Logo for: Rotary Old Saybrook

Ghana Library-Literacy Project

First Report Rotary Future Vision Matching Grant Library-Literacy Project

Prepared by: Stephen Mecca, Rotarian
June 24, 2013

The first container for this project was shipped to Ghana (port of Tema) in mid-April 2013 and arrived in Ghana in early June. Simultaneously, the first 21 schools in Ghana West were identified as potential recipients. These schools were determined to be the neediest in the region and, for the most part, were Primary and JHS. The container cleared customs and was trucked to the Warehouse of Rotarian (RCAA) Dave where it was unloaded and sorted by type and destination. All day Application and Training workshops were scheduled and carried out as follows:

  • Thursday, May 30 – 5 schools with 4 staff per school
  • Tuesday, June 4 – 5 schools with 4 staff per school
  • Wednesday, June 6 – 6 schools with 4 staff per school
  • Wednesday, June 12 – 5 schools with 4 staff per school

Members of the Community Based Student Internship (CBSI) from the US (Providence College) and Ghana (University of Ghana, Ashesi University, Radford University) assisted in the training. The GSAP Center in Pokuase (in Ga West) was used for the sessions as it easily accommodated up to 25 participants and had LCD projects and whiteboard facilities in comfortable surroundings with ready access for arriving participants.

Each day of training began with completion of the application process (see attached copy of the application) assisted by members of the CBSI team who were able to facilitate through multiple languages. Following this, a carefully prepared presentation and workshop on running a rural school library was carried out. A power point was used to facilitate the presentation.

See Segment of the Presentation

GSAP provided recycled manila file folder materials to each school in sufficient quantities tp allow them to create the needed files for their manual student lending program.  During the workshop, each school team was asked to prepare a policy for lending books at their school. 

In addition, a session was held on school hygiene and to need for effective handwashing with soap Refreshments and lunch was served and the occasion was used as an informal way of getting to know the schools and their attending staff. Following lunch,  intensive sessions on the computer resources was carried out including an introduction to the GSAP educational portal, which includes resources from the Rachel Initiative, the Khan Academy and nearly 2000 electronic age-appropriate books by subject plus numerous resources on health and hygiene.  Sample math lessons were demonstrated and the access procedure for the system was laid out. Before the end of each day, attendee schools were told in an exit interview about the extent of the donations to be made; arrangements were made for each school to pick up their books at the warehouse and their prepped computers at the GSAP Center. A CBSI student (or 2 in some cases) accompanied staff to their schools to help setup computers and inspect the premises for security and access adequacy. Each school was asked to provide test score data to be used in before-after evaluations of the program. Staff at the GSAP Center coordinated all arrangements including refreshments and lunch each of the training-workshop days. On one of the days, Ebow Acquah from the RCAA attended the early part of the day and a member of his family participated in the day’s program. A verbal report was made each week during this period to the RCAA at their regular meeting. A team headed by one of their members, Abena, will conduct follow-up at each of the schools beginning about 4 months out.

While formal evaluations of the training sessions were not carried out, the exit interviews and follow-up phone calls and visits indicated that participants were pleased. Staff agreed that virtually every participant was engaged in the sessions and left with great anticipation of what the books, materials and computers could do for their literacy programs.

Twice during the 4 days of training, power went out in Pokuase. The Center has a small solar system for lights and, more important, has a large whiteboard which allowed the morning session to carry on nicely. The part of the afternoon session that lost power was scheduled to be carried out at the schools upon setup of the computers by a member of the staff.

Other than the power outage for 2 of the many sessions that were held, the first major phase of this program went very well.

See Photos