Projects // School for street children in Ghana

SCHOOL FOR STREET CHILDREN IN GHANA

When the idea of building a school in Tema, more than 8,000 km from Warsaw, was born a few years ago, it seemed rather crazy and very risky. But it worked! The Omenaa Foundation found partners to support the project and built a school for street children in Ghana. The KIDS HAVEN SCHOOL was officially opened in September 2021.

Our school is located near Tema within the premises of the Don Bosco Child Protection Centre run by the Salesians. The children in care of the centre are street children who have no family or whose parents are very poor. In Ghana, streets are the place where the poorest kids look for food and work. It often happens that really young children, instead of going to school that their families cannot afford, work almost as slaves on plantations or catching fish, receiving only a meal in return for their work. A special police unit tries to reach such children and help them, so they are placed under the care of the “Don Bosco” centre, where they find shelter and a regular meal. However, in order for these children to have a chance to make a lasting difference in their lives and be able to break out of this vicious circle of poverty in the future, they must have access to education. A solid education can change their fate and make them independent and self-determined in the future. They will have a chance to find a decent and well-paid job.

Before our school was established, the children studied in makeshift rooms at the centre, where they slept, ate and spent the rest of the day. Currently, they have much better learning conditions. The school building with its 1,500 m2 houses 6 classrooms, a computer lab, a library, a staff room, administrative and social rooms and four auxiliary rooms used as accommodation for volunteers from Poland. The first floor of the building has mobile partition walls that can be folded down as needed to create one large space for an important school event.

However, starting the school is only the beginning of our efforts. We continue to make efforts to equip the building with modern teaching aids. The next steps in supporting the school include: equipping the computer lab and the audio-visual lab, expanding the library’s book offer, and creating a dedicated teaching programme that will take account of individual talents of the children and enable them to pursue careers that interest them. Our dream is for the most talented children to be able to study in Poland in the future. So that here they can build relationships with Polish students and then implement ambitious international projects based on Polish-African cooperation.