What is Ghana Outlook and what do we do?
Ghana Outlook (GO) became a registered Charity in year 2000. The founding Trustees were all Scout leaders from Penistone, South Yorkshire who led an International Scouting project in 1998 with 30 Venture Scouts to build two schools of three classrooms at Dzolo Gbogame in the Volta Region. Over the next few years a further 10 schools were built in various locations throughout Ghana. All involved UK young people from various backgrounds, such as the fire cadets, all taking part in the building work. The other aim was to introduce them to life in a rural community in Ghana and seeing how very different life can from their own. Because of the rising costs of the school building projects, we sadly built our last school in 2013. Our focus since 2013 is now principally about engaging with deprived communities in the rural parts of Ghana to provide. A lot of our work is carried out in areas that major charities do not reach:
- Safe water supplies and sanitation, helping to improved health and wellbeing conditions for communities and schools. We principally install boreholes. In 2015 we funded and installed Africa’s first ever sand dam which provides water through the long dry season and also extends the growing season to land adjacent to the dam.
- Dry pit latrines are usually appropriate for schools and offer a safe and odourless solution to open defecation which, apart from hygiene and dignity considerations carries the risk of attach by snake, scorpion and wild animals. Multi-cubicle blocks are built, each cubicle having two pits vented by a pipe which contains any flies, thereby trapping a major cause of disease.
- We are also involved in community farming initiatives that will provide a sustainable food supply and income. This also includes tractor services to assist in the cultivation of land and developing extended dry season farming that involves the women of the community. This allows women of the community to be usefully employed to grow essential crops that ca be used, sold or exchanged.
- Community education, for example equipment, such as desks and minor repairs to schools, example, following storm damage.
Ghana Outlook develops its projects based on community needs following research and recommendations from our trusted, and established partners (NGO’s) in Ghana. All projects involve full discussions with the communities and its representatives. All projects are fully monitored from beginning to completion. We set up agreed memorandum’s of understanding (MOU) so all parties have a clear understanding of what is required. This can include, for example, free labour help from the community, agreed maintenance plans or anything else that will help the project to succeed.
We will, where we think it is required, consult with the District Assembly to ensure that there is no compromise or possible duplicity of the project in the near future as part of the DA plans. We have often been grateful of the physical support of District Assemblies and endeavour to work together for the benefit of the communities we are helping.
After completion of the project, site visits will continue for monitoring purposes and also to see if further investment is required.
Over the last 21 years Ghana Outlook has gained an excellent reputation for being proactive and reaching out to very remote communities. We promise to ensure that the good reputation continues.
All the trustees, as well as our supporters, are unpaid, and giving their time freely for the betterment of others.
Who are we and who are our partners?
We are five Trustees, one who is a founding member of the charity. All Trustees have a varied professional backgrounds, and all have a Rotary International volunteering background.
We work with and alongside our long-time partners on the ground in Ghana. They manage and oversee our agreed projects in the deprived communities that we seek help to in the various parts of Ghana:
Trusted and established partners (NGO’s) both here in the UK and Ghana
- UK Christian African Relief Trust
- C4C (Coalition for Change)
- Sahara Advocates of Change
- Presbyterian Relief Services
We have a number of trusted supporters with many years of commitment to Ghana Outlook. They help us to plan and prepare our projects, along with our partners, and have proved invaluable where specific local information has been required.