Over the course of the summer break many students worked on humanitarian projects back in their home countries. Bruno Felalaga (second year – Ghana) reports back:
During my summer vacation in Ghana, I took the opportunity to visit Sakyikrom United Primary school in the Eastern region of Ghana. This is one school that two student-led humanitarian organizations – Do Remember Other People (DROP) and Living Environment And the Future (LEAF) – at UWC Red Cross Nordic have been supporting and renovating since November 2013. This school, now 72 years old, had not received any sort of renovation since its establishment in 1943 – and prior to the support of DROP and LEAF. Therefore for all these years the school was in a greatly dilapidated state. The building could also not stand the elements since its roofing was in a very poor condition; hence classes could not be held whenever it rained or it was very windy. This situation had some of the students and teachers wanting to be transferred to other schools.
This project of renovating the school has been going on since 2013 – first initiated by our predecessors at UWC Red Cross Nordic and still in process. It mainly included the total replacement of the roofing, improvement of the masonry, starting of primary electrical work and insulation, provision of doors and windows, painting and the beginning of a garden to help improve the self-sustainability of the school.
It was very astonishing to see the state of the school when I first got there this summer with my second year from Ghana, Rhoda . It had taken on a new look and one could mistake it for a newly built school. But most amazing was the gratitude and appreciation shown by the teachers and the students in the school. They were so happy to see us and many of them told us that they were very happy and comfortable in the renovated building. This touched our hearts more than anything else since all we want is to put smiles on the faces of these children.
Please find below the letter sent to our Rektor by Emmanuel Asiedu, the Headmaster of Sakyikrom:
It is a pleasure for me write to you concerning the great collaboration between our two institutions UWC Red Cross Nordic and Sakyikrom United Basic School.
By way of introduction, I am Emmanuel Asiedu-Mantey, Headmaster of Sakyikrom United Basic School. The school comprises of three departments: the kindergarten for children between the ages of four and six years, the primary for children between six years and twelve years and the Junior High School for students between 12 and 15 years. Your wonderful renovation work is so far concentrated on the primary department.
Sakyikrom United Basic School serves about seven communities and villages, but the school is situated in Sakyikrom, a distant suburb of Nsawam, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. There are 325 students in the whole school with 19 teachers and attendants. Various subjects including mathematics and science are taught here.
The school, which was established in 1944, had seen no proper maintenance and so it was a relief when DROP, LEAF and the Live it Fund at Macalester College, USA offered to assist the school when it became very crucial with possible collapse of the building. In fact, the tremendous work done by DROP and LEAF cannot escape commendation. I must say that the school’s interaction with Bruno and Rhoda over the past weeks during their summer holidays was so wonderful. They are true ambassadors of UWC Red Cross Nordic.
Now, by the courtesy of DROP, the primary department has been painted, roofed and plastered. The windows and doors have been fixed. White boards have also been fixed to replace the old black boards in all the classrooms. Hope you see the videos soon. This project, I must say is a morale booster to teachers, parents and students. Students and teachers go about their business in the classrooms without the fear of collapsing structures. Parents are no longer withdrawing their wards to other safe schools. It is our fervent hope that, come next academic year, the primary department should be flooded with parents looking for admissions for their wards.
Thank you to DROP, LEAF and the entire UWC Red Cross Nordic community helping to save Sakyikrom United Basic School and restoring hope and confidence to Sakyikrom United Basic School and the communities it serves.
Hope to hear from you.
It is great to see so many exciting projects of public service happening through RCN across the world and we look forward to publishing other stories connected to our Humanitarian Pillar during the course of this academic year and showcasing different projects when Her Majesty Queen Sonja and other visitors are on campus for our Jubilee celebrations in September.