Lawra District: is a rural administrative area of 1,000 sq km in the Upper West Region of Ghana, The Upper West is the poorest and most underdeveloped Region of Ghana, heavily dependent on agriculture; we are working with the Ghana Education Sevice (GES) in Lawra District to try and raise the quality and standard of education for all.
There are 170 schools: 95% have no electricity, 47% have no water supply, only 6 schools have any computers, just one has a photocopier. 11,000 (41%) pupils have no seat upon which to sit. There is a severe lack of sanitation facilities; this means that on average over 180 pupils share one toilet hole and 380 per urinal. Considering that these facilities are sometimes also used by the communities puts a further stress on them.
We won’t regale you with tales of woe about the huge task which is faced by the dedicated Lawra GES staff with whom we work, we will get straight to the point and say that we are beginning to come across small and large projects which could make a big difference, we hope that you might like to give us some help! The one thing that we can guarantee is that any financial support will go wholly to the beneficiaries and we will provide the evidence accordingly.
If you would like to assist, in any way, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
ONE KEY PROJECT WE ARE TRYING TO GET UNDERWAY: The supply of Basic Play Equipment to Kindergarten (Nursery/Infant) Schools: this can be purchased in Ghana if funds can be found, or good play toys shipped out here would be equally valuable; Brutu Kindergarten (below) is typical of the 70 Kindergartens in the District.
CLICK ON EITHER PICTURE BELOW TO SEE A SLIDESHOW OF A TYPICAL KINDERGARTEN IN THIS AREA:
OTHER EVOLVING PROJECTS
The Teachers' Resource centre where we are based has, at present, very limited resources and most of the schools in the area have almost nothing at all. We have a few projects which we are looking at which could begin to address some of these needs. It would help us to focus our efforts if we had some idea of the type of projects with which any of our friends and colleagues, and /or organisations might be interested in offering support.
Project 1: Providing Story Books for Schools
Project 2: Providing Subject Resource and Topic books for Teachers
Project 3: Providing Computers for the Teacher’s Resource Centre:
Project 4: Enabling Access to the Internet
Project 5: Downloading Resources from the Web and Printing them for Teachers
Project 6: The 'Big One'- Getting Computers and Electricity into Schools.
Project 7: Books for the Community Library.
Project 1: Providing Story Books for Schools
Most Nursery/ Kindergarten or Primary schools have no reading/library books at all!
Would you like to help to provide suitable new or very good condition second hand story books suitable for Nursery/Reception and Infant age groups which can be lent out to schools? i.e. Large books which teachers can use for reading to their class to encourage use of the English language (English is the language of the education system in Ghana.) These coupled with work sheets etc will help enormously in the teaching of reading.
Project 2: Providing Subject Resource and Topic books for Teachers:
Teachers in Lawra District have very few, if any, Resource books to assist them with their teaching.
Would you like to help? : to provide the books that teachers need to make learning interesting and relevant; books such as the Stanley Thorne, Scholastic, Belair publications etc. and science topic related books such as UK teachers would order from their local schools library.
These types of books are not available locally in Ghana and teachers cannot afford to purchase them on their low salaries. We would like to stock what we can in the TRC for teachers to consult and photocopy specific topics/photocopiable resources etc.
Project 3: Providing Computers for the Teachers' Resource Centre:
so that we can train teachers in ICT skills and thus encourage the use of computers in schools.
Would you like to help us to purchase a further 4 computers to add to our current 4? We would then be able to train many more teachers.
Good second-hand imported computers are available for about £150 in Accra (Ghana’s capital – 800km away) and it would be wonderful to be able to purchase some in Ghana and to fund their transport costs from Accra to Lawra (approx £150). The roads are very poor here and it takes two days to transport goods from Accra to Lawra!
Project 4: Enabling Access to the Internet at our Teachers' Resource Centre and in Schools
Lawra District has no Internet access which reinforces the already significant disadvantages that this area suffers. Teachers, schools and the local community could benefit significantly from having access to the Internet.
Would you like to help to secure Internet Access?
Internet Access is likely to arrive in Lawra in the next 12 months; the cost to the Teachers' Resource Centre (TRC – our work base) will be approximately £350 (cables, router and Internet Service Provider costs) and about £10 per month thereafter. This is an impossible sum by local standards; schools can most certainly not afford it. Sponsorship to fund Internet access, for our centre and/or specific schools would be really useful; we could credit the sponsorship source.
Project 5: Downloading Resources from the Web, Printing and Distributing to Teachers.
Only a few schools have computers, none has a photocopier, and none has access to the Internet so they cannot download or print resources for themselves.
Would you like to help with funds to enable us to download and print off teacher resources, freely available from excellent websites on the Internet and to then distribute in a suitable and hardwearing format to schools? Most teachers do not have resource books for the main subjects that they teach and with your assistance, the TRC could provide a valuable service.
A typical spiral bound Science teaching resource comprising 25 pages would cost approx £3/copy
Project 6: Using Computers (as a Trojan horse) to get Electricity into Schools.
There are 170 schools in Lawra District, only a handful of schools have any computers, and only 5% have electricity. There is recognition that computerisation is essential if young people and the local economy are not to continue to severely lag behind the rest of Ghana.
Would you like to help us to work with Lawra District Education Service to purchase computers for schools and to use this as a means of getting the District Assembly to put electricity into more schools?
Good second-hand imported computers are available for about £150 in Accra (Ghana’s capital – 800km away) and it would be wonderful to be able to purchase some in Ghana and to fund the transport costs from Accra to Lawra. The roads are very poor here and it takes two days to transport goods from Accra to Lawra!
We have made initial contacts with key people in the Lawra District (District Chief Executive, Director of Education etc) and there appears to be a very strong possibility that if we could get a ‘Funder/Sponsor’ to commit to a programme of providing funds for the computers, the District Assembly would provide the funding for installing electricity; this would transform the way some schools, and their immediate communities function.
We would Prepare a Costed Project Proposal
In our VSO role, we would prepare a project proposal that knitted together the ‘Sponsors’, the schools (a few to begin with, as Phase 1) their local Community Associations (PTA’s), the Lawra Education Service and the District Assembly. It would take us a few months to put the project together and then submit it to the District Assembly, but it would be really worthwhile and beneficial.
Project 7: Books for the Community Library:
The local Community Library is sadly lacking in any suitable books, reference, non-fiction and fiction either for children, teenagers or adults. The local library has a depressing collection of empty book-shelves in an otherwise reasonably suitable building. Books are not readily available in the Upper West area of Ghana.
Would you like to help us to stock the Community Library with suitable books and raise funds to cover the cost of transportation? – Rotary and other organisations please note web site - ‘Books for Africa’.