Visit date: December 2-3, 2018
Visitor: Sandra van der Berg, project officer Wilde Ganzen
Spoken with : Chris Dapaah, coordinator Resource Link Foundation Ghana
Report : Sandra van der Berg
Project number: 2017.0155
Project title: School Improvement Project
Dutch Partner Organization: Resource Link Foundation Nederland
Local Partner Organization: Resource Link Foundation
Ghana Status: Final report received November 2018
Contribution Wilde Ganzen: 2.215 Euro
December 2nd, 2018: meeting with Chris at hotel Viglosam Lodge in Wenchi
Resource Link Foundation Ghana has 3 paid staff members:
- Chris Dapaah – coordinator Wenchi / Banda / Kumasi since 1995;
- Fred Kuma – project manager for Wenchi / Banda;
- Henrita – office assistant Kumasi
RLF Ghana has followed both courses of Change the Game. Chris and Fred followed the Local Fundraising course and Fred and Henrita the Mobilizing Support course. Inspired by these courses RLF Ghana expanded its local network to mobilize contributions to the organization of the Reading Festival in Banda and Wenchi District in honor of the 10-year jubilee of Resource Link Foundation in 2018. The results were as follows:
- Financial contribution from chiefs, traditional directors and members of parliament ;
- Contribution from Vodafone Ghana Foundation: wristbands, t-shirts, keychains etc.;
- 25 schools received Biblionef books for Reading Festival in May 2018;
- Cooperation with Nafaanra Literacy Projects and Ghana Education Service;.
- Cooperation with Pentopaper Foundation.
These network activities around the Reading Festival were a very good experience for RLF, they learned that it is really useful to invest in these local networks.
Girls – hygiene and menstruation – child marriages
As a result of this experience, they now also want to expand their network of activities in the area of child marriages and menstruation hygiene for girls etc. RLF is part of the Girls Not Brides program in Ghana as representative of Brong Ahafo. At the end of November 2018 they delegated one girl to the African Girls Summit on child weddings. And on 11 October 2018, International Day of the Girl Child, all stakeholders on these theme were together in Banda. Child marriages lead to early school leaving and therefore to a low level of education and thus to poverty. The problems surrounding menstruation also lead to school dropout and poorer school performance. Therefore, information and training activities in this area are of great importance, according to RLF.
December 3rd, 2018: project visits 3 schools
School 1: Sabiye Presby Primary School
As proposed in the project application, the water tank should provide two schools with water: the JHS and Presby Primary School in Sabiye. Under the tank a nice project sign board is indicating the names of the donors of the tank : Resource Link Foundation with sponsorship from KOOK Alkmaar Foundation. In an earlier phase the name of Wild Geese has been indicated on the board, but on request of the Dutch partner the name of Wild Gees had to be changed in KOOK Alkmaar.
The tank is close to the JHS, but the two taps at the JHS do not work. The technical cause is not known and until now they have not been able to solve it. In a small interview with pupils of the JHS they tell that they bring water from home or that they go to the village for water. It seems that they do not use the taps of the primary school.
At the primary school the taps seem to work (the place around the taps is wet), but they are locked at our visit. They only open when the children are allowed to drink water (twice a day). The school has 300 children and there are 3 cups for drinking water! In the classes there are no options for storing water (buckets or similar). The school does not have toilets.
The school has received workbooks from RLF once. It concerns workbooks in which the pupils have to write their answers. Therefor the books can only be used for one school year. Workbooks have RLF logo. The books carry the logo of Resource Link Foundation.
School 2: Sanwa Makala Primary School Banda
At this school RLF built also a nice water tank with two working taps. On the water tank the name of Wilde Ganzen Foundation is clearly indicated together with the name of RLF. Beautifully located school! This school does have toilets although there is no opportunity to wash hands with soap and water directly at the toilets place.
There are filled buckets of water on the veranda in front of the classes. The buckets are not covered however and there appear to be few drinking cups. The school has already made a request for workbooks from RLF, but has not received books from RLF until now.
School 3 : Banda Ahenkro Methodist Primary School
With help of RLF the school has got a water tank and reading books. The taps are constantly in use during the visit, also by residents. The school seems very active in the field of reading and encourages for example reading books in the local language.
Conclusions / recommendations
• The projects are well executed, Resource Link Foundation is well organized and very involved in the management of the projects they are implementing. Based on the impressions of the project visit RLF Ghana has the potential to play a leading role in projects in the region on more themes (eg child marriages / hygiene-menstruation etc).
• The visited water taps at the schools functioned well (except for the taps of JHS Sabiye), but it is important to pay more attention to the supply of drinking water in the classrooms, for example by placing buckets with taps and ensuring that children have cups or drinking bottles. These cups or bottles do not necessarily have to be provided by Resource Link Foundation, but can also be a contribution of the parents of the pupils to the drinking water projects for the schools.
• The school workbooks distributed by RLF are very nice and working with these books will certainly stimulate pupils. However the purchase of the books is quite expensive, and this investment lasts only for one school year. This limits the number of schools that can benefit from these investments. Without a strategy for internal funding of these books, schools will always depend on external / foreign support.
• Congratulations for the networking activities around the Reading Festival, in particular as a result of the Change the Game courses. It is a pity that the hygiene information activities for girls has not been implemented without consultation of Wilde Ganzen and that money has been spent instead on the Reading Festival. For next projects if there are changes in project plans/activities I recommend RLF to inform and ask permission of the implicated donors.
• The Reading Festival is clearly an incentive to promote reading at schools. The visits to the three schools also gave the impression that there is still a lot of (learning) profit to be gained in many other areas of education (didactics!). As a recommendation of the visit I would like to challenge RLF to reflect on which (affordable) contributions RLF could offer for improving the quality of education in the 25 schools in Banda District.
Sandra van der Berg
Project officer Wilde Ganzen