Objective (What do we want to do?)
The Kanaka school´s aim is to provide quality education at affordable prices available from Day-Care and Primary school until Professional education level, for children, youth and adults, in a remote rural area where no other similar school operates.
Besides the regular Ghanaian program for Professional Training (Trade, Hairdressing, Catering, etc.) the school program will also include traditional fabrics official certification which is now compulsory in Ghana to manufacture and sell these fabrics, so it is expected that many artisans already working on this would come to the school to gain certification. Also, in 2014 we want to introduce a new and much demanded subject in Ghana, Care Taking, mostly for the elderly.
History (Why do we want to do it?)
Kanaka School was founded by Christiana Frimpong in 2003. The project started with Christiana´s visit to her hometown in Ghana after 20 years working in Europe. She realised that, because the town only had a Secondary school (to go onto university), many young people had nothing to do after they finished primary school, and ended up having adult lives (working and having families) when they were still teenagers. She thought that this situation could be improved if they had the chance of preparing themselves professionally. Also, the adult population in the area had not had access to such education at the time, but many adults would be willing to go back to school and learn or improve in a profession.
Kanaka school started being built with Christiana´s savings and with donations received from her employers in Holland in a land she inherited in her hometown, Domeabra, a small rural village (population 1,500) near Kumasi in the Ashanti region in Ghana. The school is registered in The Netherlands as a Foundation (Stichting) since 2008. The needs have always been bigger than the funds received, mostly due to the need of fulfilling the Ministry of Education requirements in terms of infrastructures and installations that result in having to have a big compound fully built before official registration can be obtained.
From the maximum of 500 students, only 95 students can currently attend and with their fees only the school costs are barely covered. A total of 148.000 Euro has already been invested so far in building the school. From these, 86.000 € are intelligent money, i.e. invested by Christiana. The rest have been donations from her employers, private donors and other Foundations (COR, Haëlla and A4C).
Actions already taken to achieve self-sustainability:
- The school has acquired a van, so that students all around the region can attend the school without having to bear the expenses of boarding at the school during the week days. Also, because the population in the village is not enough to sustain the school financially, more students need to be recruited in the surrounding area.
- Publicity: Besides radio campaigns, word to mouth is very important as we are targeting a small region in which many communication links are already established. Also, the school personnel sometimes travel with the school van to remote communities within the region to publicize the school.
Beneficiaries (For whom are we doing this?)
The initial students in the school were mainly teenagers and adults who were interested in receiving professional education and certification in an area that was either new to them, or because they wanted to improve their skills, or because they needed official certification to continue working in their current professions. But due to Kanaka´s lack of official certification, they need to take their exams in another school which is inconvenient and therefore many have dropped out in the last year. Also, the population in the area is not enough to fill-in the school and until the boarding options are finished, it will be impossible to have enough students.
On the other hand, since 2012, and following a Governmental campaign against Child labor in cocoa farms and in favor of early schooling, it was identified that there was an increasing demand for Primary education. In order to accommodate this demand and to increase the income of the school, there are already 4 classrooms for kid’s ages 2 to 6 with over 70 students.
There is a high demand for quality education in Domeabra and surrounding area, as proven by the high enrolment rates in other professional schools and the interest that the population is showing already. There are other schools in the area but they only offer Secondary school aimed only to pursue University education which is not affordable for a large part of the population. The tuition fees in Kanaka are affordable for the vast majority of the population, even for the full boarding option.
Social impact (How are we changing things?)
Recently, and with the introduction of the Primary school students and Day-Care, the social impact in the region will be double: early schooling will have great benefits in the students’ academic potential but also the fact that many mothers will now have more time to work and earn an income to improve the children´s living conditions at home.
The school is also having an important social impact on teenagers who would not have any other possibility of further education after primary school, to be trained in a field that will provide them with more chances of getting a sustainable income and at the same time provide them with a motivating and encouraging social network with their fellow students. Before this school was opened, after primary school, most of them would take up non-skilled and low paid jobs, mostly in agriculture related activities. Having an official title in a profession will open doors for further development of the students and will improve their living conditions and those of the whole area.
We would also like to mention the impact that the school is having on women, also a very vulnerable part of the population. On the one hand, the professional training and subsequent incomes generated from it will be important for women in order to gain autonomy and empowerment. And also now, with the incorporation of Day-care and Primary school students, many mothers will be able to do different jobs now that they do not have to carry their children with them, or just be able to do their job more freely, while their children attend school.
Outlook 2018-2019 (Where do we need to be?)
- Continue to invest into the primary education for children in Domeabra and surrounding villages
- Teaching material
- Kitchen utensils
- To assist the food program
- To facilitate boarding at the school
- Build out our vocational courses (Specific for empowering women)
- Sowing & Hair dressing
- Sowing & Hair dressing
- Further invest in creating a safe learning and working environment
- A fence wall
- Two bungalow’s for families taking care of the school (security)
We would need 13.000 euro’s in order to achieve the goals mentioned above.
For a more detailed overview on the plan for the next 3 years please see the below excel document (tab “3 year plan”)
Memory 2017/18 (Where are we now?)
KANAKA started the year with the need to re-adjust its plans for providing affordable education.
In 2017 we sought to implement a nursing school course within KANAKA that would next to the educational peas, bring the school (closer) to self-sufficiency.
Due to a unforeseen governmental change in legislation prohibiting privately owned schools to provide nursing training the plan needed to be adjusted.
Plan B was to role out just the IT and fashion course instead, but with the lack of funds that would primarily have come from the nursing training we were not able to fund the start up of these courses.
Please find the presentation of the initial plans and requirements attached below (Nursing, IT & Fashion courses)
Having experienced these unfortunate setbacks KANAKA is now (continuing) to focus on the basic primary education.
In order to support this goal there was a need of a school bus that would transport the primary school children to and from the school.
After a much appreciated loan donation from A4C KANAKA was able to purchase the bus and build the facilities needed to support the increase of school attending children (made possible due to the better accessibility to the school.
In addition KANAKA has setup a new sowing course that is steadily increasing in attendance.
Please find the presentation of the progress made with the 20k loan below
We are very happy to announce that we are now providing schooling to more children than ever (35% increase)
Memory 2013 (Where are we now?)
Given the current conditions and demand (number of students) the financial situation at the end of 2013 is very precarious, the fees barely cover the costs of running the school, which means that in 2014 there will be no margin left for emergencies or to cover any of the construction costs. The main problem is that some of the students are finding it difficult to pay their fees on time or to pay them at all. The area is very poor and some students cannot afford education or they prioritize other expenditures, especially when the cocoa season is over (90% of the income in the area comes from cocoa).
Also, inflation rate in Ghana is very high (13,5 % ) and, because the country is developing very fast, construction materials are very demanded and very scarce. In 2013 we have seen prices increasing versus the budgets in just a few months, and in 2014 we can expect the same trend.
Until September 2013 permanent registration with the Ghanaian Ministry of Education was pending. But during 2013 Kanaka has been able to raise the 30,000 € needed urgently to secure the registration as a Primary school. With these funds we have done the following investments:
- Drilling and installation of water pump.
- Piping of water throughout school compound.
- Connection of industrial electricity in the whole compound.
- Finish off the toilets.
- Canteen and kitchen.
- Teacher’s accommodation.
- New sewing machines.
- Fixing patio and part of road. 80 Chairs and tables for the canteen. Utensils for the kitchen.
Also in 2013, and because we have gone from some private donations to donations from Foundations, with strict internal rules, we have undergone an internal change and become more professionalized, even if everyone involved in Kanaka (except for the teachers in Ghana) are volunteers. We have introduced a more formal Governance Structure in the Kanaka Stichting and we have enlarged the Board of Directors, in order to ensure appropriate knowledge and control.
We have also launched a new web page in Dutch and English to help spread the information about the project.
Outlook 2014-2015 (Where do we need to be?)
Until 2013 we have focused in obtaining the certification as a Primary school, in order to achieve the maximum number of students to make the school fully sustainable in the short to mid-term, but the school´s income can barely cover the running costs of the school, so there will be no money left for further investments and we have to continue searching for external funding in order to finish building all the required infrastructures for achieving the Professional Training certification. For this, financing of around 50,000 is still needed to finish the whole compound. Next inspection will be in September 2014 and by then we should, at least, have proper boarding facilities and enough equipment and workshops to teach all subjects.
Especially important are the dormitories, as not only are they a main requisite to achieve certification, but also because having boarding facilities for 200 students would mean an extra income of around 3.000 € which would help cover the monthly current losses in the running costs of the school.
Once the funds are raised and the Professional Training certification is obtained, the school is expected to achieve its maximum number of students very soon and to become financially sustainable in the short to mid-term.
|2014||22.000 €||Build dormitories and boarding facilities|
|2014||5.000 €||Sewing factory (to sew and sell clothes, done by the school students) including workshops for textiles|
|2014||5.000 €||Books for library and computers (ideally laptops for safety as they can be locked after use)|
|2014||5.000 €||Sports facilities|
|Total 2014||37.000 €|
|2015||8.000 €||Finalise 3rd wing building with top floor (additional classrooms)|
|2015||10.000 €||Assembly hall, convenience store and Internet café.|
|Total 2015||18.000 €|
Actions to improve the financial situation of the school (agreed in the last Board meeting Feb.2014)
- Start working on attracting more students, even from further areas but this is only possible when the boarding option is available.
- Start-up a sewing factory within the school where the students can practice their acquired skills and at the same time, generate a small income doing uniforms and other items.
- Start focusing on quality of education. In 2014 we should start preparing for when we obtain the Professional Training license to build a strong educational program.
- Need to publicize the benefits and importance of Professional training, as the general opinion now is that the only need for studying is to go onto University. This we can do directly with our Primary school students as the teachers will detect their skills from an early age and can advise the students on their options. The success stories of recent graduates are also helping to change the current mindset.