Primary education for 200 village children - Ghana

 
$24,747
$253
Raised
Remaining
It's been a while since you last heard from us. But in this case, no news is good news.
Meet Kate has always had a clear vision on development work and how it is most effective. We believe that good intentions or nice gestures simply aren’t enough to make long term changes. By focusing on equal relationships instead of dependent ones, we can truly make a difference whilst working towards a positive future. Our idea has always been to help local people start up their dream, supply the means necessary to make the changes they want and then to back off.

Now we have reached the point where we have walk the talk. This means that over the past few months, the board of Meet Kate Ghana has taken over more of the responsibilities. The Dutch board is less involved in decision making, budgeting and planning. Which is exactly how we like it. It has been our goal from the start, to slowly let go of what we helped build up, to create something not reliant on Western help but is fully self-reliable and self-sufficient. And we are absolutely confident the Ghanaian board and staff will make that dream come true. 
          
                     
In February, it was exactly 9 years ago since Muriel and Kelly set foot in Ghana for the very first time. Almost a decade later a lot has changed. Meet Kate is a full grown organization, little Kate is now a young lady in high school, Muriel works and lives in Amsterdam and Kelly got married and has settled permanently in Ghana.
 
                       
The children at the Meet Kate Children’s Home grow up so fast. Recently, Kelly invited the five oldest girls for a sleep over in Accra. On the left, you see the beautiful young lady Kate turned into.
 
Who knows what the future will bring, for the foundation, the founders and the children that benefit from our work. All we know is that we are very proud of what we have accomplished so far. And that we couldn’t have done it without your support. We are very grateful for that. Thank you.
 
She inspires... We invest. Get involved!
 
 
 
Kelly, Kiymet, Myrthe and Jet visting the Meet Kate Children's Home (December 2014)
 

Dear follower,

We hope you had a great start to the new year and we wish you a lot of luck, love and adventures. 
At Meet Kate, we had a wonderful end of the year 2014. Board member Kiymet Schipper and chair of the board Myrthe Oostenbach went to Ghana for two special reasons. To visit Meet Kate's project, but first and foremost, to attend founder and director Kelly de Vries' wedding. On Decemer 20th she married Maxwell Asempapa Adosu, it was a wonderful day.
 
It has been quite some time since you last heard from us. In this news letter we will tell you why that is.
 
Kind regards,
Meet Kate Ghana, UK & Netherlands

 

 JUST MARRIED! 
 
On December 20th Kelly de Vries married her love Maxwell Asempapa Adosu. Of course, Meet Kate couldn't miss out on this special day. All our employees and the kids from the MKCH came with a big bus from Ekwamkrom to the capital Accra, to join in the festivities. After the ceremony Kelly and Maxwell were surprised with a fantastic musical performance.  
 
 

 

 OUR PROJECTS IN 2014 
 
2014 was all about maintenance. The Meet Kate Foundation has spent the first couple of years starting up and expanding new projects. However, now was the time to strengthen the projects we had, so in the future they are strong enough to manage on their own. This development made our online communication a little less frequent, but that doesn't mean there is nothing going on behind the scenes.  
 
Maintenance consisted of  putting up a new fence around the Meet Kate Children's Home and putting a little shed over our outdoor kitchen. Furthermore, the teachers of the Meet Kate Academy arranged new uniforms. We also hired an expert for our poultry farm, since we are having trouble generating profits due to the high costs of the food and absence of subsidies for that. But we are not giving up hope just yet! 
     
 

 

 OUR COURSE FOR 2015 
 
Since the foundation of Meet Kate (2006), education has been one of our most important pillars. Even now, with our focus on sustainability and self-reliance, education still plays a big role in our foundation. 
 
TEACH THE TEACHERS
The project we're starting up in 2015 is therefore called Teach the Teachers. This project gives our teachers the opportunity to get a professional education. The 3-year program is expensive for new teachers, but it offers great perspective after finishing it. We see a lot of potential in our teachers and we are convinced the course will bring more quality to our educational program. Thanks to fantastic donations by Foundation KenD, ZijActief & ZLTO and the Lionsclub in Voorburg, we can offer our motivated teachers a scholarship. So far, seven of our teachers and one accountant have applied for the project, of which the admission will be this month.
 
  
 
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Our high school students are doing very well! After exams Kelly was called by one of our Senior High School students: the results were in and Benjamin had passed his exams! His grades were even high enough to enter university. Unfortunately, we are unable to give our students a university scholarship, but we hope that through hard work and perhaps a sponsor, they can get the future they want.
Since this project is still fully funded by foreign sponsors - and is not able to run independently - we will not admit any more students after this year.
 
She inspires... We invest. Get involved!
 

Links:

As Meet Kate values transparancy and an interactive relationship with its donors and followers, we'd like to give you the opportunity to ask questions about our work and projects. Are you curious to how a general day of our employees looks like? Or do you wonder how it is to them to work with a Western NGO? Or maybe you'd like to know how the students of the 'Meet Kate is going to School'-scholarships are doing. We would be happy to share it with you.

In two weeks time, the second half of December, Kiymet and Myrthe (two members of the Dutch board) will visit Ghana and the projects of the Meet Kate Foundation. They are wiling to answer any question, so don't hesitate to send them a message (info@meetkate.nl) with anything you would like to know! We'd love to hear from you. 

This girl
This girl's mother passed away while giving birth
Dear sponsor,
Meet Kate's first project, the Meet Kate Children's Home, opened its doors in August 2010. Now, almost four years later, this Children's Home is truly a home. A place where over twenty children are living, children whose families are unable to care for them. The temporary purpose of this shelter is becoming more and more evident. In this news letter we tell you about our dynamic family, where some are coming and some are going. 
 
Dear reader, we are very happy to have you as part of our family! 
 
Kind regards,
 
Myrthe Oostenbach
Chair of Meet Kate Foundation
-----------------------
NEWS FROM GHANA 
 
MEET KATE CHILDREN'S HOME
 
Meet Kate´s children are doing very well! They are doing very well in school as well. Over the past six months, some things have changed. Together with Social Welfare, we were able to place several children back with their families. Some are still going to the Meet Kate Academy, others have also moved to another city, like Majid, Kelvin and Ciara. Rebecca, AB, Bright and Bernard are sleeping at home, but we still see them daily when they come to our school. It is amazing that these children are back with their families, but it is always sad to say goodbye to someone who feels like family to us too. 

We also have welcomed three children into our Children's Home: brother and sister, Patience and John (picture), and Rudolf. Welcome to all three!

MEET KATE ACADEMY
The Meet Kate Academy is also doing great! All classes are full (30 children per class) and we are very busy planning for next schoolyear. Starting September, we will expand to class 6 (up till now we have had Kindergarten up to class 5). We will prepare for the extra class this summer, buying school supplies and getting furnuture. 
 
POULTRY FARM
Every month, director Kelly gets a box of fresh eggs from our poultry farm. These eggs really do taste a lot better and fresher than the eggs from the supermarket! And a lot of them are double yolk eggs too! By now, the poultry farm is financially sustaining itself and is starting to make profit. However, due to raining season, the chickens are laying a bit less eggs. Hopefully the weather will pick up soon. 
 
MEET KATE IS GOING TO SCHOOL
It has been a rough several months for the scholarship program. Unfortunately, the mentor of the scholarship program was financially unreliable and we have had to fire him because of that. Luckily, this has had no effect on our graduating students. They have all taken their exams and hopefully their grades will come soon. Very exciting! We will keep you posted. 
------------------------------------------------------
 FANCY FAIR AT PRIMARY SCHOOL "DE DUIF" 
 
June 20th was all about the theme "Africa", at primary school "De Duif" in Heiloo, complete with games, dancing to Azonto-music, Ghanaian snacks and awards. They raised no less than 1500 euros for Meet Kate. What a fantastic donation! We will use this donation to buy furniture for our extra classes at the Meet Kate Academy. 

We would like to thank the students and employees at De Duif, and especially Annabelle van der Spek for her effort and enthusiasm! Amazing!
 
Patience and John, new @ Meet Kate
Patience and John, new @ Meet Kate
Meet Kate Academy, some students prefer sleeping
Meet Kate Academy, some students prefer sleeping
poultry farm
poultry farm
Fancy fair
Fancy fair

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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Organization

Project Leader

Kelly de Vries

Agona Swedru, Central Region Ghana

Where is this project located?