We hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the cooler weather. It’s been a while since our last post and we apologize for the lack of updates – we wanted to have some more details before we shared some news with you all.
Ami and Connie went to Ghana last month to check the progress of the building, meet with contractors, get estimates for the remainder of the building, and attend to other administrative issues for the school. The trip was a very informative one to say the very least – they were able to get a better understanding of the process for setting up and registering the school, and also for the whole construction process for the building. We have been facing several challenges with the building of the school but now have a more optimistic view on the future of the building as we learn from the challenges faced. One challenge we ran into was the underestimation of the budget for the school. We hired a contractor that gave us a project estimate that ended up being unrealistic. There are many factors that cause the material and transportation costs to vary so we found it is better to get estimates for each part of the building as one part finishes. In addition we hired a new contractor that is more communicative and transparent about costs.
The building will start off with just four classrooms, and so far it has all of the walls, the veranda, and the pillars completed. We still need a lintel, a roof, and all of the finishing touches like doors and windows frames.
We will need to raise funds for these items, as well as a school bus. A school bus is our next most important item after the building because it will allow children from nearby villages to attend our school, which would ultimately bring in more funds and help us expand and improve the school. We intend to start the school by the next school term (January 2016) or the one following that. We have secured a temporary building in a neighboring village to open the school regardless of the status of the building. Currently, Success Akpabli, our in-country director, is passing out admission forms and building interest within the community for our school. At the same time, we are planning fundraisers in both the US and in Ghana to raise funds for the completion of the building as well as prepare for the school’s opening.
Along with checking on our school project, Ami was also able to visit the FL Faith Child Foundation home in Berekum to see all of the children and buy food in bulk for the home. She went to visit their schools and taught for a day in one of the school’s classrooms. She was also able to have discussions with the home’s director, Felix Yeboah, about creating viable projects for the home so that they have a sustainable means for income. One of the venues that Felix suggested is selling beaded jewelry. Some samples were made and will be sold in both Ghana and the US to see the marketability of the product.
We are hoping to be able to plan a fundraiser for this spring, so please stay tuned for further details on that!
Thank you as always for you continued support.