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Safowa Gifty Education Fund Update & How You Can Help

The Safowa Gifty Education Fund
managed by the Women's Association for Children's Welfare and Douglas La Rose PCV
wacwel@yahoo.com

The Safowa Gifty Scholarship Fund was established by the Women's Association for Children's Welfare (WACWEL) in 2006. The fund was established to help ambitious, yet under-privileged, girls attain SSS (Senior Secondary School) levels of education. The first round of fund-raising enabled two recently-graduated JSS students to obtain admission and enrollment in secondary schools in the Jasikan district of the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa. Both students are successfully moving forward with their educations.

The contributions from the first appeal for donations have had an immense impact on the lives of two young female students and has inspired scores of other students to work harder at attaining their dreams. Safowa Gifty is attending the College of Profession in Jasikan and is currently in her second term. She is learning secretarial skills including accounting, record-keeping, and how to use a computer. Salomey Danquah is getting ready to start school at Kajebi Secondary School were she will study journalism.

WACWEL has decided to expand the aim and purpose of the Safowa Gifty Scholarship Fund to address more fundamental factors effecting the education and development of the youth of Ghana. Now that we are in our second phase of work, we have decided to broaden our aim to help both young men and women as well as young children who are neglected for various reasons. For this reason we have changed the name of the fund to “The Safowa Gifty Education Fund.”

The updated aims of the fund are as follows:

To modify a currently unused classroom in the JSS compound of Guaman to house a library holding books donated by the Darien Book Aid foundation.
To purchase toys and other necessities for a day care which addresses the neglect of pre-school children.
To aid young students in purchasing school uniforms or supplies.
To award scholarships to promising young students who would otherwise be unable to obtain the means to attend senior secondary or professional schools.

1. The Library Project

The library project was initiated over one year ago when the Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) working for WACWEL sighted an opportunity in a pamphlet provided by Peace Corps. The Volunteer contacted the Darien Book Aid foundation in the U.S.A and secured a donation of over one thousand books for the library project. The question of where and how the books would be housed has been addressed but the means to construct the doors and purchase the locks necessary for the JSS compound has not. Stationary and record-keeping supplies would also be necessary for the functioning of the library. Part of the education fund would thus be used to address these issues.

2.The Day Care Project

The purpose of the day care is to watch children who are otherwise neglected or exposed to unhealthy conditions (being tied to their mothers' backs when they went to farm, for example) while their parents are working. Unfortunately, the woman who watched the children fell seriously ill and a replacement could not be found. The day care center fell into disrepair and the chairs, books, and toys used to instruct and entertain the children were lost or stolen. Thankfully, the woman who watched the children is healthy again. Part of the education fund would be used to address these issues.

3. School Uniforms and Supplies

Ghanaian schools still practice a type of British-colonial discipline in which students are caned or expelled for not following certain protocol. Such protocol includes wearing a specific type of uniform and carrying a certain amount and quality of school books and supplies. Because of poverty in Guaman money is difficult to come by to purchase such necessities. The surprising thing is that only $10 is ample to provide all of these necessities for one student. Very unfortunately, young female students sometimes go to the extent of finding “sugar daddies” to help buy school uniforms and supplies when their parents can't afford it. This is, stated simply, the trading of sex for education. Part of the education fund would be used to address these issues.

4. The Safowa Gifty Scholarship Fund

The Safowa Gifty Scholarship Fund was established to aid ambitious yet under-privileged girls attend SSS and Professional schools. The scholarship was named after a student who inspired a Peace Corps Volunteer (the author of this petition) because of her ambition in such extreme and grueling circumstances. The girl would awake at 4 A.M, go to farm, and then attend school until 3 P.M. She would then cook, clean, and process food and then study by torchlight deep into the night, only to fall back on the cycle again the next day. The first appeal for donations helped Safowa Gifty enroll and attend a professional school in Jasikan. In all of its aims the fund was successful. A similar girl by the same of Salomey Danquah was also awarded an SSS scholarship by the fund.

In its second round the fund wants to expand its influence to aid young boys as well. Even though boys are favored by families to receive funds for education, there are circumstances where their families cannot afford to pay school fees for them. SSS school fees are about $150 (including tuition, uniform, room and board). WACWEL plans to continue supporting Safowa and Salomey along with two yet-to-be-chosen boys.

Appeal for Donations

With your support, these four issues can be addressed. The benefits of such a program are immense. Not only does providing an education for young men and women help them in their individual lives, but it also helps break a cycle of poverty and exploitation. By helping those in the most under-privileged of circumstances hope is instilled in the hearts of their peers and their children. By supporting a small-scale program such as the Safowa Gifty Education Fund you are also empowering a local NGO that plans to expand its influence in the lives of women and children. WACWEL is run by local women who are familiar with their problems and practical about their solutions.

The Safowa Gifty Education Fund is supported entirely through private donations. The account is managed by a Peace Corps Volunteer (Douglas La Rose) in conjunction with the Women's Association for Children's Welfare. 100% of all donations go directly to these programs; there are no administrative costs or overhead expenses. Donations of any size are accepted and WACWEL is able to provide receipts. However, you must consult your tax advisers to determine if your contributions are tax deductible in the U.S. We are also able to answer any questions or concerns you may have about supporting us. By helping us you are helping the lives of aspiring young men and women and the future of Africa.

PLEASE MAKE OUT ALL CHECKS TO: THE WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION FOR CHILDREN'S WELFARE

Our address is:
Women's Association for Children's Welfare
PO Box 129
Jasikan-Buem, Volta Region
Ghana, West Africa
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