US Ambassador Supports Self-Help Project
US Ambassador Supports Self-Help Project Website
Miss Pamela Bridgewater, US Ambassador to Ghana on Thursday demonstrated her commitment to empowering rural children in Ghana to have a better future by making yet another cash and stationery donation to the Nkawkaw TI Ahmadiyya Basic School. Ms. Bridgewater presented a cheque for 2,080 dollars to the school to top up her previous donation of 3,120 dollars for the roofing of a three classroom block with an office and a library, which was constructed at a cost of 45,000 Ghana cedis with funds from the Ahmadiyya Mission and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school. The donation was part of the US Ambassador's Special Self-Help Programme, which supports communities that initiate and plan projects that, among other things improve the basic economic and social conditions at the grassroots level. The programme required beneficiary communities to make significant local contribution in the form of cash, labour and materials and have the ability to maintain the project before they could qualify for support. Since Ms Bridgewater assumed office as US Ambassador in 2005, she has supported at least 45 such projects across the country at a total cost of 210,000 dollars. Ms Bridgewater noted that self-help had proved to be the best way for poor rural communities to emerge out of need into endowment, saying the Embassy would continue to support poor communities, which show signs of self-help. Mr. Joe Latif Acquah, Headmaster of the School, was full of gratitude to Ms Bridgewater and announced his intention to name a new Education Resource Centre near the school after her. He said when he took over as headmaster in 1998, the school had 338 pupils with five classrooms accommodating six classes with no furniture. "The children sat on the bare floor and used wawa boards as tables," he said. He noted that the school was populated with children of poor migrant workers, saying that rich parents avoided the school and that accounted for the poor infrastructure. Mr. Acquah noted that in the midst of the challenges he got wind of the US Ambassador's Self-Help Project and applied and got through successfully. He appealed to the US Ambassador to provide the school with computers to enable the school to meet the ICT requirement introduced on the academic timetable for basic schools. Mr. Abraham Adjetey Sowah, Municipal Director of Education, assured Ms. Bridgewater that the facilities she had provided would be used efficiently and maintained well. Mr. Thomas Ba-Innimayeh, Acting Kwahu West Municipal Coordinating Director, assured the school that the assembly would soon come on board and take over from where the US Embassy left off and complete the project. The school now has a population of 462 pupils and has benefited from yet another support from the USAID and built another three classroom block with a staff common room on the same compound.