Ghana Memories: Riding The Bus!

One of my main motivations for traveling to Ghana this past week was to show the people of this area we remain committed to the success of  Semanhyiya American School. More than one parent came up to Barb and me in the weeks leading up to the school opening in September to tell us to stay involved so that the school did not fail. A perception exists in Ghana that if you leave a school to be run by the locals, it will not succeed. Perception is reality, so even though we have an amazing team of administrators and teachers doing incredible work, seeing one of our co-founders at school and in the community sends a very important message. Riding the bus for morning pickup seemed like a perfect way to help accomplish this goal.

With roosters acting as my alarm clock, I woke up at 4:30 am giving me plenty of time to get ready for our 6:00 am departure. Monday morning I rode the yellow bus, the larger of our “fleet” of two. I was joined by Grade 1 teacher, Sylvia, and one of our coaches, Attah, for the ride through Kato, Berekum and finally Senase. Each bus has two adults in addition to the driver to help maintain order and receive each child as the bus arrives and to collect their money for breakfast.

I sat up front to be able to greet the children and parents at each stop. As the you can see from the photos, many of the children wanted to sit near, next to, or on me! Once we had ten or so on board it was time for singing. Imagine my surprise when Sylvia led the group in the Twelve Days of Christmas! I joined in and quickly learned that I need some work on how many maids a milking, pipers piping and geese a laying there are! The kids loved this and the other songs they sang, making the long ride to school (almost an hour for a few) fly by.  Parents smiled and greeted me at each stop making my decision to wake up early after my long journey most rewarding, not to mention I will rock the “Twelve Days” next Christmas!

Mike Allison on the bus with Senase school children
Mike Allison on bus with Senase, Ghana, Africa schoolchildren
Senase school kids getting off bus in Ghana

Introducing our Scholarship Fund

It’s a new year, and we have a new way for you to get involved!

Every child who attends Semanhyiya American School pays a modest school fee. This fee covers the cost of their uniforms, breakfast and lunch, transportation to and from school, and all school supplies and materials.

Senase and the surrounding villages in which our students live are very poor. Many of the families earn just enough money to feed and care for their family’s basic needs, and others farm their land just to sustain themselves.

The selection process for our students included a parent interview to determine their level of commitment to their child’s education, as well as their ability to pay this modest fee. As we all know, it is crucial for a student to have the support of a dedicated parent or caregiver who appreciates the value of an education.

We know from time to time, situations will arise when a parent may struggle to pay their child’s full school fee and we are committed to helping our students stay enrolled at SAS where they have the unique opportunity to receive the kind of education that will truly put them on a path to a better future.

Unlike a sponsorship program, where your donation goes directly to a specific child, our scholarship fund will help supplement a child’s school fees when we determine that their family needs a little help to keep their child in school. We feel it is very important that the parent pay whatever they are able, as it keeps them involved and gives them a feeling of ownership and participation in their child’s education.

You can donate today, to help us make sure all of our students are able to return to Semanhyiya American School for their second term, which begins one week from today!

little boy, scholarship fund, ghana, school, africa

Our next project: Two new classrooms!

Our next step is to add a building containing two classrooms. One classroom will be our 2nd grade, which will open next September, and the other will be used for many different purposes until it is opened as our 3rd grade classroom in the fall of 2017.

Eventually, as we have the funds, we will build upwards to complete three stories on this building before expanding our campus to the adjacent property. Each year we will add a grade, until we have a school comprised of classes KG1 through class 9, (Pre-K through 9th grade).

We believe strongly that growing our school by one class each year is the best strategy to give our students a strong foundation with the new system of education that we are introducing not only to them, but to our teachers and parents as well.

Developing our student’s abilities, and instilling in them the belief that they have the talents and gifts to reach for their dreams is our ultimate goal. Anyone visiting our campus will immediately feel the sense of community and oneness that we have worked hard to create. Environment matters!

We are very proud that our school is totally self-sustainable. Our foundation provides the funds used to build the school buildings and to supply the classrooms with the materials needed. All of the expenses to run the school are covered by the modest school fees that our parents pay. This includes teacher and staff salaries, fuel and maintenance for our two school busses, school lunches, electricity and internet…everything that it takes to run our school day to day.

GodFreds Foundation - new elementary school classroom in Ghana
GodFreds Foundation - new elementary school classroom in Ghana