In 2004 Richard Galliford MBE representing Ghana Outlook visited the HQ of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service and made a presentation to senior Officers explaining his plans for youth programmes in Ghana. The principal idea was for the Fire Cadets to organise a team of young people to fundraise for a school building in a rural impoverished area of Ghana and then join the community to finish the building work and celebrate the opening of the new school with the community. The process would be managed by the Cadet manager in Cheshire and the late, great, Joseph Achana of Ghana Outlook (Ghana). By 2013, the Fire Cadets had successfully completed 5 building projects in Ghana.
As a result of the 5 school building projects undertaken by the young people in the Fire Cadet Scheme, valuable resources were provided for poor remote communities which will be of service to the children of Ghana for many years to come. Our young people had an opportunity to undertake a challenge which exposed them to the realities of life in the third world. They did not let us down.
Ghana Outlook is proud of our association with the Fire Cadets and their achievements in helping those less fortunate than themselves.
2005 - Akrofu, Volta Region
Akrofu is situated near to Ho in the Volta region of Ghana and Joe Achana selected the community as the site for the first Fire Cadet project. In July 2005 the Cadets and their leaders, having raised the money needed, travelled to Ghana and working in partnership with the community and assisted by Ghana National Fire Service completed the construction of a school building of six classrooms and a library. A very enjoyable celebration day was held with traditional dancing and singing.
2007 - Abordahi, Volta Region
Abordahi is a remote rural community of 5 villages situated on the border of Togo. Totally dependant on subsistence farming the community was identified by Joe Achana as the next site for a Fire Cadet project. Once again the Cadets aged 16-18 set about their personal fundraising challenge and succeeded in raising the £35k required for the school. Using the same school design as in Akrofu the community started the building work. When the Cadets arrived they soon found that the work in the village was a real challenge for everyone due to bouts of heavy rain. This meant that vehicles could not access the school site and on the opening day a great deal of the new furniture had to be carried into the village by Cadets wading along the tracks. Despite the heat and the rain the school was completed and formally opened by the British High Commissioner for Ghana.
2009 - Adeklu Helepe, Volta Region
Adeklu Helepe is a well known community in the vicinity of Ho and is located under a massive and impressive sheer rock formation. The Cadets and leaders selected for the team had a similar challenge to the previous teams in that they had to raise the funds for the school building and all their travel costs. The team successfully completed their fundraising and travelled to the community to participate in the work. Once again the team had to contend with the heat, and difficulties travelling on roads prone to being washed away. However the team, once again under the guidance of Joe Achana set about their task and completed the school building. The team were made very welcome by the community and two of the Cadet leaders were honoured by being appointed village Chiefs in a traditional tribal ceremony. The completed school was opened by the Government Education Minister from Accra. The Cadets once again enjoyed participating in the traditional Ghanaian singing and dancing on the school opening day.
2011 - Gbatana, Volta Region
This community is located in the south of the region near the coast and following the successful formula used for our previous projects a team of young Fire Cadets was selected for this challenge. This school was double the size of the previous school builds but the Cadets once again rose to the challenge and reached the £45k target for the project. The now familiar heat & health issues were encountered but the team were not deterred. The team members mixed very well with the local people and had an enjoyable stay in the community. Several prominent politicians joined us on the day of the school opening and much to our surprise the event was covered by GhanaTV news. The Cadets were honoured to be invited to be guests to witness the ‘Parade of Chiefs’ in a vibrant, colourful community celebration.
2013 - Abordahi, Volta Region
During the planning and preparation stage of this project our much loved and respected friend Joseph Achana died unexpectedly. This was a major blow to the Fire Cadet project but the selected team of Cadets and their leaders were determined that a project would be completed in the memory of Joe. In seeking to identify a project that was a fitting tribute to the work and dedication of Joe, Ghana Outlook and Cheshire Fire Cadets selected a project in Abordahi where Joe had worked so hard over the previous decade. It was decided to complete a kindergarten school building. This proved to be a welcome return to a community where we had worked before and it was decided that we would complete the planned project but also repaint the school building completed in 2007. Once again the young Cadets worked hard and completed their fundraising reaching their target of £50k. The work in the community was completed on time and our talented Cadets painted a fitting wall mural,on the gable end of the school honouring our departed friend Joseph Achana.