Ghana School Donation
Helping a rural school in Ghana
In 2017 pupils and staff from Cirencester Deer Park School took our first volunteering trip to Ghana with African Adventures. Twenty-five Year 10 pupils volunteered as teaching assistants, community builders and sports coaches in the coastal community of Woe. Following the success of this trip, groups of Year 10 volunteering pupils from Deer Park visited Ghana in 2018 and 2019.
Each time we visited, our pupils volunteered at the same two schools: Dedzidi and Rhema Abutia. It has been very rewarding to develop links with these schools and their teachers and to see the progress being made with building projects at each site.
In advance of each trip, our pupil volunteers are involved in fundraising towards the cost of their travel and accommodation. They have always been very creative with their ideas and raised funds through car washes, bag packs, raffles, quiz nights, cake sales and even a skydive!
Pupil volunteers who signed up for the 2020 and 2021 trips to Ghana were no different. They were proactive in their individual and group fundraising activities and continued to look for creative solutions to fundraising even during periods of Covid lockdown. Unfortunately, our 2020 and 2021 trips to Ghana could not go ahead, due to Government advice on international travel at the time. Nevertheless, all of our pupils volunteers, parents and staff members involved in the trip were keen that the money they had collectively raised for their trip could still benefit our partner schools.
Through discussions with African Adventures, we identified a building project at Dedzidi School which we could support. They are currently constructing a two-storey classroom block which is nearing completion. We were able to donate £3,100 from the group fundraising completed by our 2020 and 2021 volunteers towards the roof for this building and reduce crowding in lessons.
Ms Henson, Headteacher: ‘Having had the opportunity to spend a fortnight at Dedzidi School with our team of pupil volunteers in 2017, it is really encouraging to see the progress that has been made. Our teams have physically contributed to making the mortar and moulding the bricks as well as concreting the ground floor and building the cubicles for the toilets we were also able to donate. I am sure the headteacher and her team in Ghana are very grateful to our pupils for their fundraising efforts and it is a shame our groups in 2020 and 2021 were unable to travel to contribute to the project themselves.’
Miss Bluett, Trip Leader: 'While I share the disappointment of our volunteers, in current Year 11 and our Class of 2021, I really hope that they retain the desire to travel in the future. I am so pleased that our volunteers' fundraising efforts will go towards the ongoing building project at Dedzidi School, which we have seen the benefits of first hand on our previous trips. I hope that in time we will be able to relaunch our Ghana trips and that more of our pupils will be able to experience the unique Ghanaian culture and have the opportunity to support valuable building projects.'