AKROFUOM D/A BASIC SCHOOL GETS NEW KG BLOCK
Parents, teachers and children of the Akrofuom cocoa community were all filled with joy as their chief cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new Kindergarten (KG) block for the D/A Basic school. This activity took place on 10th April 2019 and was witnessed by the District Chief Executive, Honourable Derick Owusu Ambrose, District Director of the Ghana Education Service and other officials of the assembly, the ICI Country Director and Sustainable Sourcing representatives of The Hershey Company.
The former KG block, a project initiated by the community, was severely affected in February 2018 after a rainstorm. With the roof ripped off and some of the walls broken down, the community had no choice but to close the school for about two weeks as they looked around for a place where the children could learn. The children were moved to a structure on the school compound so they would have a place to study as community leaders planned on how they could put up a more permanent one.
According to the Headteacher of the school, Emmanuel Essumang Ampong,
“This was a very distressing time for us. We had some support from the National Disaster Management Office (NADMO) but this was not enough to reconstruct the school. We asked for one of the rooms being used by the school feeding programme in our school. This was converted into a temporary classroom for the two classes. We were not pleased with the fact that our children had to learn in a converted kitchen or that both KG classes, of more than 70 children, had to be put in a single room. We just had to make do with what we had at the time.”
ICI’s attention was drawn to the plight of the school on one of our monitoring visits as part of the community development project. We decided to put up a 2-unit classroom block for the KG. This was done in collaboration with the district assembly, the chief and the Community Child Protection Committee of Akrofoum. With the urgency of the situation, the project was awarded to a contractor who completed the building in two months.
Tawiah Agyarko Kwarteng, of Hershey’s, had this to say, “Through our Cocoa For Good program, we are dedicated to giving children the tools they need to reach their full potential. We are excited to see the completion of this new KG block for the Akrofuom community which gives the children a more comfortable environment to learn and play. Combined with the daily provision of our nutritional snack, ViVi, which is delivered in collaboration with the Ghana School Feeding Program, we believe these children are more equipped to achieve the bright future they deserve”
Mr. Baidoo, one of the KG teachers and a member of the Community Child Protection Community, stated “With this new block, the two KG classes can all learn in peace without disturbing each other. Some of the parents withdrew their children from the school last year. When they saw that we were getting new classrooms, they brought them all back.”