“Running a small charity can have its challenges but one of the great benefits is being able to see, feel and experience the difference you are all making to the lives of the children and wider community on Dodi Island.”Suzanne, Trustee
Joe and the children of Dodi enjoying marathon games of Uno.
That is my special joy and I will attempt to share some of it with you.
No wifi or social media!
Joe & I returned from a 10 day monitoring trip and it was great to be able to see the impact through new eyes. Living without Wi-Fi and social media was going to be challenging for a 16 year old, but was replaced by the excitement of catching fish for that day’s supper, showering in borehole water in the middle of a storm, playing with and teaching very young children and training the school’s talented football team.
It was also about helping to prepare meals and trying the local dishes, realising football is an international language and finally appreciating that education may be a key component in offering the Dodi children some of the opportunities he takes for granted in the UK. These are good lessons for any young person.
Thank you for your donations
Thank you to everyone for your generous donations. All the educational resources were gratefully received by the school and acknowledged by the Ghana Education Services.
Medical supplies were donated to the Amedzofe and Dodi clinics and used to refill the Dodi school first aid box.
Without a doubt though the most popular items were the football kit donation from the Knaptons and the balls and boots from Staines Town football Club and other individuals. Thank you also to Wisdom who does a magnificent job of holding the project together in Ghana and the five teachers on the Island – Matilda, Sam, Douglas, Benice and Holy the acting Headteacher. A special thanks goes to the community team at BA who enabled the charity to take all the equipment at no extra costs. We could not have done it without you!!
Other activities included attending several meetings to review the Action Plans set up for each of the Stakeholders in the partnership in November 2017; visiting two other community based schools to explore opportunities to work in partnership with Dodi and making contact with an NGO called Practical Minds to learn news ways of encouraging volunteers and sustainable community based action.
My personal highlight was being able to teach Geography to Y6, based on The World Cup and famous football players. In brief, as they say in Ghana (meaning I’m going to talk for a long time!!) the GES have fulfilled their commitment to send three fully paid and qualified teachers to the Island, provide staff to monitor the progress of the school, access teaching and learning ,review the role of the PTA and encourage community involvement.
THE HEALTH BOAT
The Director of Health for the region is now working with us to secure the use of the Health Boat on Lake Volta to help the teachers with transportation to and from the Island. Teachers have also received training for basic first aid. He is also overseeing the registration of some pupils into the Health Insurance scheme, meaning medicines and health care visits onto the Island and to the local Dodi clinic will be free. With more funding we hope to extend this to all families on Dodi, so that anti-natal, health education, immunization and screening will be free.
The impact of qualified teachers has been innovative, not just for the school but the wider community. The pupils understanding of spoken and written English continues to improve as they have access to more curriculum subjects and the latest teaching skills.
The young teachers are full of ideas and activities and have embraced community living.
- Pupils answering open questions in class, teachers involving pupils in the learning
- Different teaching techniques that encourage thinking, exploring and challenging ideas
- Using subject specific text books supplied by the charity
- Community involvement in construction of a shaded outdoor dining hall/learning area
- Pupils and community use of the two boreholes
- Reduction of water bourne diseases
- Reduction of cases of malaria and an increase in the use of nets supplied
- HIV screening tests were negative
- PSHE part of the curriculum covering sexual health, substance abuse, basic sanitation, hygiene and belonging
- Sense of community now centred on the school and its activities.
Acknowledging the challenges and working in partnership to overcome them:
- Lack of electricity to provide light for the teachers and community
- Lack of IT resources
- Pupil absence on market day
- Older pupils in community not in school on or off the Island
- Repairs and up-keep of the school buildings and grounds
- Community understanding of school rules and regulations
- Free roaming animals that destroy school farm project & are a potential source of infection
- Lack of teacher and volunteers’ accommodation
- Engaging the women in the community with small business opportunities
- Encouraging community based sustainable projects giving purpose, independence and income to the women
- Out-reach work to encourage teenagers/young mums on the Island back to education
- Solar panels & batteries to improve electricity supply
- Support Douglas in the delivery of IT in the school
- To build a three room accommodation block with community involvement
- To plant coconut trees in the school compound to provide shade, small business income and food
- To work with the Local Assembly to maintain, renovate and repair the school
- To extend the visual learning of pupils through painted murals, posters and whiteboards
- To make a netball/volleyball area and provide equipment for pupils to use at school and weekends
- To support the two Island-based trainee teachers to complete the final year of studies
- To support the development of the farm project as part of a women’s cooperative
- To liaise with the Ghana Health Service to ensure community recieve regular checks and health Education
- To monitor the building of the Junior High School on the Island.
We can’t thank you all enough for your support over the past 10 years and we certainly would not have got this far without you.
As the Asuogyaman District Authorities are encouraged to take more responsibility for the community and their children, we can monitor, support and work in partnership to ensure all the projects are sustainable and each stakeholder plays their part.
We would also like to thank Crown Agents Bank for choosing The Dodi Development Initiative as part of their Corporate and Social Responsibility programme.
More next time about volunteering, exciting new funding opportunities and yes, those coconut trees!!!
The Dodi Team
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