A primary focus, better yet, the primary focus of onevillage is to empower the Kpando community (and all communities in which we may work) by means of education. Education is vital to empowerment and empowerment is a core constituent of the process for sustainable development.
While the last few weeks have been focused on the completion of the farming grant and roll-out phase of our health insurance program, this past week we have been able to focus on onevillage’s education initiatives.
Edward and I have been meeting with Andy, the Director of Education Services here in Kpando, since my first week in Ghana. He is an extremely helpful person and endorses the work onevillage does, and will be doing, on every level. Andy has been our ‘go to’ with regard to any and all information about the education system in Ghana and has guided all of our actions thus far with regard to distribution of our program information.
In mid-December, informational letters were sent to every headmaster in the Kpando district introducing onevillage to the education community and describing our initiatives.
In 2014, onevillage will be providing two secondary school scholarships and one University scholarship to students in the Kpando district.
The secondary scholarship is open to all students within the Kpando district who will be attending secondary school in the Fall. The University scholarship is open to all students within the Kpando district who will attend a University in Ghana in the Fall. All applicants will be considered based on: application completion, academic standing, in-home interviews and financial need.
As much as onevillage believes in the power of education, we also believe in the duty of ‘giving back’ to one’s community. A condition of the secondary scholarships will be for the recipients to participate as tutors in our local tutoring services. A condition of the University scholarship is for the recipient to return to Kpando, after completion of their degree, to work for two years.
After University, a requirement of the Ghanaian government is for all individuals to be placed at National Service positions for one year. onevillage hopes to work it out so that the recipient of our University scholarship will be able to be placed in Kpando for their year of National Service, completing both the requirement of their government and the condition of our scholarship, simultaneously. While it has yet to be confirmed, we are very hopeful that this is a strong possibility.
In addition to scholarships, onevillage is currently in the process of recruiting local tutors. At the moment we are seeking five tutors able to provide two-hour tutoring sessions twice a week.
Tutoring sessions will aid students in better understanding concepts and lessons, enabling them to not only improve grades and participation in their classes, but encouraging them to continue progressing in their studies.
We are awaiting feedback from teachers interested in these positions.
As of January 31st, a second letter was sent to all headmasters of the local Junior and Senior High schools. There are 27 Junior High schools and 4 Senior High schools in the district- beginning next week (the first week in February), Edward and I have plans to personally introduce ourselves and distribute applications to each of these schools. We feel it necessary that the students have access to the application by March 1st as we have set a deadline for application submission at the end of May (after the students’ exams).
We will continue the recruitment of tutors and hope to schedule our first tutoring sessions for the last week of February.
Learning is a Process
onevillage recognizes education as the purest form of empowerment and acknowledges how essential it is to development, of any kind.
It is the intention of onevillage to be able to provide educational scholarships to more students in the Kpando district in the coming years.
As we work hard to provide opportunities to individuals in the Kpando community, they unknowingly are providing many lessons to us. Learning is a process and we will continue to learn from each other.