For the past six months our son Toby has been volunteering for his Duke of Edinburgh Award with the Ramsbury charity ATE (Action Through Enterprise). ATE is a small charity making a big difference to many people’s lives in Lawra, Upper West Ghana the poorest region of Ghana.
In Lawra, 83% of the population rely on subsistence farming, often with little to no income to supplement what they grow and provide for their family.
Lawra has an arid climate with one rainy season (May to Sept/Oct) and a long ‘lean dry season’, during which time some children in rural areas will eat as little as four times a week. Declining soil conditions and changing patterns of rainfall are worsening crop production causing food insecurity in Lawra to remain high.
We have been been so impressed and moved by ATE’s work in Lawra that we have pledged to go over next February to support them.
We have pledged to raise £1,500 each to cover our travel costs and supplies to take out with us eg the boys will be taking football and educational supplies to a school in Lawra and I will be recording and videoing the work that ATE does, as well as the traditions and culture of the area.
Our Fundraising Events
Thanks to everyone who has supported our fundraising (One Mile Climb Challenge (that’s 160 times up a 10 metre climbing wall), our Nuts Challenge 7km Assault Course in September, our Ghana Parties in Hungerford and East Garston and Toby’s travel grant from Young Farmer’s Lord Sieff Fund). So far you have helped us raise £4,000!
Please make your donation via either of the links below and provide your name and how many tickets you want in the comment:
Toby and his brother Adam will be helping with ATE’s:
EducATE project that provides nearly 1,000 school meals a day so children can stay in lessons rather than spend their time foraging for food. Adam and Toby will be visiting schools, taking educational supplies and football kit and exchanging letters and forming bonds between our West Berkshire community and theirs.
The boys visiting the schools will be a great opportunity for the students in Lawra to practice their English. English is the national language of Ghana but speaking in the vernacular is a punishable offence in school. Teaching in Ghana is very different to the UK so the opportunity to have conversations outside of a target driven curriculum will be a brilliant opportunity. Many of the children can be quite shy so it is also a great chance to boost self confidence.
Interaction outside of the school setting such as football is really important for children in very poor areas like Lawra as many of the students have a lot of responsibilities at home helping their parents grow food and look after livestock. After school clubs don’t exist in Lawra so being able to play/organise a football match after school will be really exciting for the students.
SNAP (Special Needs Awareness Program) that supports families with disabled children who are among the poorest and most marginalised members of the community.
The work I will be doing in Ghana
ATE has asked me to document some of culture of the area by recording the stories and traditions of the chieftains for publication.
“We feel it is important to raise awareness of the rich traditions of the area to enhance the identity of the community,” explains ATE’s Chief Exec, Sarah Albeboure.
ATE also needs a video to illustrate the progress of their projects over the past two years to raise more funding and support.
“We have very limited funds so we are delighted that Penny has volunteered to make a video for us,” says ATE’s Chief Exec, Sarah Albeboure. “Video is a key tool for communicating the success of our projects.”
The total video budget is £3,750 of which I am donating £2,250 in my time, as it will take me about 3 weeks in total (1 week in Ghana and 2 weeks back here).
The £1,500 that I am asking for your help with will cover my flights, vaccinations, insurance, bus journeys, subsistence, accommodation and a translator.
Any extra that I raise will go directly to the BizATE programme that supports small business owners trying to make enough money to feed their families.
Our journey in February will involve flying to Accra and then an 18 hour bus journey up to Lawra. In the meantime we will be raising sponsorship to finance this project.
Penny, Toby & Adam