Thursday, 26 June 2008

A more personal charity

Young children in school. Ghana. Photo: Curt Carnemark /World Bank. From Flickr, Creative Commons licence

Yesterday I had to do some fairly extensive research on the internet, looking at various education-based sites. One had an appeal in the sidebar for teachers and schools to consider sending surplus textbooks to a school in Ghana.

Following the links, as you do, I found Friends of Tafo, which operates in Kwahu-Tafo, the ancestral home of Gyearbuor Asante, who played Matthew in the Channel 4 comedy, Desmond's.

The charity works on a more holistic approach than many. It concentrates all its efforts on this one small town (pop. 5,500) in rural Ghana, where unemployment is about 80%. This means many children can't go to school because they can't afford books or uniforms, and the schools themselves are in poor condition. All of which leads to further unemployment.

The projects undertaken aim to encourage self-development in education, health and infrastructure, and employment.

· Funding teachers for and renovation of the Senior Secondary School
· Enabling training workshops in soap-making, tie-and-dye and textiles
· Starting training courses for the Disabled Association in leatherwork and tailoring
· Establishing an eye care programme
· Setting up bee-keeping cooperatives for income generation
· Founding a music academy for promotion of talent and musical culture
· Establishing school twinning programmes between Tafo and the UK
· Funding school fees for 'needy pupils'
· Repairing wells to improve water quality and safety
· Encouraging Ghana's first Edible Almond Oil project, being developed in Tafo
· Resourcing the town's first computer classroom, for pupils and townspeople
· Rebuilding the Islamic Primary School
· Providing in-service Teacher Training
· Equipping the town's first Science Lab
· Building a Community Library
· Improving sanitation in schools and the community's wells

They are supported in a number of different ways and donors provide not only money but also much-needed equipment, hence the appeal for surplus text books from teachers. They can find uses for many things and will often fund a project that is of particular interest to the donor.


  1. y late Dad always said 'books are worth their weight in gold'. How right he was.

    This appears to be one of those charities who actually get down and do the work that is needed, there are not too may of them around. Many charities start off with a big bang. They get 'big' names to support them publicly but one can hardly see any effect that they are actually having on the folks they are supposed to be helping.

  2. What a great new charity approach and in a personal style so that it reach the one who need it the most - thanks for sharing!

  3. What a lovely blog you have! Your title and alive and open. I feel inspired. Lucy

  4. @Sailor, I agree both with your father and with you. Without books you can get nowhere.
    @Renny, yes it does seem a good approach.
    @Lucy, many thanks!


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