Building a school

Constructing classrooms for the Vincent Akurugu School

Project Location: Saint Anne Parish, Navrongo-Bolgatanga, Ghana

The problem, causes and needs

Over 1 million children in Ghana come from families that are too poor to be able to afford enough of the right food to ward off malnutrition. In 2005 the government initiated the Ghana School Feeding Program. This has been very successful in keeping millions of children in school who would otherwise be hungry and therefore be unable to concentrate and learn or would need to drop out of school to work or beg for food.

Each day across Ghana 1.7 million children in school receive a hot, nutritious meal made up of locally produced foods like rice, dried African locust bean seeds, African carp and sesame leaves, and other fortified food rations supplied by the World Food Programme. The students are responding well in many areas. School enrolments have increased by 20%, drop out and absenteeism rates are lower, and best of all, individual academic performance is markedly improved. [1]

While the programme encourages higher school enrolment and improved ongoing attendance it also brings with it the challenge of acquiring more teachers and classrooms.

Facts & figures

  1. million children in Ghana come from families unable to afford an adequate amount of food.
  2. percent increase in enrolments thanks to the nutritious meals provided by the World Food Programme.

What is being done?

Located in Soe-Akunka, a farming community, about 15 kilometres away from the town of Bongo, Vincent Akurugu School is struggling to keep up with the increasing enrolment rate. A welcome but still challenging problem to have. The school currently has an enrolment of 472 pupils with an equal mix of boys and girls.

Currently the conditions at the school pose a serious challenge to the provision of quality education for the children in the area. Unfortunately, a total of 150 pupils have their regular classes under a big tree situated in the school compound. The school year starts in September, just after their wettest month where it usually rains 4 or 5 days a week. All throughout the year in Bongo it rains on average 2 or 3 days a week. In winter, during December and January, the temperature hovers around 32 degrees. The hottest month of the year is March which comes in the middle of the second semester with daily temperatures averaging around 40 degrees. The academic year finishes in July with the temperature still up around 30 degrees.

Of course, the rain and these hot conditions, not to mention the dust, wind and constant distractions, all have a detrimental impact on the teaching capacities of staff and the learning opportunities and concentration of the students.

Therefore, the parish is building three new classrooms, plus an amenities block at the end the classrooms, so as to provide a proper learning environment for this large number of students who are currently having their classes outside. This will enhance their individual academic performance and improve the literacy rate of the whole community.

What you can do

With your generous support through the Society of the Holy Childhood you will be assisting students, such as those at Vincent Akurugu, to access the quality education in conducive learning environments.

The total funding required for this project is $24,000 with St Anne Parish already raising $1,200 locally.

* important to note that the images used here are from projects similar to this, accessing some photos is difficult due to child protection policies and technology accessible in the local area

[1] School Feeding in Ghana – Investment Case – Cost Benefit Analysis Report.Alexander Dunaev, Federica Dorona. United Nations World Food Programme, 12 September 2019