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.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Across the globe today, women are celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day belongs to all women everywhere and is a chance to identify and honour women’s achievements, as well as help bring equality and positive change.

Gender-equitable education systems can help build prosperity for countries and close the skill gaps that continue to preserve pay gaps. Communication, negotiation, self-management and critical thinking are all life skills that through quality early educational development, can succeed in empowering both girls and boys for their futures.

Sadly, girls are still underrepresented in some subjects and many do not complete their education. Limited accessibility due to remote locations and poverty, to name a few, can cause difficulties for young girls going and staying in school. As we continue to pursue gender parity in education systems, the importance of quality early childhood education becomes more apparent. To encourage girls to stay in school and prosper we must first spark the passion for learning and encourage engagement from a young age where children are more receptive and responsive. Building a foundation without any gender norms and barriers in the education system is crucial as well as ensuring access to quality education.

As with all educational systems, strong foundations begin with the teachers themselves. Over the years Foundation First has helped to encourage and mentor teachers, focusing on teacher training and professional development, which then helps to provide them with the skills and knowledge to implement quality preschool education. Strong female mentorship goes a long way and for us to help engage girls in education we must first engage the teachers.

To celebrate International Women’s Day we interviewed Mrs Caroline Idun-Tawiah, the Headmistress of Good Shepherd Anglican Basic School. An advocate for the professionalisation of ECE teachers, she has participated in Foundation First’s workshops and is a great supporter of our work.

As a strong, passionate role model for young women and encompassing the bright hopes for future education in Ghana, we asked Mrs Caroline some questions to help celebrate International Women’s Day.

What does being a modern woman mean to you?
Who has inspired you?
What achievements are you proud of?
How does having quality pre-school education help support women’s careers for the future?
What are your hopes for the future
What advice would you give to young women thinking about their careers?
Who is a special woman in your life?

Sabina Blog no.2

The sustainable development goals and their impact

Why were the sustainable development goals (SDGs) created?

The SDGs, or Global Goals, were built on the success of the millennium development goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. They are a collection of 17 interlinked goals designed as the blueprint for addressing global challenges (poverty, low-quality education, inequality, etc.) and are a call for action by all countries to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Sabina Awortwe

Why are the goals more important now than ever?

We only have nine years left to achieve them – and we have a lot to do in that time. Also, they have become increasingly relevant to all nations in this COVID era, so there is a need to hasten their implementation to build a fairer, healthier, and safer environment for all.

“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.’’


C.E.O of Foundation First (Godwin) in collaboration with partner team Edify

Which goals are Foundation First targeting?

Foundation First is targeting four of them: Goal 1 (No Poverty); Goal 4 (Quality Education); Goal 5 (Gender Equality); and Goal 17 (Partnerships For The Goals).

Foundation First is targeting four of them: Goal 1 (No Poverty); Goal 4 (Quality Education); Goal 5 (Gender Equality); and Goal 17 (Partnerships For The Goals).


The first goal aims to end all forms of poverty and to promote sustainable growth and development among women, men and children. This goal focuses not just on people living in poverty, but also on countries’ social policies and interventions aimed at achieving the goal.

Foundation First is deliberately targeting Goal 1 to reduce poverty in communities, societies and the country as a whole. This is because an educated workforce supports the development of the economy, makes citizens more informed and active in the democratic process, and creates a new generation of teachers, doctors, and leaders.  As Nelson Mandela said, the greatest weapon to reduce poverty is quality education.

Foundation First empowering ECE teachers with best practice curriculum-related teaching and learning experiences


Education is key to sustainable development and Goal 4 aims to provide children and young people with quality and easily accessible learning opportunities. One of its targets is to achieve universal literacy and numeracy, which are major components in acquiring knowledge and skills in the learning environment.

Foundation First’s training approach is helping to attain this target by, for example, improving young children’s literacy skills through promoting meaningful story sharing sessions, classroom reading centres, talk walls, provision of print-rich environments, and other language development initiatives. This has helped to elevate children out of learning poverty and has so far improved the literacy skills of approximately 19,800 learners across Ghana.

Young learners at a reading centre engage in a story sharing session

Similarly, our creative mathematical activities, such as number talk and our learning centres that are set up for counting, classifying and measuring activities, have helped children to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.

Foundation First is helping to achieve and sustain Goal 4 by providing teachers with support and development that complements the government of Ghana’s efforts. We target teachers because having qualified teachers is key to achieving Goal 4. Qualified teachers create effective teaching and learning environments which lead to positive learning outcomes.

Specifically, Foundation First teacher support and development initiatives transform and empower teachers and provide them with the knowledge and skills that enable them to lay a strong and better foundation to prepare children for the future. Foundation First also engages with communities to create awareness of the importance of early childhood education and to encourage them to provide children with support and access to activities that enable them to master key developmental tasks.

‘’Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.’’



Goal 5 aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in the public and private spheres and to undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership of property. Generally in Ghana preschool teachers, who are mostly women, are not highly regarded and are accorded low status and recognition in society, leading to them feeling inferior and having low self-esteem.

Foundation First’s training approach is reducing/eliminating such discrimination as it professionalizes the women-led preschool sector by raising the status and confidence of preschool educators. The growing expertise of these educators influences society positively and leads to the promotion of girl child education. Our classroom resources and activities create a positive, interactive and stimulating environment that is friendly to both girls and boys and motivates girls to explore the learning environment. We also use female role models to encourage the preschool girl child to remain in school and to aspire to become like one of these role models.

Would you like to learn more about our approach to addressing gender inequality in the classroom? This will be outlined in Blog No.3.

’Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone’s responsibility.’’



Goal 17 refers to the need for cross-sector and cross-country collaboration in pursuit of all the goals by the year 2030. Goal 17 aims to strengthen the means of implementation of the SDGs and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Partnerships for Foundation First are the core/backbone of what we do. We believe that the other goals we are working towards can be achieved and sustained through partnerships. We collaborate and partner with organizations such as Edify and JICA. To find out about our partnership work with these organizations, kindly click here.

Group image of Foundation First and JICA (partnership)

’The best partnerships aren’t dependent on a mere common goal but on a shared path of equality, desire, and no small amount of passion.’’


How can these SDGs be achieved?

We need to have an action plan to develop and scale up awareness of the SDGs that will target local government (chiefs, queen mothers, local assembly members), religious leaders, parents, teachers, students, and industry players – and, perhaps most crucially, the media – about the relevance of these SDGs. Only by working together to mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology, and financial resources, can we successfully achieve and sustain these goals, particularly in Ghana, by the end of 2030.

Foundation First helping to support and develop ECE facilitators, changing their old views about teaching and learning