LAWRA PROJECTS - What has been achieved since May 2007, what we aim to do by April 2009.

(Feedback on some of the work, being undertaken by Ruth, Jenny and Nigel on VSO in Lawra District, Ghana, sponsored by friends and colleagues in Galway, Ireland, and the UK)

Update on Projects May 2007 - August 2008

Plans for September 2008 - April 2009

Enabling A 'model' Kindergarten in each of the 10 Lawra Districts - now Ruth's (VSO Colleague) project.
EnablingTeachers' access to the Internet, to download, reproduce and useTeaching Resources
Improving the Teachers' Resource Centre's computer facilities to enable Teachers and students to gain ICT skills
Encouraging adults with a low level of Literacy to engage in Learning
Supporting women in Tuori (our nearest, and very poor village) through establishing a small development fund to provide small grants/loans to enable purchases of essential equipment/materials/services which can improve the quality of life for women in the village.

Fund raising

Nov 2008:Ruthin Inner Wheel (a sister organisation to Ruthin Rotary Club) has raised a brilliant £900 which has led us to consider adding an extra project to our list - see below.

November 2008:Friends in Ruthin have donated 500 which we are devoting to supporting Adult Literacy programmes in village communities

Dave and Jan raised another 400 for Lawra Projects through running the Edinburgh Marathon
.

Students at Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin, North Wales raised a fantastic £500

PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER 2008 - APRIL 2009

A 'model' Kindergarten in each of the 10 Lawra Areas - now Ruth's project.
Funding:identified, all via Ruth's (VSO colleague) Galway supporters, to be confirmed (approx 4,000)
1€ = 1.3
£1 = 1.9
Intended use of the funding
Spent

A Classroom - Typical of Lawra Kindergartens

Play equipment being collected
The play equipment maker in Accra; but we hope to get as much as possible made in Lawra District.


Some of the equipment, that we wish to replicate,on display at the Teachers' Resource Centre (TRC) in Lawra.

 

Jenny and Ruth are working with Lawra Education Service to develop ‘model Kindergartens’in each of the 10 Lawra Districts, based on the successful Brutu Kindergarten pilot; but focusing on Teaching and Learning - not buildings.
There are logistical issues: we want to get as much equipment as possible made locally but we may still have to travel the 1600 km round trip to Accra to get some of the key items.

September 2008:
The intention is to provide educational play equipment, books and ‘cluster training’ for KG staff, in the effective use of the equipment.

October/November 2008:
First steps are: the sourcing of the equipment, the identification of the 9 additional 'model 'KG's; fixing the dates for the training,

December 2008- April 2009: Getting the play equipment in 'situ' and running the 'cluster training' for the staff from the surrounding KG's, at the 'model' KG's.

October 2008
Meetings have been held with the 10 key KG Headteachers and a plan has been agreed for the acquisition of, distribution and training in the use of the new equipment, and for the subsequent monitoring of its impact. Equipment should be received in Lawra before December 31st 2008, ready for cluster training to commence early in 2009.
January 2009
Significant funding has been received from donors in Ireland to enable the purchase of 10 complete sets of Kindergarten equipment similar to that supplied to Brutu. Ruth has devised a programme of training for the Kindergarten teachers which will assist them to make best use of the equipment for educational purposes
January 22nd 2009
The equipment has now arrived in Lawra ready to support the training of the teachers and subsequent distribution to the 10 key schools.

 
Enabling Teachers' access to the Internet to download, reproduce and use Teaching Resources
Funding: approx £500 for another modem and Internet subscription
1€ = 1.3
£1 = 1.9
Potential use of the funding
Spent

Limited access to the Internet has finally arrived in Lawra District; There are 170 schools: 95% do not have electricity, only 6 schools have any computers.
We need:

  • to purchase two modems @ 250 each, one for Lawra and one for Nandom area
  • 2 subscriptions to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), approx 240 each ,
  • purchase a new or second hand photocopier 5 - 10,000
  • Funding for 4 more reconditioned computers to enable Teachers and students to gain skills in ICT

Estimates

Internet =980
= £516
= 754€
Copier
= £2600 +
= 3850€
Computers
1900
£1000

With so few schools having electricity, reproducing vital learning resources for teachers is a key function of the Teachers' Resource Centre. Internet access will allow Teachers to identify and download resources.However, our photocopier is on its last legs and we would really like to replace it before we leave - we are researching possibilities and thought that we would also make it known on the web site - just in case!
 

October 2008:
We have just purchased a modem and Internet Access for 1 year for Lawra, at a cost of 580 (£305), we have also replaced the broken photocopier with a re-conditioned one at a cost of 2500 (£1316); using £500 sponsorship money from Ysgol Brynhyfryd in Ruthin (thanks to Ceri Foulkes/Ransom) and £400 from our friends Dave and Jan in Northwich. The TRC has put in £700 from its own very limited budget until we can replace it with further sponsorship. The key task now is to train people in the use of the new resources so that they will continue to be used effectively after our departure in April 2009.

580
2500
£1621

   
Improving the Teachers' Resource Centre's computer facilities to enable Teachers and students to gain ICT skills
Funding: £1,000 being sought
1€ = 1.3
£1 = 1.9
Potential use of the funding
Spent

We need to acquire funding for more computers (a good reconditioned one can be purchased here for about £250) to enable us to: teach ICT skills to the District’s Teachers and to give students an experience of computers, which they cannot get in school. ICT is a compulsory part of the schools’ curriculum but there is neither electricity nor computers – thus the TRC has a critical role to play in ensuring acquisition of ICT skills for all.

£1,000 would allow us to acquire 4 basic computers with software installed.
 

October 2008:
The key task now is to acquire more computers and to train people in the use of the new resources so that they will continue to be used effectively after our departure in April 2009.

 

Encouraging Adults, with a low level of Literacy, to engage in Learning
Funding: £2,000 being sought
1€ = 1.3
£1 = 1.9
Potential use of the funding
Spent

Learning - under the Neem tree

October 2008.
Plans are at the stage of being costed.
We aim to run literacy programs over the next few months supported by a competition to identify the learners who have achieved the most. Motivational awards will be given to the most improved learners with the intention of then promoting those winners as role models within their community - and thus encouraging more adults to attend classes
Nigel is working with the Non-formal Education Department to encourage adults with low literacy levels to engage in Learning. The initial budget looks likely to be between £2000 - £4000.
 
January 2009: Literacy classes are under way.
We have received a donation of £500 from Julia and Berwyn in Ruthin which we are using to fund literacy classes in rural village communities. The farming/harvesting season is now coming to an end giving people (women especially) time to engage in learning. The literacy classes have started in earnest; there are 18 part - time community coordinators and 30 volunteer tutors involving approximately 600 students; 500 Ghana cedis (£265) will be used to provide fuel for the tutors to get out to the villages and kerosene for the paraffin lamps which they use to enable the classes to run (outside, under trees). Classes are located in 18 different rural communities.In February 2009 a process of selection of the most improved learners in each Community will commence; this will be followed by the selection of a 'Lawra District' winner who will then enter the Regional (June/July) and National (August) competition to synchronise with National and World Literacy Day celebrations. These events, and competitors will help to motivate other adults to engage in learning and improve their literacy skills.
950
£500
Supporting Village Women in the Development of Small Enterprises  
Funding: £900 from Ruthin Inner Wheel
1€ = 1.3
£1 = 1.9
Potential use of the funding
Spent
Women in village communities are tied to onerous, menial, but essential tasks, due to a lack of income. They are compelled to collect wood from the bush for fuel, walk long distances with huge containers of water on their heads, to and from the nearest borehole, and spend many hours hand grinding maize, nuts, millet etc with a mortar and pestel.

Consequently village women are almost all illiterate and have neither the time nor the energy to consider their own education and health. Income to the family could help relieve some of these burdens with significant social and economic impact.
£900
This fund will provide a resource for the women to draw upon to help them to set up small enterprises. A Women's Group will be set up to decide the rules and regulations for borrowing and re-paying, they will open their own bank account at the Lawra Agricultural Development Bank. Three of the group will be signatories to the account. The group will be supported by ourselves in the early days along with a Dagaare speaking officer from the local Ministry of Agriculture (MOFA)

New Bank Account for Song Taa Tuori

Deposited

£900

1,500

February 2009

The women have now formalised their group (named Song Taa Tuori - self help) and will soon begin inviting requests from village women and deliberating how much to loan, to whom, for what, for how long etc, etc.
We feel really pleased at this use of Ruthin Inner Wheel ‘s money, especially as we know that there are two extremely reliable and capable local Ghanaians, Eric and Denisia, who will continue to provide support.

Sept 2008/April 2009 : SUMMARY OF INCOME AND EXPENDITURE TO DATE
November 20th 2008
Total funds donated
£3500 (inc'd'g' £700 TRC)
Total funds committed (including £700 from the TRC) at November 20th


£3500


MAY 2007 - AUGUST 2008 PROJECT WORK REPORT

Brutu Kindergarten: Celebration of Project completion

PROJECT 1 - Basic Play Equipment and Books for Brutu Kindergarten
Funding: Source and how raised
Sum in £'s and Ghana Cedis
(₵)
Funding
1.9 =£1
Potential use of the funding - Progress to date
Spent

Typical of Brutu and Lawra Kindergartens

Play equipment being collected
January 5th 2008: A New Year present - Collecting the play equipment ready for the 800km journey to Lawra

Frodsham High School Students sponsored our mate Dave Bullock on a Mountain Bike event in the Clwydian Hills in North Wales .


Some of the equipment on display at the Teachers' Resource Centre (TRC) in Lawra.


£350

665

November 2007:Money received and in the bank. Meeting planned for January with Brutu Kindergarten PTA reps. Had informal discussions with GES (Ghana Education Service) Staff to pave the way. Our new VSO colleague Ruth, recently arrived from Ireland, is working with us/leading on this project as she lives in Nandom which is close to Brutu; Ruth also has sponsors in Ireland who might contribute to this potentially large project; we are using Brutu as a pilot, if we can make this one work there are 69 other Kindergartens to work on! We are considering how we might enable/skill/tool-up a local carpenter to make some of the toys and furniture needed for Kindergartens across the Lawra and Nandom District.
Today, Dec 17th we visited the Kindergarten play equipment maker's workshop in Accra and we ordered 400 Cedis worth of equipment; we hope to use these items as templates to manufacture equipment for other Kindergartens in Lawra. We will pick the items from the makers in January.
Jenny with  Isaac - Osei Research Manager Jenny with Isaac the manager of Osei Research, the play equipment designer and maker, made, literally in his back yard!
Purchased over 50 items of play equipment, from jigsaws to rocking horses, from Osei Research Centre (ORC) - Dansoman, Accra, sufficient for two KG classes. The equipment was so good, we bought more than we initially planned!
527
Purchased crayons, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, writing books, rulers etc from Kingdom Books in Accra. Bought story books from the 'Bookshelf ' in Accra. Nominal contribution to transportation costs .
138
Thanks everyone at Frodsham High School - we will post more photos later in the year. Grand Total Expenditure =
665
PROJECT 2 - Supporting the Development of Community Learning in Lawra District
Funding: Source and how raised
Sum in £'s and Ghana Cedis
(₵)
Funding
1.9 =£1
Potential use of the funding - Progress to date
Spent
Learning - under the Neem tree
My sister Jackie, family, friends and neighbours raised £130 at Jacky's 60th Birthday Party!
NIACE Dysgu Cymru Staff (Cardiff): Book sale with profits to Lawra Projects. £118
All ages!

NDC:£118
224

Jacky Horrocks & Friends £130
247

 

Tot: 471

Recovering from the surprise and delight of receiving the e mail from Rachel informing us of the contribution; whilst I was working with NIACE Dysgu Cymru we spent months/years! mulling over how we could have an effective/meaningful input to a developing country; hopefully I am now in a position to facilitate that support. Myriad of potential uses for the funding - thinking and research time now.
The dilemma of how to apply the NIACE DC funding has now resolved itself; I met with Lawra's Non-formal education Coordinator and visited some of the Community Learning classes - this slide show explains what next!

February 20th 2008 : We have yet to commit the NDC funding; training of some Kindergarten teachers looks a strong option at present. Jenny is involved in this project through her VSO work: an initial Baseline Survey has shown that 84% of 9 yr olds cannot read a 2, 3, or 4 letter word!

June 1st 2008: Supporting the development of Community Learning in Lawra District: this will now become a principal area of focus for me in the next 12 months - but I will need all the help I can get! The NIACE DC money will enable me to bring together volunteer facilitators and Supervisors to see what I can do to support them in their endeavours to meet the needs of adults who want to learn; more than 80% of adults in Lawra District are illiterate! We will then need to secure financial support and expertise for further activity.

June 3rd : Had first meeting with Adult Education Supervisors to identify the barriers that prevent adults from attending classes and to find some solutions - very productive meeting.We also looked at how volunteers facilitators (tutors) could be supported to enable them to perform better.These funds will enable further (monthly) meetings to take place to gradually address some of the key issues.
75
PROJECT 3: Enhancing the classroom environment at Brutu - Classroom 1
Funding: Source and how raised
Sum in £'s and Ghana Cedis
(₵)
Funding
1.9 =£1
Potential use of the funding - Progress to date
Spent
Gathering construction materials

Children carry 200 25 kilo bags of cement!
Pippa Higget with friends and acquaintances in our home territory of Llanfair DC in north Wales. Pippa organised an 'at Home' which entailed the sale of various 'goods', and a number of donations .

Some of the books we bought.
£270
513

December 2007: Money received and in the bank. All sorts of possibilities - a cement floor, notice boards, stools, desks etc for a Kindergarten.
January 15th 2008: Jenny and Ruth met with Brutu PTA, staff, parents and local artisans to confirm priorities and begin process of obtaining estimates for laying a new floor, plastering the walls, making tables and chairs and providing noticeboards for displaying children's work
Feb 2008: Cement, sand and stones purchased
Unloading at Brutu

Purchased picture / story books from 'Exclusive Books' and 'Wordsworth Books' in Capetown for use in Kindergartens
205
Contribution to sand (10 loads), stones (5 loads) and cement (100 bags)for the classroom floor and for plastering the walls.
February 23rd: Work has now begun on classroom 1; the walls are being plastered and the floor being prepared for laying the concrete.
April 2008: The walls, floor and verandah of classroom 1 have now been completed - great news.
308
PROJECT 4: Enhancing the classroom environment at Brutu - Classroom 2
Funding: Source and how raised
Sum in £'s and Ghana Cedis
(₵)
Funding
1.9 =£1
Potential use of the funding - Progress to date
Spent
Cement in store ready for cementing the floor.

Llanfair Church: Thanks must go to Ann Bridges who runs the Sunday school - money raised via; donation box instead of cards [£50], the children's service [£175] and midnight mass [£70].

£320

608

December 2007: Money received and in the bank. When we get back to Lawra in January we will discuss ideas with our other VSO colleagues and the Kindergartens' Advisor with whom we work.
February 2008:The estimate for improving the classrooms at Brutu is much higher than we expected, even though some members of the PTA are helping to do the work . We have decided to focus on doing one classroom properly, to begin with; we have put the two Llanfair DC contributions together to help us succeed.
Contribution to sand (10 loads), stones (5 loads) and cement (100 bags)for the classroom floor and for plastering the walls.  
March 2008 - Classroom 1 building renovations are almost complete; the walls are plastered and the floor has been cemented. Work has commenced on the improvements to classroom 2.
April 2008:The walls, floor and verandah of classroom 2 have now been completed - great news.
June 1st : The new furniture is under construction and within two weeks the classrooms should all be complete. Ruth will then begin training the staff in the use of the new Play Equipment.
608
PROJECT 5: Providing Desks and Chairs for the Children at Brutu Kindergarten

Children at Brutu Kindergarten sit on stools or on the floor, they write on slates - there are no desks or books.


Children at Ysgol Stryd y Rhos in Ruthin had a 'mufti' day (non-school uniform) and raised a fantastic £200.
A further £50 has been raised by two pupils who organised a 'guess the number of mini-Easter eggs in a jar' competition. Well done!

£200

380

Febrary 2008: The donation has been received. The classes are really enthused about linking with a school in the Lawra District of Ghana and have written and are sending letters, drawings, and photographs for us to share. As yet these have not arrived but we hope they won't be too long in coming.
March 30th: still no letters from Ysgol Stryd y Rhos - Ghana's postal service is not as efficient as the UK's!
April 2nd: letters have arrived! They are really good and interesting; schools here are now on holiday until May 5th so it will probably be June before we can start generating responses.
June 3rd Schools have resumed after their break and finally I (Jenny) managed to get started with Lawra Methodist School children to share the Rhos St letters and to begin responding to them.

March 2008: It looks likely that the £200, along with significant funds from donors in Galway in Ireland (via Ruth, our VSO colleague) will be used to help purchase chairs and tables, for Brutu Kindergarten (see above projects) The furniture will probably be made by local carpenters in Nandom. We hope to show you pictures of children sitting at the tables in a couple of months time - May/June.
April 2008: The extra £50 raised will be put towards basic items such as crayons, pens and paper to assist in the letter writing link between Rhos St and Lawra Methodist children.

May 2008: Generous donations from Ireland, meant that the additional 600c needed to pay for furniture could be paid. Donors included St. Brendan's Primary school, Portumna, Scoil an Chroí Naofa, Ballinasloe and Laurencetown \national School, as welll as donations from friends, family and neighbours . With the funds that have not been spent yet, it is hoped that similar projects could possibly be rolled out across the district. Go raibh míle míle maith agaibh!

 
 
July 4th: Furniture has been delivered; you will not believe it (and regrettably we do not have a photo) but all 96 chairs and 24 tables were carried by the older primary school children, on their heads, from the carpenters workshop to the Kindergarten at Brutu - a distance of 5 kilometres .
380
Brutu: A Grand Total of £1140 from UK sources + € 800 from Galway
£1140
+
800
July 22nd: we are holding an informal 'Handover' day at Brutu; our friends from the UK, Dave and Jan Bullock (the first, of several sponsors of this project) will be attending as guests of honour, along with the District Director of Education, the PTA, the carpenter, our 'dynamo' VSO colleague Ruth, who has channelled in an equivalent amount of finance from Galway in Ireland and most important of all, the children and the teachers .
 
PROJECT 6: Developing School Links with Rhos Street and Lawra Methodist School
Funding: Source and how raised
Sum in £'s and Ghana Cedis
(₵)
Funding
1.9 =£1
Potential use of the funding - Progress to date
Spent
click to enlarge view
The £50 raised by two pupils, who organised a 'guess the number of mini-Easter eggs in a jar' competition, is being used to help purchase pencils, crayons and paper for the children at Lawra M to enable letter writing

Funding

£50

95

click to enlarge view
95
Febrary 2008: The donation has been received. The classes are really enthused about linking with a school in the Lawra District of Ghana and have written and are sending letters, drawings, and photographs for us to share. As yet these have not arrived but we hope they won't be too long in coming.
March 30th: still no letters from Ysgol Stryd y Rhos - Ghana's postal service is not as efficient as the UK's!
April 2nd: letters have arrived! They are really good and interesting; schools here are now on holiday until May 5th so it will probably be June before we can start generating responses.
June 3rd Schools have resumed after their break and finally I (Jenny) managed to get started with Lawra Methodist School children to share the Rhos St letters and to begin responding to them.
PROJECT 7: Improving Children's Reading - acquiring books for lending to schools
 
Jenny is involved in this project through work: an initial survey has shown that 84% of 9 yr olds cannot read a 2, 3, or 4 letter word!
 
Teachers' Resource Centre Library - below.
Funding: Source and how raised
Sum in £'s and Ghana Cedis
(₵)
Funding
1.9 =£1
Potential use of the funding - Progress to date
Spent
Lorraine and Ken Rackley and Blackburn with Darwen Library Service secured and delivered six boxes of really useful reading and topic books. Thanks are due to St Luke and St Philip's School, and in particular to Sarah Ashcroft for all her help.

Funding

£350

665

March 2008.
The £200 raised, with Anne's and Donald's help, paid for the books' delivery,. The books are now being catalogued (in our makeshift VSO way) and the next task will be to find a way of getting 'book-boxes' out to schools on the back of our Area Supervisors' and the local Headteachers' motorbikes.
465
March 1st - St David's Day: Ken, Lorraine and friends raised a further £100 through a very successful cake stall in Darwen Library Theatre - bringing the total to £350. A huge thanks to all of those involved - we were able to get some new book cases made for the Teachers' Resource Centre Library.
200
July 4th: Lorraine (Blackburn with Darwen) has gathered and dispatched another 3 boxes of story books for the Teachers' Resource Centre; we will be able to display them on the new book cases that we bought.
?
July 6th 2008
Total funds donated
£1738
+
€800 =
4597

Total funds spent to date

£1530
+
€800=
4201

All Projects : SUMMARY OF INCOME AND EXPENDITURE TO DATE