Your support and contributions will enable us to reach out to those hard hit by the pandemic. Your generous donation will fund below one of our community crisis areas in Ghana.
So far, more than 3000 students, 6 community health centres, 200 families and 58 communities have been impacted since the emergence of coronavirus. Learn more about it below and ways that you can support.
Operation handkerchief and duster is an initiative aim to provide handkerchiefs to rural students and dusters to community schools.
Why the Initiative?
Students are the most infected of the novel corona virus due to several factors including the of sharing of handkerchiefs and the lack of it. Also, the lack of chalkboard cleaners - dusters, has resulted into poor personal and school hygiene practices in rural community schools.
To promote personal and school hygiene in order to curb the spread of COVID 19, the Women's Centre of Apprenticeship will sew together the left over pieces of ethical fabric to produce handkerchiefs and dusters for onward distribution to pupils and rural community schools. So, while saving the lives of the students, the environment is equally protected.
Call to Action
Join the Operation Handkerchief and Duster campaign by donating and sharing the cause. Your donation will among other things buy thread and transport the products to community schools.
Note: Call to Action realized. In total, 157 pupils in Tsiyinu community basic school benefited from the programme. See photos below.
Pieces of fabric to be sewed
Dusters currently in use by the pupils
Child labour and teenage pregnancy cases have risen exponentially especially in rural communities since the coming of COVID-19.
According to Ghana Education Service, the rise in teen pregnancy experienced between March to May 2020 is almost ninefold. UNICEF reports indicated that, children are more involved in hazardous child labour during the lockdown in Ghana.
South Dayi district in the Volta region is largely surrounded by lake Volta hence the major community economic activities are fishing and fish mongering. Unfortunately, school children are not exempted, they are either supporting their parents in the business to care for the family or fend for themselves for their survival.
Sadly, some of these children die fishing.
Under our School for All Programme (SAP), and in partnership with Thrive Global Project and Ghana Education Service, South Dayi District, we have provided backpacks, learning resources and facemasks to 474 students in Tongor Adzebui DA Primary, Ando Tsiyinu DA Primary, Kpeyiborme DA Primary and New Kaira DA Primary community schools who are devastated and hard hit by the pandemic.
The learning resources among other things will improve punctuality, increase enrollment, arouse learning, reduce truancy, curb the spread of coronavirus and boost academic performance.
We are grateful to our partner Thrive Global Project and invite similar organisations to partner with us so we can extend the programme to other impoverished communities
Since the emergence of COVID -19, the educational system is one of the hardest hit with school children staying at home from March with no reliable alternate medium of continuous teaching and learning. This has affected the school calendar and the ripple effect of young girls getting pregnant.
As schools are gradually being open from October 2020, one of the health protocols to fighting coronavirus is the wearing of facemask. Unfortunately, facemask is currently one of the most expensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) one can buy especially for the rural poor.
To bridge the gap, Operation 500 Masks was launched purposely to provide reusable facemasks made from sustainable fabric – Kente and batik tie-dye to students in the northern sector of Oti Region, one of the newly created regions yet impoverished.
By donating US$ 5.00, you bought reusable facemask made by our women at the Women’s Apprenticeship Centre. If you are in Ghana, you can donate GHC 5.00 through Vodafone Cash at 0209425179
Join the campaign in our collective quest to protect our students as they resume school.
Note: Call to Action realized. In total 527 reusable facemasks was given to students in 22 rural community schools. See the details below.
But you can still support project so we can distribute 5000 facemasks to students in rural Ghana. Donate to support us curb the spread of COVID 19.
Our Apprentices who sewed the 527 facemasks.
Esenam Amedzo, is an 18 years old young woman from Adaklu in the Volta Region of Ghana. Ese, popularly called suffers from a benign tumour from birth. Due to her ill condition, she couldn’t pursue formal education and hardly go out or engage in any social activity due to discrimination and stigmatization. The only source of joy in her struggle, her grandmother and father died prematurely in the early days of her ordeal. Esenam lives her life daily praying and hoping change will come one day when she will follow her passion to evangelize.
We met Esenam in 2016 during one of our community visits and instantly, we could identify her since her tumour has grown big and can be seen from afar. After having met the family, learning about the background and discussed the possibility to remedy her condition.
Under our Health for All Programme (HAP) where we sponsor children who need specialist surgery but due to poverty, customs and traditional believes couldn’t. After careful examinations, tests and reviews, she had her first and second surgery in 2017 and 2018 respectively. She was scheduled to have her third surgery 2019 but due to medical reasons the surgery was postponed to 2020.
But with the coming of Coronavirus, her surgeon who comes from United Kingdom to conduct her surgery is not able to due to international lockdown and protocols.
Currently, we are unsure when all these uncertainties will come to a halt for Ese to have her surgery. In the midst of all this, Esenam is devastated and for the fact that her surgery will be postponed again to an unknown date. To her, she is faced with two fears, the first which has become part of her since birth is if she will ever come out without people pointing fingers and secondly if COVID - 19 will catch her or delay her surgery.
During the celebration of mother’s day, we gave her a call and after talking with her, we came to one conclusion that is the disappointment and lost of hope. Esenam used to have suicidal thought when hope was lost before we came to her aid. To avert this from coming again, we have requested from our community and well-wishers to respond to this Call to Action by emailing words of encouragement and love. The intention is to compile a book full of well-wishers quotes and letters and present it to her. It is our hope that, this intervention will go a long way to put smile on her face as we wait patiently for her surgery. In addition, we request from our community to donate to support the compilation and the rest of the donation given to her family in this difficult time. No amount is small.
Send Words of encouragement to email@example.com. Please include your name and country.
Presentation of the Book of Love to Esenam is schedule on the 10th of June.
Note: Call to Action realized. See the details below. But you can support Esenam or have one on one conversation with her . Let us know the plans you have for her and we will be glad to come on board.
Esenam's Book of Love
Promoting education is the first of our missions. Our focus is on quality and access. Under quality, we aim to provide teaching and learning resources which are acutely lacking in rural community schools and under access, we focus on giving school going child the opportunity to go to school by sponsoring of students and building of school facilities. These two mediums aim to facilitate understanding of subjects and topics studied, to enable students climb the educational ladder with the overall aim to eradicate generational poverty in order to bring community development.
Ghana is part of other West Africa countries that come together to set up the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC). WAEC is an examination institution that sets final exams and award the Basic Certificate Examination Certificate (BECE) to students in grade nine (9) after which they enter Senior High School if they successfully passed. Data released by WAEC just after the 2019 examination indicates that, out of the total number of 517,331 candidates who sat for the exam, 36,849 failed, 173 candidates had their examination cancelled for bringing foreign materials to the examination hall, 2,479 candidates results were withheld pending investigation into examination malpractices.
In total, 39,501 candidates could not continue their education due to earlier stated issues. But this was an improvement as compared to 2018 of which more than 45,800 candidates could not continue their education due to failures. Even though the 2019 results were not the best as we expected, VARAS’ interventions which included supply of teaching and learning materials and school and students engagements contributed and facilitated the difference in performances of more than 6,299 candidate passing.
Unfortunately, poor performing candidates come from and reside in rural communities. The schools they attended lack teaching and learning materials and this contributed largely to their poor performances. Some of these students no longer continue their formal education hence deepening the poverty ratio and the vicious cycle of absolute poverty.
In the midst of this pandemic, candidates have limited access to instructional time due to the measures the Government of Ghana put in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Since the 2020 year badge of candidates will sit for the WAEC this June to July 2020, the novel COVID-19 is directly going to affect their performance. VARAS therefore want to nip this in the bud by supplying “Questions and Answers Textbooks” to candidates in one of the most affected poorly performed and deprived region, Volta, in Ghana as done in the past. Again the most poorly performed in subjects are Mathematics, Integrated Science, English Language and Information Communication Technology. We therefore hope to supply these learning resources to students. With these textbooks, the students can test themselves without guidance from their teachers and check the already provided answers for scoring and corrections.
On sustainability, post COVID-19 and after their final exams, the “Question and Answers Textbooks” will be collected from the candidates and shall be used to teach the 2021 badge of candidates and those that will follow.
In response to our call, VARAS’ proposal was accepted and awarded a $500.00 mini grant from Thrive Global Project in support of the project. The grant will be use among other things to provide these textbooks to 6 community schools in the Ho West District of the Volta Region.
We call on other organizations and individuals to support this efforts. Contact us now.
Note: Call to Action realized. See the details below. But you can still support our students. Let us know the plans you have and we will be glad to come on board.
Presenting curriculum materials/textbooks to the District Director of Education, Ho West.
Maternity and Health clinics are one of the hardest hit by the coming of the novel coronavirus. Hitherto the pandemic, the daily struggles health workers who have become frontline workers and pregnant mothers coming for antenatal care have to endure due to unavailability of personal protective gears and the lack of quality health care to it always results to complications and death.
Having been faced with the challenges of the lockdown and the movement and relocation of asymptomatic carriers of the virus to villages in Ghana, pregnant mothers and health workers working at maternity and health centres are at risk of contracting the virus. These centres which are rather to cure and save lives will be the point of contractions of the virus.
To protect our pregnant mothers and health workers in maternity and health centres and as part of our COVID 19 response to our communities, VARAS presents sets of sanitary materials and PPEs to 5 maternity and health centres in rural Ghana. The health centres are Hlefi Maternity and Health Centre in the Ho West District, Kpenoe Health Centre in the Ho Municipality, Adaklu Kodzobi, Kodiabe and Tsrefe Maternity and Health Centres all in the Adaklu District.
We are grateful to Ghana Health Service for the collaborations and to our community for their support and donation and we welcome further support in order to extend this gesture to other health posts.
Contact us now and be an agent of change during this unprecedented time.
Note: Call to Action realized. See the details below. But you can still support rural health facilities. Let us know the plans you have and we will be glad to come on board.
Hlefi Maternity and Health Centre in the Ho West District