Because all of the children at the Ghana Make a Difference (GMAD) home have come from dire circumstances many of them had never been to school.
The GMAD Academy of Learning was created in 2017 so we could better meet the needs of the children who were being brought to the GMAD home and to accommodate some of the children locally who also have unique circumstances.
In 2018 we tried raising money to construct a school, we didn't get the funds we were looking for. So we got creative and converted our chicken coop into a school.
After the GMAD Academy of Learning opened you could find the kids studying in their chairs an hour before school started. They are still very excited to be in school. As much of a step forward this school was for the GMAD children, it has serious limitations. The acoustics, size, electrical components and layout are a few of the things that limit our capabilities.
Our curriculum has been reviewed and hand tailored by volunteers who have Masters in Education and have backgrounds in teaching children from underdeveloped countries. The children at the GMAD Academy of Learning use tablets and laptops to learn. A school house will be the optimal space to springboard these children’s learning forward and unlock their full potential. Most of the children that stay at the GMAD home are in our care anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Because of our relatively small window of influence we have in the lives of these children, a school house becomes a crucial element in our efforts to make a sustainable difference. The school will double as a vocational school in the evenings. Older children will learn valuable trades here. Our current makeshift school will then be the site for a Junior High School.
A distinguished architect recently returned from the GMAD Home - specifically for this school. His wife, himself and our in-country directors surveyed the land and had meetings with different local contractors and tradesmen. They also visited different schools within Ghana that have been built within the last couple of years, noting the difference good design makes with airflow and heat reduction.
The architect has selected a small team of volunteers from his architecture firm that are drawing up the plans for the school, those plans will be ready in March. These plans will also contain a few concepts from the student designs we got last semester from the interior design, construction management and pre-architecture programs at Weber State University.
We plan to break ground in August of this year and finish construction in March of 2021. A group from Weber State has plans to come help with the finishing touches.
This is the Ghana Make a Difference children's home. The building under construction on the top right is our medical clinic, it is now completed and in use. You can see the wheelchair path that goes from the top of our property down to the chicken coup school on the top left of the image. The site for the new school is indicated by the clip art image of a school.
Based on our architects estimate and our past experience building in Ghana we believe this school and it's furnishings will cost $200,000.
We've predicted the annual increase in expenses for the school for teachers, staff and food, but without outside funding we simply will not have the funds to build this school. If you know anyone or any organization that would like to sponsor a classroom, contact email@example.com.
This school will accommodate 125 children in manageable class sizes. Almost all of the GMAD children will attend this school. For the children admitted from the nearby village who also have unique circumstances, the breakfast and lunch served here will typically be their only meals each day.
GMAD is a temporary home for these (GMAD) children. The impact this school will have will not help a static group of the same children each year, but will unlock the potential of many different children every year, children who also happen to be some of the world's most vulnerable children.