Educational Development Center

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Educational Development Center

Ghana
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

About You
Location
Project Street Address

Block 4 Berekusu Road

Project City

Kitase, Akwapim

Project Province/State

Eastern Region

Project Postal/Zip Code
Project Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on:

Ghana

Website URL
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1-5 years

YouTube Upload
What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

<$50

Innovation
Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

The idea is to build an educational and development center for daily after-school programs. This center would serve the full spectrum of children, both in and out of school, providing a safe, loving, and clean environment. Additionally, the center will have a teacher resource section that will encourage professional growth. Teachers will be invited to learn from and observe our methods of teaching. The children will be encouraged in spiritual growth, creativity, environmental care, academics, and recreation.

What makes your idea unique?

Our unique teaching style emphasizes all forms of creativity. Through bible teachings, dance, drama, songs, special projects and programs our students thrive in learning in a comfortable and non-threatening environment. Children here are physically and emotionally supported. They are motivated to learn through positive reinforcement. Character building and moral education is a cornerstone to developing healthy families. Additionally, our students will learn to love and care for their environment through composting, alternate forms of energy, and an awareness of the living world around them. The unique location of our future center, in the Aburi Mountains, will allow ample opportunity for exploration and conservation. Children of the Light is for all children, not strictly the underprivileged or wealthy. “Children helping children, children teaching children”

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

Children & Youth , At risk youth , Behavioral issues , Boys' development , Child care , Child exploitation , Child labor , Child protection , Early childhood development , Education , Education reform , Girls' development , Mentorship , Play , Youth development , Adult education , Community development , Corporate social responsibility , Employment , Mentorship , Animal rights , Energy conservation , Waste and recycling , Water , Wildlife conservation , Health & Fitness , Disability , Health education , HIV/AIDS , Recreation , Sexuality , Sports , Substance abuse , Arts and culture , Social work , Spirituality , Sports , Volunteerism , Youth leadership.

What impact have you had?

The Children of the Light ministry has had a profound impact on the community. Through a partnership with a children’s home in Bolgatanga, children are encouraged to see outside of their own lives and reach out to help others. Parcels are designed and sent to underprivileged children in the Northern Region. Since its inception, we have seen children learn how to read, greatly improve their penmanship, grasp English as a second language and develop their art, spelling, and math abilities while fostering creativity. In addition to our weekly programs, we have an annual research project presentation, reading month activities, several competitions, and a Christmas concert. This year’s project consists of studying the seven continents, learning the flags of various countries, and individual country study including a related bible verse. Reading month is a fun time with many volunteers coming to do one-on-one reading with the students. Academic competitions help to excite the students about learning. The Christmas concert is an opportunity for drama and dance in a creative presentation. Through this concert, the local community sees the full potential of the students. We have seen exponential growth in our children’s self confidence through the performances, competitions, and presentations.

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

Children of the Light addresses the grave problem of inadequate education in the lives of Ghanaian children. This is the root of other serious problems such as poverty, crumbling family structures, low self-esteem, and neglect. For various reasons, students in the Ghanaian schools slip through the cracks without fully developing their academic skills. As a result, these students are hindered from advancing to higher education and reaching their career goals. Children of the Light seeks to break the harsh cycle of inadequate education. Parents who attended school, but didn’t actually learn anything, don’t understand the purpose of sending their children to school. Parents of children attending our program see that education can transform their lives.

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

Over the past four years, the program has grown and expanded. A 20-foot container has been transformed into a bright, ever-growing library with a collection of learning resources. The purchase of tables and benches has enhanced learning and promoted one-on-one and small group instruction. Children of the Light is in the final stages of purchasing land for the education and developmental center. The land is now officially registered in the name of Children of the Light.

Impact
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

Complete final stages of our land purchase. There is USD2,200.00 left to pay. Clear and grass a portion of the 1.316 acres of land (funding recently given to complete this task). Create a road to the land along with a car park. Begin construction on the pavilion which will be used as a basketball court and assembly hall. Build a standpipe and toilet facilities. Plant an orchard, set up a compost pile and incinerating unit. Move the container to the new land. Continue multi-weekly programs, activities and projects. Create a Children of the Light webpage.

Success in Year 2:

Build summer huts to be used for learning centers. Build volunteer quarters. Build a library and office building. Purchase two vehicles to assist in transporting children and supplies.

Success in Year 3:

Build dorms for camps complete with kitchens and toilets. Branches of Children of the Light established throughout Ghana. The center in Kitase will be the headquarters for all other branches.

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)

Our business plan is to continue raising funds through prayer, strategic partnerships, website, newsletters, advertizing in local businesses and churches, maintaining current relationships with donors, and winning the Changemakers competition. Sufficient funding will allow our dream of an education and developmental center to be realized.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:

Publicizing our dream and encouraging people to catch the vision and partner with Children of the Light. Boldly moving forward with our dream will impact the children of today.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

Maintaining the academic quality of the program so that children can move to the next level in their education and local teacher development. Draw teachers from international schools in Accra, Ghana, to volunteer.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

Growth in three ways: the number of committed children, the facilities and programs offered, and the growth of quality and carefully-screened staff

Describe the expected results of these actions.

The education and developmental center will allow for growth and expansion of all programs. The after-school programs will be increased from three times a week to a daily program. With larger facilities, more children from surrounding areas will be able to come and be positively impacted. At-risk children will continue their education at our center instead of dropping out. There will be more outdoor space for the children to learn and engage in physical activities. We will teach hands-on environmental care and conservation, which will inspire them to love the Earth. Our outdoor facility will benefit the children’s overall learning experiences. It will be more conducive to both large and small group learning. Additionally, this site will encourage children to have personal ownership for the center.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

After coming back to Ghana from New Zealand in 2004, I realized the dire need for educational programs. Children I met here were not reading even though they were attending schools. In my local neighborhood, there is a high drop-out rate with children leaving school and becoming street sellers. The first meeting was at a school in August 2005 with a handful of children present. In January 2007, we moved the ministry to my home. We are currently using a container which is in front of our house to serve as a library, office, and storeroom. However, books and other resources are quickly piling up inside of the house. With increased support, we plan to continue to the vision at a better location.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I was born and raised in New Zealand and migrated to Ghana in 1994, a day before I turned 30. I have three children ages 12, 9, and 6. I am a full time Pre-K4 teacher at the American International School in Accra, Ghana. I am actively involved in my church, leading the children’s Sunday school program. Additionally, I am a full time administrator and part-time teacher at Children of the Light. At the end of the day, my heart’s desire is for children to have a fulfilled and happy childhood.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

I first heard about Changemakers through a mother of one of my students.

Sustainability
What would prevent your project from being a success?

Nothing will prevent our success. Against all odds, the ministry has grown and a solid foundation has already been laid. God has been faithful in this ministry and has provided every step of the way. However, our efforts will be greatly hindered without adequate funding.

Financing source

No

If yes, provide organization name.

Not Applicable

How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)

Not Applicable

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes, there is an Advisory Board

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)

No

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)

No

The Story
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)

No

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Not Applicable

How many people will your project serve annually?

100-1000

What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

Employees: 3
Volunteers: 7

What is your organization's business classification?

Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)

None of the above.

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