Ten new rural schools, five provided by the Cheshire Fire Cadets
Following the first school building project by the Penistone Venture Scouts a further four schools were built by GO. The charity was then contacted in 2004 and a trustee representing GO was asked to visit the HQ of Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service and make a presentation to their senior Fire Officers. They explained their desire for biannual youth related programs in Ghana and asked if GO could facilitate. The principal idea was for the Fire Cadet leader team to organise a group of young fire cadets, similar to the practice of GO, and fundraise for a school building project in a rural impoverished area of Ghana. The group would go out to Ghana to help at the finishing stages of the building work. At the same time the young people would mix with the community and have first hand cultural experience that would open their minds to live in a third world environment.
The project itself would provide a new school and equipment for the benefit other young people in the surrounding communities. By 2013, the Fire Cadets had successfully completed 5 building projects in Ghana through the help of GO. In this period many young people had benefited from this valuable life experience. GO no longer builds schools as the funding requirements to build a new school became beyond the capacity of GO, it now directs its efforts into smaller and less costly, but equally important projects. This change on emphasis has enabled GO to continue and still make substantial improvements to the quality of community lives.
Since 1998 Ghana as established numerous school libraries, Book given by UK schools because of curriculum changes or new online services have been used to create new libraries in schools where any book to read was virtually non existent. Teachers in the schools use the books to help widen the children’s knowledge and develop their English as all Ghana children learn to speak English
Accessing clean health water is always a challenge for poor rural communities. These communities have in many cases bee established on their land for hundred of years and cannot simple move into new areas where a better water supply might be. Sadly they have to make do with what water supply they have, no matter how bad. Poor quality water is the biggest killer of children and can also lead to severe disabilities if parasites enter the body
GO has, and continues to help rural community’s access clean healthy water where possible. If water can be provided for in an identified community we first have to carry out all the required tests to clarify the suitability of the water supply and possible quantity so the aquifer is not over drawn. GO out sources this particular task to professional contractors skilled in the knowledge of water supplies from deep underground. Only when the full requirements of a proposed borehole can be met is the work actually commenced.
2013 Abordahi, Volta Region. The fifth Fire Cadet/GO new school build project.
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.
Security Lighting at the Orthopaedic Training Centre, Nsawan
The OTC faces many challenges in meeting the costs of everyday life. The continued increased of the cost of electricity forced the OTC to consider the progressive introduction of solar power lighting . In response to this the OTC secured funding to install the first stage of a solar energy system to cover the highest consumption activities in the compound. However, the need to complete the system by installing solar lighting throughout the compound has become urgent following security issues.
OTC patients, most of whom are children, are physically challenged and very vulnerable. In spite of having security personnel onsite, break ins was a continuous problem and the risk of such incidents was higher during the frequent interruptions to mains power supply when the whole site was in total darkness at night.
Ghana Outlook, together with the Rotary Clubs of Barnsley, Stainborough, and Wilmslow along with individual financial support managed to provide the required £10,000 funding to install the much needed solar powered security lighting system in March 2017. This combined with the water borehole provided by GO earlier in the year has contributed immensely to the health and safety for all patients and staff at the centre.
Safe Water for the Staff at the Orthopaedic Training Centre, Nsawan
The Orthopedic Training Centre Ghana (OTC) was started in 1961 by Brother Tarcisius who of the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD). He quickly gained a well-respected reputation for helping disabled people in Ghana to “stand on their own feet,” providing them with “life-changing support.” The OTC empowers physically challenged people to enjoy life, study, and take jobs. Education and the development of self-esteem, giving hope and support to parents, changing the perception and attitude of society toward this group of people: these are key values of the OTC. During the past years, the Centre has helped over 3000 children and 3000 adults annually.
The centre has dedicated, skilled staff who live in the staff area of the OTC compound. Without them and visiting specialists, the key functions of caring, teaching, food preparation, training, assessment and physiotherapy would not be possible yet, until recently, the staff accommodation had no safe water available nearby and the residents were obliged to purchase Gerry cans of water of unproven quality. Following a visit to the OTC in 2016, Ghana Outlook agreed to provide the £3,200 funds required to sink a water borehole in the centre of the staff compound, thereby enhancing staff health and improving staff retention.