Meet Kate Foundation

The objective of Meet Kate is to support needy children and their families in the area of Gomoa and Agona district (Ghana) in their basic needs and rights. Among them are education, housing, food and fun. We also strive to achieve two subgoals. First, we want the families and community but especially the parents of needy children to take and keep responsibility for the welfare of their children. Meet Kate does not want to be a quick fix, we want to help figure out what the best solution is for the child, through thorough research and in consultation with the parents. We believe parents should play a big part in this process. Second, Meet Kate makes sure that at the start of every project, ...
May 13, 2014

Silence does not mean stagnation

Dear donor, friend and follower of the Meet Kate Foundation,
 
The past months you haven't heard from us as much as you were used to. But, silence does not mean stagnation. Behind the scenes we find ourselves at a stage of intensification, improvement and reflection. We have succeeded in running the Meet Kate Academy for over a year now, which brings us to a point where we look at our strenghts and points of improval.
 
The poultry farm is also taking on impressive proportions: our 2900 roughly eat 350 kilos of food a day and lay about 2100 eggs a day during their laying period. The profit derived from this is re-invested in the farm and also put into our educational projects.
Director Kelly de Vries in Ghana is very happy about the way things are going: 'There is nothing better than waking up on a sunday morning with a fresh egg from our very own poultry farm. And they're not just normal eggs, our super chickens are doing so great they have started laying double-yolk eggs in their first week!'
 
  
Watch an impression of the poultry farm here.
 
It is clear that we are not the only ones in motion. We would like to introduce you to a couple of initiatives and organisations that, like Meet Kate, are committed to showing you a more realistic and positive immage of Africa. 
 
Kind regards,
Myrthe Oostenbach
Chairmen Meet Kate Foundation
 
 LIONSCLUB VOORBURG                      
 
Wednesday March 12, Kiymet and Myrthe were guests at the Lionsclub Voorburg Prinses Marianne in Leidschendam-Voorburg. After telling about our projects in Ghana, they received a surprise check of €2.000,- from Judith Haans and Monique de Jager (president and memeber of the Lionsclub). An amazing contribution!  
 
 MEET KATE IS GOING TO SCHOOL 
The Ghanaian board met with all of our scholarship students to evaluate the past year. Seven students are momentarily taking their final exams. We are very excited for our first group of graduates!
Unfortunately we also have some less positive news. We have decided to no longer collaborate with our student's mentor. The lack of trust led us to start looking for a new employee. The Ghanaian board will take on the project's coordination for the remainder of the school year.
 
 
  THIS IS AFRICA  
This is something we fully support: interesting African blogs and websites, that show a flourishing continent in motion, that is both diverse and inspiring. This is Africa!
 
 
Africa is a Country                        
The ironical name of this multimedia blog is a reaction to the outdated stereotypes about Africa. A critical, intellectual and refreshing blog!
 
Awake to Africa                              
The online magazine Awake to Africa gives a refreshing outlook on modern day Africa from a diaspora-perspective, and studies the changes in the relationship between Africa and The West.
 
A photoproject and instagram-account on which photographers throughout the continent show you everyday African life.
 
Pambazuka means 'rising' in Swahili, and is a webforum for social justice in Africa. A pan-African community with over two thousand academics, journalists, activists and writers from social organisations, that write sharp analysis about status quo in Africa.
 
 HURRAY! OUR 7TH ANNIVERSARY
 
On April 27th, the Meet Kate Foundation celebrated its 7th anniversary. It is amazing how much we've accomplished over the past years. This also leads us to our plans for the future, more about that soon!
 
 CORRUPTION IN GHANA 
 
Kelly de Vries: 'People often ask me about corruption in Ghana. Unfortunately I can give many examples that show corruption is still common practice in Ghana. Most often it involves small amounts of money, but sometimes things are taken a step further. Unfortunately, we have had some first hand experience with this recently and would like to inform you about what happened.
 
Last October, Meet Kate hired a new accountant to handle the finances of our projects in Ghana. The young man we hired had a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and received a good salary at Meet Kate. We figured we were off to a good start. After two months we realised he couldn't meet our expectations. We also felt his conduct didn't match the family-feel we like to create at Meet Kate. We therefore decided to terminate his contract. This also meant we had to postpone the closing of our financial booking year.
 
In February, when we continued working on our financial books, we discovered there was a large sum missing from one of our bank accounts. Ghana still uses checks, so there is no possibility of online banking or checking your accounts on a daily basis. We found out there was 4500 cedi (1500 euro) missing from our account. Upon visiting the bank we discovered the signatures on the checks had been falsified. Our former accountant was our primary suspect, since he had had access to the checks. Of course, he had taken the first flight out of the country and by now was somewhere in the Middle East. The boy who had cashed the checks in his request however, was still around. The Ghanaian police didn't feel the need to search for the boy, so we hired (and paid for) people ourselves to track down this young man. Eventually, the young man was arrested and sent to jail. His father and the accountant's father ended up paying back the money their sons stole from Meet Kate.
 
Good news, but once more we were confronted with the corruption in Ghana. The police had gotten hold of Meet Kate's checks from the boy's fathers, and refused to hand them over to us unless they were given a fee.
 
And remember:
 
1. Arresting the young man is part of the policemen's job, they are paid officials. 
2. Despite the fact that the police made no effort of tracking down the young man, they insist they deserve a fee regardless. 
3. The salary of a trainee at the police is five times the salary of an average employee at Meet Kate. 
4. The police knows we run a Children's Home, housing and helping less fortunate children, and they still rather take part of the money themselves. 
 
In the end, we had to pay the police a 300 cedi (80 euro) fee, and everything turned out "ok" Whenever I talk to other about my frustrations, Ghanaian start laughing and tell me I've been lucky, because the police would normally charge a 1000 cedi fee. 
Ghana has a culture of solidarity, but also one of taking care of yourself first. This sometimes makes living and working in Ghana extra challenging!'

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Mar 24, 2014

Nearly There!

A few students with the Meet Kate Ghana board
A few students with the Meet Kate Ghana board

Dearest friends,

We are very excited at Meet Kate this spring! 7 of our students will be taking their final year exams in a few months and we couldn’t be prouder of them. They are an amazing, inspirational group of young people and we are so humbled that we get the opportunity to be a part of their journey. They have worked hard over the past three years and will be the first set to graduate with “Meet Kate Goes To School” scholarship program.

I want to share with you a day in one of their shoes. We offer them boarding as part of their scholarship because their schools are often too far from home to commute everyday, and often, they would still be expected to contribute financially to their homes. For Ebenezer, a day starts at 4 am when he gets up to study. The morning bell goes at 5 am, but he likes to wake up early to study before the beginning of the day. When the bell goes, he joins the rest of the students in sweeping their rooms and doing their laundry before breakfast is served. Then its time for school: maths, english, science and business buzzes around his head until 2pm, when the bell rings signaling the end of the day. Then its free time to relax and socialize before evening chores as the sun goes down. Dinner is served, then everyone goes back to class for homework and extra study time. Just time to squeeze in some extra socializing if he can before lights out at 10pm. Sometimes, Ebenezer stays up late to read up on a new subject he came across that day, and may buy a snack to keep him going with the pocket money that Meet Kate provides as part of his scholarship.

 Chatting with them, its evident that they love what they do and to see the way the scholarship has changed their lives reminds me of how important it is that we keep going. We are constantly looking for ways to improve what we do for them and the students are always eager to help us make things better for new students. They feel privileged to be there and their selfless attitude is one we can all learn from.

We wish them the best of luck with their upcoming exams and with your continued support, look forward to supporting more people like them.

 

Warm wishes

Mar 7, 2014

A SEND OFF CEREMONY FOR A GERMAN VOLUNTEER

DORIS SEND OFF 1
DORIS SEND OFF 1

FrankEve Foundation had a sendoff Ceremony for Doris Grewe a55 year old German volunteer who worked as a teacher at the Foundation for 6 months. During her time at the school, she was an instructor for self-defense and dancing. Students really enjoyed her class as she teaches with music. Doris taught them 3 different dancing for the school's graduation ceremony in the year 2013. Her time of volunteering came to an end and the entire school felt and seemed to have lost a teacher and mother as some students’ calls her mum. On the day of her sendoff; students, teachers and Doris herself shared tears together but one word she said that calm all the beneficiaries is that, she believes will come for a visit someday. The Director of the Foundation Mrs. Francisca Odifo Darko congratulated her on behalf of the organisation and handed over to her a gift of a glass wall hanger as a token of their love and a sign of appreciation. She furthermore thanked the organization Kolpin in Germany and ARA in Ghana for their continuous supply of volunteers.

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