Hello everyone, and it is my great pleasure to give you a quick update on all that has been going on at Wioso Senior High School and Organic Farm in Ghana.
We have finally managed to complete Phase 2 of the school building, more of that below, and will be welcoming a further 100 students during September.
Our current students continue to perform extremely well, and we are all excited to see our first national exam results, which our oldest students will be sitting in June next year. We are optimistic that they will do extremely well, as the quality of the teachers continues to impress, and they have all taken the 'Alma Mater Education System' to heart. Lessons around the school now are far more creative and student inclusive, and it is not uncommon to see lessons outside, at the farm, and around the site.
It is full steam ahead once more after a difficult 2016 which saw us miss the deadline for finishing Phase 2, resulting in student intake last year being very low. A combination of a falling value in sterling, unseasonal weather and a delay in getting the solar equipment from Europe, meant that we missed our construction deadline last September.
However, I am very happy to report that we have caught up this year. Phase 2 is finished, and all of the power at the school is now provided by the African sun. We have a further five classrooms ready to go, and aim to have our ICT suite installed early in 2018, which was generously donated by Felix Vogler and Panagenda last year, and will be named the 'Panagenda ICT suite'.
After the problems of last year, there have understandably been a few parents in the local area who have been waiting to see how the school building progresses. Although cutting it fine, they are now seeing the progress made at the school and are beginning to enrol their children to begin in Wioso next month. Our target enrolment rate is 100, and we have had over 500 applicants for study already.
Of course, our aim is to make the school economically self-sufficient as well as ecologically - which we have already achieved through our Organic farm, solar power and borehole water supply. Our aim, with the new students this year is to be up to 70% economically self-sufficient, with a running cost deficit of just £12,000. This target is a great motivator, and we would have gone a long way to proving the model, alongside providing free education to half of our students if we can achieve this.
Going forward, it has been identified that we need to develop a hostel, and provide a bus service, to allow many of the students from the more remote areas access to our school. These are the most vulnerable children, with absolutely no chance of an education, and the ones that AME was set up specifically to help. Our site can provide an education, renewable utilities and food from the farm. A hostel would be a cost-effective and secure way to provide these students access to an education, and is repeatedly requested when we visit these communities.
Thank-you so very much for taking the time to read this update, and for your continued support with our ambitious project in Ghana. I hope you all agree that so far things have been a great success, and we can all be rightly proud of what we have achieved. Simply without your support, none of this would have been achieved, and from all of us at AME and the students in attendance, a massive thank-you!
If you would like to donate to our 2017/18 fundraising drive, the account details are below. Our target for the next academic year is £120,000 to complete the school buildings and roofing, a hostel, a school bus, the sports field as well as an onsite hostel for those children who have to travel more than two hours each day. Naming opportunities include the science lab, classrooms and the new offices, as well as the school bus and hostel.
Please contact me directly for any further information.
CEO Alma Mater Education
Donations: Can be received via bank transfer, into our UK or US accounts, details below. Or via post to the addresses above.
UK Sterling Account US Dollar Account
Bank: HSBC Bank: Wells Fargo
Account no: 62155907 Account no: 6268919351
Sort code: 400409 Routing no (wire transfer). 121000248