Happy 2014 everyone!
As some of you may know, I rang in the New Year in Ghana. It was such a humbling and amazing experience to see what Erica’s Global Outreach has been able to accomplish in Ghana.
The main purpose of my trip was to meet with our Ghanaian counterparts. Since we are going to continue concentrating our efforts in Ghana, it made sense to officially register our nonprofit in Ghana and appoint a full-time director to oversee our projects. We decided to appoint Success Akpabli for this position and came up with a board of advisors to assist her with managing Erica’s Global Outreach in Ghana.
The other part of my trip was assessing land for the new school we are planning on opening. Our new school will be located in the Kpando, Volta Region. This is where Success and a lot of our other Ghanaian counterparts live. It was important to us to open a school in a region where we have a lot of support so we can ensure it is a success. After looking at several land options, we came across an opportunity to meet with the chiefs of Gbefi, a village right next to Kpando. The Gbefi chiefs were willing to give us land in return for building a school in their community, an area that was lacking schools. After deliberating the different land options, we decided to go ahead and build a community school in Gbefi. This is a community that could really benefit from having a school there. Furthermore, Gbefi is close enough to Kpando that Success can easily travel there.
Now that we have 5 acres of land, we are starting the process of building the school. The plan is for the school to be ready to open in time for the upcoming school year, which starts in September. While it is our hope that eventually the school will be able to accommodate grades K-12, we will only start with a nursery and kindergarten class. Grades will be added as the kids get older. The business model for this new school is set so kids will only have to pay a minimal fee to attend school. The fees will be used to cover the school expenses, such as the teachers’ salaries and bus fees. Any profits the school makes will go back to the community and orphanages we support. It is our hope that disadvantaged and orphan kids will be able to attend our school for free.
Once the school opens it will be sustainable like Erica Memorial International School. However, the more money raised here means we will be able to build a better school, lower the children’s school fees, and provide even more support to disadvantaged and orphanage kids. We will continue to hold fundraisers throughout the year here and Success will hold small fundraisers in Ghana. Together we can really make a difference.
To end, I just want to say that Erica has been such an inspiration to me and I can’t emphasize enough how many lives she has changed and touched. To our old and new friends, thank you for your continuing support and helping us turn a dream into a reality.