How it all began
Rachel went to Ghana in 2007 to work at the Lady Heike Nursery, Cape Coast. Here she met Mike Ofori - a clear-sighted and kind teacher - who wanted to set up a similar project for the underprivileged children in his hometown of Saltpond.
He discussed his passion for teaching with Rachel at length, who, once she was back in the UK, told everyone she could about Mike's school project and invited them to help her fundraise/ join the team/ come to Ghana.
In April 2009, a larger team visited the proposed site to meet local education authorities, assess the need and, subsequently, buy and register the school site. Mike roped his younger brother Emmanuel in, to help him run the school and employ teachers, and the SEP was born.
In July 2010, the SEP became an officially registered charity in England and Wales (1136738).
Once the school building was complete, we opened for teaching in September 2010. We now have over 200 children on our register supported by nine brilliant and dedicated local teachers. Our facilities include an ICT suite, library, office, bathrooms, vegetable garden and play area - complete with swing-set and ping-pong table!
Our next steps
We have now finished work on our specialised Kindergarten learning space and curriculum. Next, we will be concentrating on supplementing the Ghanaian curriculum in the same way for our Primary 1-6 classes, by creating dynamic lesson plans and providing extra resources and training in collaboration with our teachers.
In September 2015, we began sponsoring our Class 6 students into an approved local JHS school, monitoring their progress and welfare. We extended this into SHS sponsorship with our partner secondary schools in September 2018, and are now planning vocational programmes for those students who need to work rather than enter SHS.
Embedding and further developing our relatively progressive teaching and learning practices is a priority at this stage, but we soon hope to add a second storey to our original building, to provide more space for teaching and vocational training for students.
Our main project for 2019 and 2020 is the acquisition and development of a second site, which will allow us to build a JHS site and continue our ethos and teaching and learning practices into middle-level education.
We also hope to develop our adult literacy and numeracy classes, to better support the parents of our students, and help them engage with their child's development alongside their own.