The water project is the first project that The Best of Both has tackled in the four schools we currently work with, and it is one which we have successfully completed!
The students in the schools of Ghana are unable to attend school regularly due to illnesses. A major contributor to these illnesses is the lack of sufficient sanitary water. Therefore The Best of Both aimed to provide these schools with bore hole wells to enable the schools to provide the students and staff with a reliable supply of water. This supply of water would also later serve to help our gardening project and help farming inside the school
To raise the funds for these borehole wells The Best of Both launched the Drink and Donate campaign. This involved the sale of water bottles customised to help spread the word. The cost of the bottle? What price would you put on clean drinking water? Students donated up to 5 euros per bottle.
Three students, Sam Davies, Oli Ivens and Tom Allitt, cycled across the whole of Britain, from Land's End, the southernmost point of Britain, to John O'Groats, the northern most point of Britain. Doing this they raised enough money for two more bore hole wells in Ghana. Read more about their journey here.
Now all four schools in Ghana have a working bore hole well. This means that the students of these schools will have clean drinking water for at least the next 20 years.
The Garden Project is the next project, and is to be implemented after the water project. Once the schools have a reliable water supply, the garden can start and be fully implemented.
Ghanaian schools are supposed to supply students with one nutritious meal a day. However the current circumstances make it difficult for the schools to do so, which causes many students to stay home and work on their farms to help out their parents.
The Garden Project aims to supply the schools with a garden, and along with that the training of students to take care of their gardens. This has several benefits. The skills learnt by these students would enable the students to transfer the skills they learn at school to the farms at home making farming more effective. Secondly the Garden Project would help provide the schools with the resources needed to make the school meals and enable the schools to become self-sufficient in providing these meals. Finally all extra resources grown at the schools can then be sold by the schools to produce further income for the school.
To ensure the succesful application of the Garden Project, it will be implemented in two steps. Firstly a food programme supplied by the World Food Programme (WFP) an organisation that is a part of the United Nations - will provide meals to the students in the schools.
The second step involves the installation of a garden in the schools with the help of Trax - a local Ghanaiain charity which helps set up gardens and train people in the upkeep of it.
This project will be funded by the 'Fill the Cup' campaign. This campaign is an initiative of the WFP and revolves around the WFP providing red cups to the students. To raise money, people will be given these red cups in which they collect loose change over a period of time. Nobody likes keeping the 5 cent and 10 cent coins, so why not make a difference. With only 20 cents you can provide a child with a meal. So why not Fill a Cup!
We have already managed to have the WFP install a food programme in three of our schools. With the money raised from Fill the Cup we will hopefully be able to create the gardens in all four schools and provide them with a sustainable and independent method of providing their own meals.
The Best of Both technology project aims to develop the technology available to the four schools in Ghana.
Ghanain education law makes it compulsory for all schools to teach Information and Communication Technology. Currently the students in the four schools learn through a poster of a computer on a wall. The Best of Both have taken it upon themselves to provide all four schools with a computer suite. However, after considerable research, it was decided to implement Raspberry Pi computer labs instead of conventional PC’s at they were the most cost-efficient and practical due to the absent of viruses and the reliability and portability of the device. To read about the project, please click the following link: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/4178
However the impact of a computer suite is bigger than just "following the law." The computer suite will allow the students to be able to use one of the most important resources we take for granted, the internet. It will enable students to expand their knowledge, and strengthen their links with the rest of the world. This all important project helps move one step closer to the ultimate goal of The Best of Both, which is a two way exchange of knowledge.
The final project, the education project, is the ultimate project aimed at providing long term sustainability and independence
Anyone even vaguely familiar with economics and development will give you one important answer when asked about providing sustainable development and independence. The answer is education. The ultimate long term supply-side policy which leads to self sufficiency and economic growth. This is essential for the long term development of a locality and the education project aims to do so.
Currently all four schools have inadequate working space and conditions unfavourable to learning. Students have to sit on the floor due to the lack of desks which hinders an efficient learning process. The aim of The Best of Both is to provide a workable and comfortable learning experience for all the schools we work with.
Another essential resource that the schools lack is a library - the age old source of knowledge and enlightenment. The Best of Both hopes to provide these schools with the foundations of a library with books appropriate to the students, chosen specifically to suit their education needs.
The "Table for Two" campaign will fund our desks. The idea is to sell miniature models of desks. Each desk model that is bought will provide a desk in a Ghanaian school.
Providing a library will begin by a campaign in which students collect books they enjoyed reading. The aim would be to end with a collection of books we can send over to the schools and begin their own libraries!
Moreover, in the summer of 2014, a group of qualified students will be visiting Ghana with the goal of tutoring a select group of Ghanaian students in certain subjects. The project will be sustainable as the Ghanaian students will be funded and supported for the following years.