The special meaning behind our school name: SEMANHYIYA AMERICAN SCHOOL

Semanhyiya American School LogoBy Barbara Allison

In exactly 100 days from today, our school will open its doors, bringing high quality and affordable education to more than 100 children in Senase, Ghana!

Choosing a name for our school proved more challenging than any of us imagined it would be. For weeks on end Mike, Fred and I messaged back and forth with name suggestions, but nothing ever quite felt or sounded right. Not only did we want it to represent the new western style of education we are bringing to Fred’s village, but we also wanted it to convey the unique story that led us to this incredible place in our lives and to be a symbol of all that is possible.

One day in February, Fred announced, “I KNOW the name of our school!” Afraid that it would be just another name that sounded good for a couple of hours and then fell flat, I was skeptical. “Semanhyiya American School”, he said. (pronounced, Sa-man-cha). Fred explained to me that semanhyiya is a word in his native language, Twi, which means, “If I had never met you”.

All of a sudden our conversation stopped, as we both reflected on the magnitude of those words. It was perfect in so many ways. Not only did the name convey how fate and chance have played a huge role in this dream that is now becoming a reality for so many, but it also honors a program that is so important to us, and which ultimately led me to Senase, Ghana and to meeting Fred: Semester at Sea.

At first that part was lost on me, until Fred added, ”Now our school initials are SAS and our students will be known as SAS Scholars!”

How could it get better than that! Our hope and expectation is that our students will also find meaning and connection to their schools name, as in the future they achieve academic and personal success, which will ultimately alter the paths of their lives.

We’ve reached the roof!

We have reached the roof and are right on schedule to complete our construction in the next month!

Current Senase School Construction