Ghana and Togo Projects

Ghana and Togo Projects

 

 

Pray             Teach              Give

 
Over the last 4 years we have been actively involved in the Circuit Water Project in the Jukwa circuit in Ghana. During this time we have helped organise and support lots of Circuit events from Barn Dances, table top sales, and Quiz evenings, to sponsored walks.  Wonderfully, the circuit raised and sent to this project just over £31,000 to buy a delivery vehicle, construct a well, and later help in the building of a manse. A big thank you goes out to all those who have contributed in any way towards the fund raising. Following the successful conclusion to this overseas project the Circuit has decided to support another project but this time one in our local area, further details will be released shortly.

In light of the changes to the Circuit project, and following the responses to our Church’s vision questionnaire together with discussions at various Church meetings, at Dorset Gardens we have decided to focus for the next 2 years on fund raising and giving items to two overseas projects.

The projects we will be supporting will be the Joy School in Ekon, Ghana and the Togo Fabric enterprise. Some of you will be familiar with these projects through the work of Chris Thompson, others may not, and so we felt it was important to share with you how these projects came about and how they have developed over time.

Joy School in Ekon, Ghan

From 1967-1969 Chris Thompson worked for VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) and the British Council, teaching at Ghana College in Northern Ghana. Following two personal tragedies his sister Trish suggested that he should go back to Ghana for a break to see where he used to work.  It was in December, 2001 so he took shoe boxes with little Christmas gifts in.

These were given to children in poor families. On his next visit he met Richard Dadzie, who had just completed a degree and who had a real passion for educating disadvantaged children. Richard took Chris to his village, Ekon. Chris was shocked by the poverty in this poor part of Ghana and felt God calling him to support Richard in fulfilling a dream of opening a school so that the poor children in the village could be educated. He started by using his own money and then other people he spoke to caught the vision and started to contribute funds and provide advice

Togo Fabric enterprise in Lomé, Togo

On his third visit to Ghana in 2005 he met a young man, Kali Mawule, a Togolese man who was selling garments he had designed and made. Kali told him he was selling them in Ghana as he would get more money than he would in his native Togo. Chris went with Kali to Togo to see where he was living only to find again he too was living in poverty in one room with no running water, no electricity and just a mattress on the floor. He was using a hand sewing machine to make the garments. Like Richard he is also had a dream of developing his talents to become a successful designer, passing on his skills to others through a training programme thus helping them too get out of poverty.

Kali so enthused Chris that he decided to support him. After speaking to others and showing them Kali’s designs, they too wanted to support the projects.

Since these early beginnings both projects in Ekon, Ghana and Lomé, Togo are continuing to develop.

How the projects have developed

Joy School

2002 – Temporary building housing 200 children, aged between 3-11 years old

2003 – First foundations to the new school building.

2005 – Completion of the original school building.

2008 – Both the premises and standard of Education was assessed by the Ghana education board who made recommendations.

2008-09 – Completed building in compliance with the recommendations of the Ghana education board: Toilet block and showers, separated classrooms.

2010 – Junior High school begins in rented building for children aged between 11-14 years old.

2011 – Purchase of Ghanaian educational text books.

2013 – Commenced pig and chicken farm to help finance Joy school.

2014 – Built toilet block for Junior High school

20‚Äč16 - Comenced work on the new canteen and kitchen. The work was completed in June and included a new drainage system.

2016 - The school purchased new desks for the canteen.
 
2017 - The project receives local funding to build the a new Junior High School next to the the Canteen. Works begins.
 

Togo Fabric enterprise in Lomé

2005 – Began project in rented premises with 2 Apprentices in Lomé

2007 – Moved to new premises in the same town

2008 – The project expanded and moved to larger premises across from the existing project. This allowed for 5 apprentices in year 1 and 5 in year 2.

2008 – Purchased land in Lomé

2008 – 2015 The building of a 4 storey premises housing. The existing rented building is being converted into a Nursery to support the project.

 

What we hope to do?

Joy School, Ekon:

Whist the school benefits from wonderful views over Ekon and the sea it has a downside which was identified during their rainy season (April-July). The rain-water which travels down the hillside is beginning to erode the bank from both sides. This has meant the concrete stairs which were built a few years ago are crumbing away and it also puts the whole existing school building at risk if nothing is done.

The solution is two-fold: first, to install drains on one side of the building which will take away the rain water into the main village drainage system. Secondly, building supporting walls on the other side of the building. The work will secure the future of the school and needs to be completed before the kitchen and canteen.

The main part of the project is to build a kitchen with a store room and a covered canteen space where the children can eat. This space would be used not only by Joy School but the Junior high school as well. This will help greatly in the children’s education, as giving them a good meal once a day will help them to stay healthy and improve learning. Equally a dedicated space for eating which will help in the clearing up after lunch, which sometimes impacts upon the afternoon teaching session as they sometimes eat in their classroom.

So we are looking to raise £3,000 to install a new drainage system, supporting walls and a covered canteen area and kitchen. The full cost of the project is in the region of £11,000 and so the difference will be topped up by a church grant.

Togo Fabric enterprise:

They are training apprentices in the art of designing and making clothes. On qualifying these apprentices are given a sewing machine and some funding to set up independently and become self-sufficient. The enterprise is looking for sewing equipment to help support the project.

Some of the apprentices are unable to start or complete their training due to family commitments. So the enterprise has decided to set up a Nursery for the apprentices’ children.

The enterprise needs:-

Buttons,   Zips,   Reels of cotton,   Sewing needles for the machines,   Children’s books (English or French),   Puzzles and games.


So, we are looking to support them by continuing to collect items for the fabric project and the new nursery.  Items can be placed in our display in the foyer.

Update on Fund Raising

The final pennies are being counted up but we have now raised over £3,000. Thank you to all those purchased the Christmas card designed by Shirley Veater.  We also held an Auction of promises, a Summer BBQ and Carlton Hill Primary School held a Christmas Concert at Dorset Gardens in aid of our project. 

The building work commenced in January 2016, click here to see the latest photo's. The work was completed during the summer months.

Following an extra appeal the School has now purchased some new desks for the Canteen. Thank you to several Methodist Churches that helped us to raise £800 in such a short space of time.