Celebrating the launch of Foundation First’s School Development Centre!

We’re excited to tell you that we’ve recently found a new way to help strengthen and sustain ourselves as an organisation that is aimed at equalising the life opportunities of young children in Ghana. We’ve established a School Development Centre which will institutionalise our transformational teacher training programmes that we deliver to public and private schools across Ghana and will provide ongoing support to schools (primarily low-fee private ones) in and around the Western region of Ghana. So, what is the reason for the establishment of this School Development Centre?

As an emerging NGO, we believe strongly that we need to invest not only in the sustainability of our existing initiatives but also in the existence of our organisation because it is only when it continues to exist that our programmes will continue to exist. Research has established that successfully thriving and sustainable NGOs all over the world not only depend on funding from others, but develop their own funding streams through establishing social enterprises to sustain both themselves and their programmes. In establishing our School Development Centre, we have been particularly influenced by the West Africa Civil Society Institute’s (WACSI’s) research into The State of Civil Society Organisations’ Sustainability in Ghana: striving, surviving or thriving? (WACSI, 2015).

More about the School Development Centre 

The Foundation First School Development Centre (SDC), located within Foundation First’s premises in the Western region of Ghana, will enhance the professional standards of school teachers and leaders and serve as a centre of excellence supporting school growth and sustainability. In fact, it’s already successfully delivered two blended (both online and in-person) professional development courses for groups of teachers.

The SDC will be serving as a one-stop shop providing both training for school teachers/leaders and a place for making teaching and learning materials. We will be offering a variety of practical, school-based, tailor-made training courses and services, including:

  • School leadership development
  • School growth and sustainability
  • Teacher professional development
  • Teacher recruitment, training and supply
  • Teacher-learner resource development and supply
  • Curriculum design and training
  • Classroom setup and training
  • Volunteers for education development

Our SDC training and coaching staff are the same ones who already provide transformative training to the schools we support in marginalised areas of Ghana.

Our vision for expansion

Our ambition is to set up other SDCs, with teacher resource shops attached, across all 16 regions in Ghana.

WACSI (2015) The State of Civil Society Organisations’ Sustainability in Ghana: Striving, Surviving or Thriving? Accra: Ghana.

A big thank you to Prince Andrew School on Saint Helena Island!

In July 2020 kids in Year 9E at Prince Andrew Community Secondary School on Saint Helena Island raised £181.15 for Foundation First. In deciding how to raise money for us, the kids got together in their house groups and each group came up with their own strategy. The four houses at Prince Andrew School (Cavendish, Dutton, Jenkins and Mundens) are named after prominent people in the island’s history.

Cavendish House decided to make and sell prawn crackers; Dutton decided to make and sell pop corn, cakes and hot chocolate, as well as to sell canned drinks, Jenkins chose to make and sell brownies, whilst Mundens went for a ‘guess how many sweets are in the jar’ strategy. Items and ingredients were generously donated by the kids themselves, their relatives and teachers.

This fundraising initiative took place during lunch hours over the middle two weeks of July and was advertised via posters and word of mouth. Cavendish sold their prawn crackers in a classroom, Dutton and Jenkins combined forces to sell theirs in both a classroom and busy central hallway and Mundens went around the school asking other kids to guess the number of sweets in their jar.

Cavendish House raised £21, Dutton and Jenkins (combined) raised £112, Mundens raised £27 and £21.15 was donated by various people. Many thanks to everyone who provided donations.

We decided to spend £150 of their generous donation on two sets of wooden blocks for children to play with at the construction centre in the two kindergarten classrooms of a school that we support in a marginalized community. The remaining £31.15 will be spent on 45 sheets of manila card, 10 packets of crayons and some glue for children to get creative with in the school’s nursery classroom.