Why We Started

Sensitive, informed and celebratory rhetoric is an important part of the way we operate. But we can't avoid the very real and sometimes harrowing needs that exist for the community we work in.

The beach community

Our students come from the very poorest part of Saltpond, where they live in beach huts or derelict, overcrowded buildings. Many have only one remaining parent, and lots are orphaned.

Coastal fishing communities are often stigmatised in Ghana for being poor, ill-educated and even 'lazy'. In reality, they are trapped in a cycle of poverty that means, whilst some will gather a small income from fishing many, especially women, will struggle to find work. Many children are sent away, unschooled and unsupported, to work in dangerous cities as maids or sellers, as their parents cannot afford to look after them. 

Though the Central Region is a relatively fortunate part of Ghana these children - like so many others in other parts of the country - cannot afford the uniform, resources, or food that they are expected to purchase at government schools. Before the project began, most of the children living on the beach, some as old as 15 or 16, had never attended school - and were either being sent out to sell water or fruit on the side of the road, or simply sitting around.

The value of education

The majority of parents and guardians within our community have never attended school, have no understanding of English, and only very basic numeracy skills.

Many deaths in these isolated coastal communities happen as a result of preventable diseases such as malaria, cholera and diarrhoea. Members of this community cannot afford to buy health insurance or pay for medical treatment. If they are fortunate enough to gather the funds, many do not understand the necessity of treatment or preventative processes, and cannot read the hospital-issued communications.

It is difficult to encourage a community who live so hand-to-mouth to pay anything at all to educate their children. By providing a totally free primary education for those most in need, alongside adult literacy, numeracy and ICT classes, we hope we can slowly raise the understanding and aspirations of the community as a whole, and encourage them to let their children finish school.

By the time our students are ready to be sponsored into JHS (middle) and SHS (secondary) school, parents and carers have a first-hand understanding of the benefits of a well-rounded education. Our students also help to educate their families and neighbours by putting on plays and performances which educate them on issues such as hygiene, aspiration and malaria prevention.

We are careful only to offer the facilities to students who really do not have the option of attending a government school at the time of enrollment, and carry out regular needs-assessment surveys.

We hope that, in time, our services will no longer be required, as the government continues to develop it's education system, and as our parents and carers understand the importance of sending their children to school.