In this quarter we have seen some exciting advancements in the Child Sponsorship Program. 16 additional students were added to the Student Empowerment Feeding Program this term. The feeding program continues to reach some of the most vulnerable students to ensure they have access to one nutritional meal when they come to school each day.
Emmanuel, a student in JHS 2, is one of the students benefiting from the Feeding Program. Emmanuel is a bright student with a passion for animals. He is hoping to become a veterinarian when he completes his education. Earlier this year he lost his father, which has put added financial pressure on his mother to provide for Emmanuel and his siblings. When Emmanuel’s mother came to Challenging Heights School to sign the contract for him to begin benefiting from the feeding program, she expressed extreme gratitude and relief because Emmanuel would now be able to buy a nutritional meal at school each day.
During this term we were also able to purchase new Science, Ghanaian Language, and English textbooks for students in classes 4 to JHS 3. Previously textbooks were in short supply, and the students often had to share, sometimes hampering their ability to properly learn course material.
The students living in the boarding house benefited from several projects this term; including getting a new iron and ironing board in each of the two rooms. This is important so the students can iron their uniform before school each day. The Child Sponsorship Program was also able to buy the boarders some new cookware including a saucepan set, a frying pan, a coal pot, rubber bowls, and a new knife set. The boarders also received a large bag of rice, a bag of charcoal, and cooking oil to help reduce the financial burden on parents to provide feeding to their children living in the boarding house.
General school maintenance this term included repairs to the washrooms and replacing all of the light bulbs in the classrooms.
All of these advancements in the Child Sponsorship Program would not be possible without the support and generosity from you. You have enabled the students to continue to strive for excellences in their classes and most importantly, you have helped give them the means to stay in school.
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!
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10/56, Dentu Avenue, Awudome Estate, Acc,