Because of the ongoing corona pandemic, the annual general meeting had to take place online like in the last year. That’s why the members followed the review, which the chairman, Christoph Wenzl, gave on the last year, in front of their screens at home. The year 2021 went very positive in many ways for our association. The chairman was especially happy about the beginning of the classes in the newly built school in Ghana. For the first time 33 youths received education in math, English and science.
Most of the students in Ghana have problems in those core subjects and the free education at the new school in Taha provides them with the opportunity to prepare themselves intensively for their final exams which took place in December. Even the results are not out yet, the teachers were very content with the performance of the scholars and praised the association’s initiative which gives the young people an unprecedented chance. Unterricht in Taha

To this also the Danubius foundation contributed substantially since it took care for the examination fees for all the 33 students. Also in Germany the association was very successful and could raise donations at charity concerts and through talks as well as promote its work.

A special highlight of the meeting was a video call with the representative of the Ghanaian partner organization, Alhassan Salifu. The members used this opportunity to ask questions about the running of the school and the current situation in Ghana in general. Alhassan, too, was pleased about this exchange and thanked them for the good collaboration.

The goal of this year is to build on the successful work and to continue the education. All interested supporters can foster this with a scholarship. Beyond that the school should be extended for two more classrooms because of the active demand.

The temperature was quite lower than in Ghana but the audience was of the same age as the students at the NEA remedial school in Taha, when Christoph Wenzl gave a talk about our project at his former school, the Joseph-von-Fraunhofer Gymnasium (JvFG) Cham in November.

In front of numerous highschool students he told of the difficult situation in Taha at the beginning and the successful construction of the school in the last year. The Chamer students showed brisk interest, especially when Wenzl began to report of the start of the classes in April 2021: It began with only 21 students under strict hygiene rules. Today 30 young women and men between 18 and 29 years are visting the school.

The audience was astonished when they heard from daily routine in Ghana, which is quite different from their own. The classes take place in the afternoon and at the weekends, so that both students and teachers find time for their other duties such as work, help in the households or at the fields.
Three skilled teachers for the subjects English, Mathematics and science prepare the 30 students in Taha systematically for the final exams in these core subjects. These will start in December and thanks to a generous donation all students could get scholarships for the exam fees.

Finally, Christoph Wenzl gave a special thanks to the JvFG’s “Kinderhilfswerk” and the students who made the purchase of new school materials possible with their great donation this summer.

On April 06, 2021, the time had finally come: The Ghbalahi remedia School in Taha opened its doors for the first time.

After eight months of construction and many years of preparation, the Ghbalahi remedia school in Taha was able to commence classes in April. Due to the Corona pandemic, the start of school in the whole of Ghana had been postponed to January 1. However, since our school is still privately owned, we were able to determine the start date individually and thus ensure that a well-thought-out hygiene concept could be enforced.

The school has now started for 21 students aged 15 to 18 who have not passed their SHS (Secondary High School; comparable to the German Gymnasium) final examinations and therefore do not have a degree. They now have the opportunity to obtain one. In addition, students who do not have the chance to attend a SHS because the nearest school is too far away are also taught here. With targeted instruction and tutoring by trained teaching staff, they are specifically prepared for the final exams in the core subjects of mathematics, English and science.

A single teacher for each of these subjects holds lessons each afternoon or during the weekends. Many of the students have to work or help their parents in the household or at the farms and that’s why they can’t go to school in the morning. The first 21 students come directly from Taha or the surrounding villages.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we developed a hygiene concept based on the guidelines of the Ghanaian government in order to be able to create a safe learning environment. Before classes begin, all participants must wash their hands thoroughly. Afterwards, the temperature is measured with a so-called “temperature gun”, a contactless thermometer. Only when the temperature is safe the students are allowed to enter the classroom. Masks are mandatory in the entire building. In addition, the rooms are cleaned daily. Masks and disinfectants were provided by the association.

Most of the students come from low-income families. Therefore, the running costs will continue to be covered by the association. We want to offer the young people education and thus perspectives and more opportunities for their future. We are therefore still dependent on donations and are grateful for any support! For more information contact us under info@tahaschulprojekt.de.

Bank account:
recipient: Taha-Schul-Projekt e.V.
IBAN: DE31 7426 1024 0005 7637 54
BIC: GENODEF1CHA
Raiffeisenbank Chamer Land eG

Even though not many days have passed since the plastering of the walls, the pictures which our partners sent us in November looked very different. As if somebody put the technicolor into the camera, the building shines now in bright colors.
We are really proud of the beautiful school and you can understand why if you see the pictures. The building shines in yellow and red and fittingly also windows with green blinds were installed. One could think that the painters got their inspiration from the Ghanaian national flag.

Hence the construction is complete. Currently the furniture is being made but this should also be done in a few days. Then is will not take long and the school can open its doors. In March education for 40 students should start. Since one classroom isn’t sufficient to be approved as secondary school, we will run it as a special type. Our so-called pre-school should prepare the kids for the Junior High school exams. For this purpose, three qualified teachers will be employed.

The start of the education and the running of the school come along with big costs for us. Exercise books, textbooks and pens have to be bought and of course, the teachers need to be paid. For this we have started a new donation campaign. With the slogan “2021 – In Taha Schule machen” we collect donations for the above-mentioned purposes. At the same moment we want to inform in Germany about our project and the educational situation in Ghana. You find a nice promo video here on the slide “accomplishing schooling”. Help us to improve the educational situation in Taha!

What a wonderful feeling to see those pictures! After all these years of hard work finally the price for our effort shows. Of course, the school is not finished yet, but the construction is really going on well.

Where one could only see a big, rectangular concrete area, now stands an impressive house. After the works on the floor were finally done, it could be started with the brickwork. These didn’t even take a week, so that it looked like our school shot out of the ground like a mushroom. After the masons it was the carpenters’ turn to erect a wooden roof truss on top of the walls.  Finally, they set a shiny crown in the form of a corrugated sheet roof on top of it. Now it shines bright in the Ghanaian sun.
However, after this successfully completed stage, the work immediately continued. The remaining walls to the pediment had to be raised. Then, our workers could already start with plastering. This hard task took quite some time, but the result proves that it was definitely worth the trouble.

The toilets are our second construction site and here it was almost the same as with the classroom – just in a smaller scale: First, the walls had to be raised. Doing so, four separate booths were built and one wall surrounding it. On top of the booths likewise a wooden roof truss was built and rounded off with a corrugated sheet roof. Finally, everything was plaster and the toilet house waits along with the classroom building for its paint. We will report on this soon.

 

With the beginning of the year we had to bear a setback. We had applied for public funding und hoped that we could start the construction of the school with it. Unfortunately we were classified into a minor funding category and so the already planned project couldn’t be realized due to the big total costs.

However we were not put off through that und started to plan a smaller project of which we will be reporting below. Furthermore our partners in Ghana were very successful in negotiating with the Ghanaian education service (GES) and received an acceptance letter which guarantees the take-over of the school by government once it is completed. This is a big success for us since it means that no further costs for running the school will become due for our NGO.

Die Organisatorinnen des Sportfestes übergaben die Spende bei der Schulabschlussfeier

In July we were happy about the great commitment of the students of the Joseph-von-Fraunhofer Gymnasium (JvFG) Cham. Together they ran 1116 km for charity reasons. For each round a private sponsor donated 2€ to our project or the JvFGs partner school in Togo. So that in the end we could thank them for an amazing donation of 365.40€.

We already invested part of this sum in the small project we talked above. Our Ghanaian partners had initiated it already in the beginning of the year. Because according to a study by the GES huge deficits in education can be traced back to lacking reading experience. However the children in Ghana often don’t have the opportunity to read, since they hardly own any books themselves and not every school is equipped with a library. That’s why our partners from the NEA acquired in total 600 reading books from various Ghanaian authors and distributed them to children in four primaries and JHS in the area. But the project is not done yet, because with events like reading competitions we want to further encourage the children to practice reading.

Even though we made a visible impact with this project our main focus lies on our big aim: the establishment of a secondary school. And we approached this in the second half of the year.

Already in August the planning of a new project to build a small part of the school complex began.
This will contain a 42 m² big classroom, an office and a storeroom. Additionally a sanitary station with four separated toilet booths will be constructed. Furthermore the project includes the furnishing with desks and the provision of the relevant schoolbooks, so that directly after the end of the project the education in form of a pre-school can start.

Even though we have reduced this project to the essential elements, it still exceeds our NGOs financial resources. That’s why we began with writing an application for funding to the W.P. Schmitz foundation in September, which supports NGOs in executing projects in unprivileged countries. The application was already submitted to the foundation and should be examined in the beginning of the year.

Simultaneously we wanted to motivate as many donators with our “10for10” campaign to acquire the missing part of the budget of 10,000€. We could raise a lot of attention with a tedious video and reports in the local media, so that we had already collected more than 7,000€ before Christmas. During the Christmas days we received some further generous donations which helped us to reach our goal already before the end of the year. Nevertheless the campaign is still running and we are happy about any donation which will be guaranteed put in our project.

We hereby want to thank all our supporters for the last year. We are looking forward to the year 2020, when according to all projections we will start with the construction and we hope that we accomplish many more great projects to assist the children in the North of Ghana in getting an education of high quality. Thank you very much!

Do you know Ananse and how he managed to outwit Mr Tortoise? Or Kofi, the clever schoolboy and his tricks? Have you heard of the black pot, out of which suddenly a rabbit jumped? And do you know what happened to the boy who turned into a tree?

The circuit supervisor of Sagnarigu hands over the books to the principal of a primary

No?!? Then maybe you should ask the children of Taha.
Because while you are reading this article, they probably sit excitedly over the books, in which these adventures are told. Overall theses are 600 story books for primaries and Junior High Schools in Ghana, which our partner organisation Northern Educational Alliance (NEA) distributed to children at four schools in the Taha area last week. They were proudly supported by the circuit supervisor of Sagnarigu, the Northern chairman of CCT and delegates from the chief palace.

This was part of the reading-project, which we conduct in close partnership with the Ghana Education Service to improve the children’s learning skills. The GES found out that you can catch up deficiencies in learning with continuous reading exercises. The problem herein is that the children are lacking the materials since they own very few books themselves and only the bigger schools in the country possess libraries.

That’s why together with the NEA we planned the “schoolbooksproject”, where, in a first step, we distributed story books. In the following weeks the children will have time to read the books and events like reading competitions or quizzes will motivate them alongside.

The project could be financed with the donations of the last months, but we would especially like to thank the students of the Joseph-von-Fraundorfer Gymnasium Cham, who collected more than 1800€ at a charity run. But we also want to express our gratitude to all other supporters!

In the gallery you can get a few impressions from the books distribution:

Step after step our project is taking shape. Even though we are both in Germany and in Ghana busy with planning the first building of our school, the appointment in Tamale last Friday had highest priority in Alhassan Salifu’s timetable, the chairman of our partner organization.
For the meeting with two very important representatives of the Ghanaian state was about the future of our project after completing the first building.

Samata Mahama is the district education director for the Sagnarigu district, which means that she is the highest authority for all educational matters in our operating area. The second official was Mahama Rukiya who is the Human Ressource Manager. One of her duties is among others assigning new teachers to our school.

As one can guess from looking at the picture the meeting was very successful. The two executives assured us full support by the government. This includes for example an unobstructed participation of our students in the WASSCEs once they complete school.

Furthermore it is planned since long that we will hand over the school to the government one day. Even if this was a regular method once it is banned right now. However they assured us that the ban will be lifted very soon and that we can already apply for the takeover.

Even though some representatives of our NGO already met the former officeholder this follow-up was very important since the positions had been staffed new after a change in government in 2017. Nevertheless this has no implications for our project because the new director is totally on our side.

Concert, a journey to Ghana, new plans, many tasks. That’s how we could describe our annual general meeting in just four words. But of course there were more than just four words spoken, especially of the journey to Ghana, which Michael Altmann, Christoph Wenzl and Michael Wenzl made in september. However the members got not only stories to hear, but also a short video clip of the journey to see. In the first half of the video Taha and its residents are shown. This is followed up by a interview with Alhassan, which clearly pictures the current situation. With this video und other pictures of the journey we want to advertise our project even more in the next months. But the three members took not only pictures, they could also meet many responsible persons, such as the chiefs of Taha and the surrounding villages and they could convince themselves of the progress at the site.

The events in Germany last year were also successful for our NGO. On the first place stands, of course, the charity concert of “Lehra und Mehra” in June, were we could earn 6500 EUR.

After last years summary the planing and the further procedure were decided on. The meeting was closed with a group photo. We send the protocol to everyone who is interested in our work.
We will be pleased even more about new members. Just contact us our fill out the form (find it at “conctact”).

Once again there was adrenaline, emotinons boiling up, blood, sweat and black eyes. The Students’ Charity Fight Night took place once again this year at the “Kolpinghaus” in Regensburg. Like last year students from different faculties fought against each other for a good cause. And the guests – all in dresses and suits – cared for the right atmosphere.

Also this year the Taha-Schul-Projekt sent a champ into the ring. Yannick “the punching Apache” Adler fought all the three rounds for our project. He was really compasionate and gave everything. We thank him very much for his performance.

After six further fights the ring was turned into a dancefloor and the guests and the fighters could celebrate till the morning. For everyone who wants to know more about the Students Charity Fight Night or who wants to take part next year, visit them on facebook.
For everyone who couldn’t be there, here are some few pics of the evening.