With the commencement of term two at Challenging Heights School in January, the Child Sponsorship Program continues to grow, and reach more children. This term, we are happy to report the implementation of new projects, and the growth of existing projects at the CH school.
With the help from our generous donors, we have been able to reach more children for our feeding program for at-risk children this term. When children come to school without money to buy food they often times report feeling confused, angry, tired, and lacking in energy to concentrate on their studies. Some children will even stay home from school if they are unable to get money for food. Since the implementation of the program, the children have reported being able to focus more on their studies and have more energy to contribute to class activities and discussions. Our feeding program is very valuable to our students because we are able to reach the most vulnerable children by supplying them with lunch money to ensure they remain in school and have access to nutritious meals.
Ishmael, age 14, is a student in class 6 at Challenging Heights School. He is a bright student with big plans for the future to become an artist. Prior to being included in the feeding program, Ishmael’s parents would struggle to provide their five children with money for lunches, which would result in Ishmael coming to school without lunch quite frequently. He said that it was difficult to focus on classes and he would often times feel tired and hungry throughout the day. Now that he is benefiting from the feeding program, Ishmael can buy his favourite food, wakye or kenkey, and remain focused and energized to excel in all of his classes and studies. Ishmael says, “If you do not have food you cannot learn. When I come and collect the money for lunch I become happy because I feel motivated to learn, bath, and sleep.” Thank you for helping us to provide our students with nutritious meals!
We have also been able to continue doing maintenance work on our boarding house to ensure the children have a safe and healthy living environment. Our work on the boarding house this term has included repairs to the fan in the boys’ dorm, feeding money, gas for the gas cylinder, and electrical repairs.
A look at the term ahead:
In the current term we are excited to be able to implement new interventions at the Challenging Heights School as part of the Child Sponsorship Program to keep children in school and away from child labour. Some of the upcoming interventions that we will be implementing in the next month include subsidized school fees for vulnerable children and providing school supplies and materials needed to keep our students in school.
We really appreciate your generous support and loyalty to the Child Sponsorship Program! The children are extremely grateful that they are able to come to school and get an education at Challenging Heights School!
As the holiday season approaches, we at Challenging Heights would like to take the time to thank you, our generous donors, for all of the support that you have provided us over the past year. Due to your contributions, we were able to supply the many students of Challenging Heights School with books, classrooms, club funding, cooking supplies, lunch money, and countless other benefits. These many projects have made a significant difference in the lives of our students, allowing them to take charge of their own futures and work their way to a better tomorrow. For this reason, the students of Challenging Heights would like to send you a special message to thank you for providing them with the support to receive an education and build for themselves a better future.
To hear their video message, click on the link below.
Challenging Heights has been undergoing some great new changes! As many of you know, one of our biggest changes has been in the Child Sponsorship Program where we made the switch from individual sponsorship to a human rights based approach, focused on recipient participation, equality, and empowerment. With your generous donations, we are able to utilize a more equitable and sustainable use of sponsorship funds, allowing more of the students at Challenging Heights School to benefit! Here are a few of the successful projects that have been implemented under the new system.
New Textbooks for Students
While students previously only had access to textbooks when in school, thanks to your generous donations, over 250 of our students grades three through six can now have their own textbooks to take home and use for individual study. Rather than having to copy entire sections of text by hand, these students can have access to their text at any time. By providing these additional resources to our students, more time can be devoted to active learning in the classroom allowing more freedom for personal study at home! Allowing for this consistent academic engagement can help keep children in schools.
Cookware for the Boarders who live at the School
Previously, the nineteen JHS students who live in the boarding house at the school would have to wait for their families to bring them food, which only came periodically. With your help, however, these students now have the means to take matters into their own hands and cook food for themselves. “It is better now that we do not have to leave the school and borrow cookware to make our meals,” says one of the boarders. “Before it was difficult to both cook and study in the evenings, but now I can make my own jollof rice here at the boarding house.”
Lunch Money for at-risk children
Throughout the school year, teachers noticed that some of their students were struggling to pay attention in class due to hunger. It is clear that lack of food is a common reason why children may not succeed in school and may be put into forced labor situations. Determined to ensure that these hungry children receive an education, Challenging Heights School staff members, in partnership with the Child Sponsorship Committee, identified particularly at-risk students and provided them with a small stipend for lunch. This allows the children to pay better attention in class and make the grades to keep them in school.
New Classrooms for JHS 3
As our school continues to grow, it has become necessary to expand in order to properly meet the needs of our students. This term we have added a new class curriculum, JHS 3. With your help, we constructed two additional classrooms to support this new growth. The JHS 3 class completes our Junior High program, making Challenging Heights a full primary and junior high school. Our current junior high students can now remain at Challenging Heights all the way up until the time they must take the Basic Education Certificate Examination to move onto Senior High School.
Repaired Drums and Sound System for Cultural Club
Thanks to your generous donations, the students who take part in the Cultural Club can now practice and perform music with repaired drums and sound system. This month, the Cultural Club was able to perform for the school at the World Children’s Prize Global Vote to promote enthusiasm as students from all across Winneba came to Challenging Heights to cast their votes for the three nominees, including Challenging Heights Founder and President, James Kofi Annan. Clubs, such as this one, help children to gain the confidence and discipline necessary to succeed in school and achieve their ambitious goals for the future.
These interventions are only a few of the wonderful things going on at Challenging Heights School due to your generous donations. Thank you so much for your continued support! We can’t wait to begin even more projects to help keep these children in school and away from forced labor!
While many schools in the U.S. have ended for the school year, schools in Ghana are still in session full force. Classes will continue until at least the last week of July at the Challenging Heights School and may even push into August. We are excited with the progress our students are making this term and are looking forward to the next school year in September when the Challenging Heights School will reach a massive milestone.
At CH School we have been adding one class/grade per year. Next year we will add class junior high school three (JHS3). This is the final year of junior high school and the grade in which students take a national exam called the BECE. Each student’s results on the BECE will determine to which high school they will gain admission. At CH School we have been making efforts to ensure that our students will be prepared to take the BECE, whether they are taking it next year or in the following years, while at the same time offering our students greater opportunities for developing critical thinking skills that are sometimes lacking from the national curriculum. One way that your donations have made a large contribution to preparing our students for the BECE is by providing brand new English text books for all of our students in JHS1 and JHS2. Most students do not have money to purchase their own text books and often resort to copying large amounts of text into their notebooks to be able to study at home. By purchasing classroom sets of English textbooks, we have been able to provide each student with a book so that they can study in the evenings and on the weekends. Students will also learn responsibility, as each book has been marked with a number and that number has been recorded next to each student’s name by their teachers. Students know that they must keep the books in good condition so that their younger classmates will also get the opportunity to use them next year. Through your continued support, we hope to provide students with textbooks in other subjects.
Thanks again for your continued support! We know that our students will make us proud next year on the BECE as they make us proud everyday with their numerous achievements!
For the past week, students at government schools in Ghana have not been able to attend classes as their teachers are striking. We are grateful that our students have been able to continue their education during the strike thanks to supporters like you who make our highly subsidized private school possible. Over 750 students are now enrolled at Challenging Heights School in nursery through junior high school two. Nearly 70 of these students are directly supported by GlobalGiving donors. These survivors of trafficking continue to excel in their coursework, sports programs, and whatever new opportunities arise. Recently, Challenging Heights was asked to join a research project that would train students as researchers to gather information from their classmates in order to inform the post MGD discussions. When the programs staff gathered 20 randomly selected students to be trained as researchers, we didn't know what to expect. We were ecstatic to find that not only were the students excited about this opportunity, they were well prepared through their coursework to make the most out of trainings in data collection and other research skills. During one of the training sessions for which the budding researchers had given up their mid-morning break, Ebenezer said, "I love Challenging Heights and I love being a researcher." The next week when the actual data collection began, Patience informed the facilitators that her interview had went better than expected, proclaiming, "I want to be a researcher in future." Through your educational support, children who once had little hope for their futures are now researchers in their own right. Others are working toward a variety of careers, including doctor, lawyer, actor, and activist. Most importantly, these children now know that they can do anything they set their minds to and they are working toward their goals. Thanks again for your help in making our students' futures bright!
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10/56, Dentu Avenue, Awudome Estate, Acc,