Gbanjon AME Zion School

Here are some documents and pictures showing how Salifu Baako, one of our representatives in Ghana enabled this school, through GSA, to obtain some essential school furniture.

Baaku meeting the school officials

A class with no desks

The new desks in use – 4 children to one desk

The Headteacher’s letter of thanks

Some members of the PTA with some teachers

Some feedback from Gung AME Zion Primary School and Zugu Dabogni Technical Institute

We have received the following very pleasing documents from Salifu Baaku, one of our representatives in Ghana.

GUNG AME ZION PRIMARY SCHOOL

The three pictures show the state of the doors before work was carried out, then afterwards, and finally some pupils in a classroom with no desks.

ZUGU DABOGNI TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

Here we have the Headteacher’s letter to Baaku, then the desks arriving, the handing over, the happy students and finally the happy staff!

AGM 2022

We held our AGM by zoom only on 16 June. About 20 people attended. I can report that we will continue with the present application for grants procedure, asking our representatives in Ghana to be intermediaries. So, no “windows” for the present, because we do not have the resources to meet demand. Your executive committee was re-elected, nem con, and we enjoyed a great slide presentation from our Hon Sec, Jo Hallett. The latest accounts can be viewed on our accounts page.

A message of support

I have permission to reproduce here the kind words of supporter Miles Stevenson from Sheffield, Yorkshire:

Dear Penny, Many thanks for the latest Newsletter. It is a huge pleasure to read about all the excellent work which Ghana School Aid is doing. I really like the little fundraising flyers you have included… indeed I have sent one to a friend already to encourage him to donate (we “swapped” charities after a 20km walk through the Peak District: I’ll do “bees” if he will do “Ghana”!). I think it would be a v. good idea to continue including a couple of fundraising flyers with future mailshots. A very good way of getting your supporters to spread the word. […] I wish all of you well, especially your new Chair – a great person to recruit. Best wishes from Yorkshire, Miles.

GRANTS

Your committee has met recently and was able to discuss our finances. They are healthy but would not be able to satisfy the great demand coming from Ghanaian schools. Regretfully, we cannot therefore open any windows for applications. Instead we rely on personal recommendation, particularly through our representatives in Ghana. The following schools have sent us heartening feedback (photos to follow shortly): Aperade SHS; Aruofa DA BasicSchool; Diasibe AME Zion Primary School; Walewale Technical College; Kyekywere Basic School.

We were able to allocate grants to the following: Hia Community Library; Kyekywere Basic School; Manhyia Basic School; Ahwerase Presbyterian Primary School. Those were follow-up grant to enable completion of a project. The four new grants were for: Gbanjon AME Zion Primary School; Kanvilli Presbyterian JHS; Gung AME Zion Primary School; Zugu Dabogni Technical Institute. We look forward to receiving feedback from those institutions in due course.

IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT THE A.G.M. 16TH JUNE

There are so few registrations for the AGM that the committee has decided to cancel the venue and hold the meeting as a hybrid, using ZOOM. The plan is for the committee to meet in person and all other participants join via ZOOM at 2pm British Summer Time on Thursday 16th June 2022. If you haven’t already done so, please email either Penny Sewell or [email protected] to ensure that you will receive the link.

This means a considerable loss of income for GSA as the AGM and Reunion Lunch are traditionally a fund-raising event. Please consider making a donation to GSA. You can do easily by using the link provided elsewhere on this website. Thank you very much in advance.

Tamale School

At last, the Ken Strong washroom at Tamale School has been completed and is now in service. The pictures and texts speak for themselves.

Report from Baako to Ghana School Aid of the commissioning of the Ken Strong Girls Washroom at TAMASCO

It is a great pleasure for me to inform you that the Ken Strong Washroom built at Tamasco was successfully commissioned today. Both the teaching staff and the students especially the girls, thronged around the ultra-modern toilet facility built for them in memory of Ken Strong to witness the ceremony. Also present were the media personnel who covered the proceedings in both English and the local language (Dagbani) to broadcast on radio and television. The radio station present was Radio Tamale and two TV stations, they are the Sagani TV and the GTV.

After I delivered my speech and handed over the keys on behalf of the Strong family, to the Headmaster Rev Eddy Azeka, on his part expressed gratitude to the Strong family and the Ghana school Aid. He explained how lack of the washroom was a worry to the girls in the past and they had to be moving faraway to free themselves but now that they have this built for them will surely improve their well-being. He advised them on the proper way to use the facility- what to do and what not to do.

The Girls Prefect on behalf of her colleagues thanked the Ken Strong family and GSA and assured us that they will put the facility to good use and make sure they maintain it well.

On my part when asked what I have to tell the beneficiaries, I replied that I urge them keep the facility well for their own use and for the use of generation to come after they have completed and left.

A lot of photographs were taken and all the girls were happily rushing in with smiles when it came to moving in to inspect the facility.

In all it was very successful not only for Tamasco but also for the Ken Strong family and Ghana School Aid. It is my hope that Karola and Claire will derive pleasure from the successful completion of this great project for the target group.

We closed when it was a few minutes to midday.


THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY AND COMMISSIONING OF THE KEN STRONG WASHROOM

My name is Alhassan Salifu Baako. I am the representative of Ghana School Aid in the north of Ghana.

I would like to tell you a bit about the history of this building.

Ken Strong, from the UK, was a teacher at this school in the 50’s and 60’s. During his five years here, he developed a deep love for the school and for Tamale.

His passion was to impart knowledge and skill to the young people he taught.

Ken died some years ago, but in 2019, his widow, Karola, and his daughter, Claire, gave a significant donation to Ghana School Aid to be used for the benefit of this school.

The headteacher at that time identified an urgent need for a girls’ washroom in this location.

Plans were drawn up, and builders were brought in.

There have been a number of hurdles on the way, but now we are looking at this excellent facility designed to improve the health, wellbeing and good spirits of the girls living at the school. The donors are very impressed by the photos they have seen and are delighted that the washroom is now completed.

Ghana School Aid wishes to thank all the people who have worked so hard to bring this project to fruition. In particular, the Headteacher, Rev. Eddy Azeka and his senior staff team, who have monitored the project and expedited the work as it progressed.

On behalf of Karola and Claire Strong and of Ghana School Aid, it gives me great pleasure to declare the Ken Strong Girls’ Washroom officially commissioned and open.

AGM THURSDAY 16 JUNE 2022 – NOW BY ZOOM ONLY

Our 2022 reunion will be held in the crypt of Saint Mary’s Church, Upper Street. Islington, London, N1 2TX. After coffee at 11am, we will be starting with the AGM at 11.30, followed by lunch at 1pm and tea later in the afternoon. During the afternoon we hope to have talks as usual by members who have recently visited Ghana. If you would like to give an update on a Ghana school project you have links with, please contact me to book a 10-minute slot. A projector and screen will be provided. The charge for attendance will be £35 per head. If you would like to add to that sum a donation to GSA, that would be particularly welcomed. Please contact me by email by Monday 6th June at the latest if you would like to attend. We plan to establish a Zoom link, for which there will be no charge, but we will need your email address in advance.

My email is [email protected]

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sad news

I have, alas, two deaths to report.

ERIC EARLE

1925 – 23/12/2021.Eric was a founder member of Ghana School Aid. He had been an Education Officer in Ghana from 1952 to 1961, I quote from a tribute to him by his dear friends Kofi and Floria Ohene.

“Mr Eric Earle was the Secretary at the London Institute of Education when I was a graduate student there 1985 to 1987, under a British Government Scholarship. Eric invited me to his office in 1986 and shared with me his previous work in Ghana as an Education Officer in Cape Coast, Ho and Accra, during the latter part of the colonial period. He disclosed his continued interest in Ghana and the concern of his and other colonial service colleagues about the post-colonial developments in Ghana, particularly on Education and the intention to raise funds to support Ghana schools in poor communities. Eric’s love and interest in Ghana, his initiatives and good works led to the establishment of Ghana School Aid (GSA) in 1986.

Mr Eric Earle, my good friend and mentor, as we bid farewell we know that you have played your part by offering a lifetime of service to education and contributing to the growth and development of schools in Ghana. We will miss your friendship, good humour, humility, and desire to support the under privileged schools and society.”

The funeral service was well-attended. Eric’s four children were there, as well as his many grand-children. Wonderful tributes were read out, hymns were sung, blessings given. A good number of GSA committee members were at the funeral, but not Ted Mayne, our former chairman, as he had had a nasty fall and was hospitalised for a couple of days. We were all very impressed by the way the funeral was organised and by what we learned of the life of this outstanding Irishman, so full of energy and goodwill, an inexhaustible fount of knowledge about education and people in Ghana. We will truly miss him, and owe it to him to maintain his legacy to the best of our ability.

Here are pictures of the church service and the Committee members who attended the funeral:

Funeral of Eric Earle 24th January 2022
Funeral of Eric Earle 24th January 2022

LALAGE BOWN

Lalage was also in her nineties, a most energetic, clear-minded and observant woman. She was appointed Professor of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Glasgow. was awarded an OBE and no fewer than six honorary doctorates. She came to most of our Annual General Meetings and maintained wonderful support for GSA. She contributed much wisdom to our proceedings and, like Eric, will be sorely missed. Here is a summary of her professional life, written by a former colleague of hers:

Adult educator: advocate for the right for access to education, women’s literacy and decolonisation
Emeritus Professor Lalage Bown, OBE died in Shrewsbury hospital on 17 December 2021, aged 94, following a fall at home. An eminent women’s literacy advocate, she dedicated her life’s work to improving education for the disadvantaged, especially women, seeking to bring university opportunities to the widest possible sections of society.

Lalage was emersed in a tradition which regarded adult education as a catalyst for significant social change. Her ideas were informed by a post-war world in which many believed that the kind of injustices suffered under colonial rule had to end. But, beyond this, in her radical way, she also saw the need to develop new inclusive, post-colonial approaches to education, including the reform of university curricula. She devoted her life to this mission, inspiring and challenging all she met- professionals and learners- across many countries in Africa and Europe. (…)

After her studies, Lalage applied in 1949 for a resident tutor post based at the Department of Extra-Mural Studies of University College of the Gold Coast (subsequently Ghana). As an African colleague said, she chose to serve overseas, leaving behind the comfort and serenity of her environment for the more challenging terrain of Africa. During her interview, she was asked “Now Miss Bown, supposing you were to get the job and you were in the jungle in a car and your car broke down, how do we know you wouldn’t have a fit of hysterics?’’  She simply replied, “Well sir, if you don’t give me the job, you’ll never find out, will you?” She was given the job. (…)  At just 22, Lalage travelled via Senegal to Ghana where she became involved in teaching African literature and arts and helped to create the first African folk high school.

Over a period of 30 years in Africa she became the first field resident tutor in the Extra-Mural Department at Makerere University College in Uganda, and held various positions at the University of Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, the University of Zambia and the University of Lagos. In Zambia.

Legacy

Professor Lalage Bown was an outstanding communicator: she wrote, edited or contributed to around 26 books and monographs plus around 86 articles. In her leisure time she enjoyed travel, reading and entertaining friends.  She was living proof of the adage “If you never stop learning, you never grow old.” One colleague said if he were to highlight one special characteristic of Lalage’s among so many, it would be her open, friendly, and collaborative attitude to working with other people. He adds that she was not self-seeking or competitive but enjoyed bringing out the best in others- she was interested in and valued every contribution, yet if she disagreed with you, she would let you know in a straight way. (…) In the words of one of her African colleagues, Lalage was a trail blazer in the global Adult Education movement. Her commitment to, and insight about, democratic adult education was unbounded. She succeeded in giving Adult and Continuing Education a recognised profile as a major field of education policy in Europe, Africa and beyond.