast, where they stayed for over six years, teaching science at Mfantsipim School.  He and Mary were founder members and keen supporters of Ghana School Aid, and always maintained a lively interest in Ghana and many other countries.

Barbara Baddoo 1924-2017

Barbara Baddoo was English but lived most of her life in Ghana.  She and her doctor husband were posted to several different hospitals there;  they had five children,which did not stop Barbara’s career teaching English and writing several books, of which an autobiography entitled “To Ghana with Love”.  She was 92 when she died last year.  A truly remarkable lady.

John Bernard Hampshire 1927-2017

John Hampshire was born in Yorkshire, served in the Royal Navy and later qualified as a teacher of Geography.  In the mid-1950s he was appointed an Education Officer in the Gold Coast, living with his wife Joyce in Juaso, Ashanti-Akim and concerned mainly with Primary and Middle Schools, of which there were 228 in 1959.  He retained a lifelong interest in Ghana.  He produced several textbooks for Ghana, and, later, was a keen supporter of Ghana School Aid, leaving us a legacy in his will.  It is such gestures as this that enable GSA to continue supporting schools in Ghana.  We are all extremely grateful.  At the Memorial Tea, held in the village hall at Strensall, Yorkshire, (John had been a prime raiser-of-funds to build the hall), nearly £500 was raised for GSA.

AGM & REUNION LUNCH REMINDER

THURSDAY 14TH JUNE in St. Mary’s Church Crypt, Upper Street, Islington, London, 11am to 4pm.  The cost to you of £32 includes a delicious lunch!  All are welcome, but you will need to book your place in advance.  Please contact info@ghanaschoolaid.org, and I will email you the booking form.    Thank you.  (Posted by AGM organiser, Penny)