Primary education for 200 village children - Ghana

Aug 1, 2014

Meet Kate: a dynamic family

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
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!

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. 
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. 
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. 
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
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!  
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 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.
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!
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!'


Dec 27, 2013

2013: highlights of the year

Dear friend , 

The first milestone of the year: the Meet Kate Academy was opened on January 25th. From that day on, 150 children from the neighbourhood receive a good primary education! And we are so proud!
Without Foundation to Build and all our sponsors, this project wouldn't have been such a success. 
What started in 2011 as an idea for a second self-reliance project, grew into a project with three thousand chickens! 
Kate, our inspiration, turned 11 this year! Let us introduce her to you with this video.
We look back at a wonderful evening in the Little Buddha in Amsterdam, where we held our Love, Kate event. An evening where we celebrated our successes with friends, family and donors. 
Many thanks to all the artists who volunteered to perform for us that night and to our wonderful ambassadors Peter R. de Vries and Veronica van Hoogdalem!
With the start of Meet Kate UK, the expansion of our projects and the developments we've gone through as a foundation, it was time for a new website. And, thanks to Nico Veenman and Pim Veger, we got one!
We would like to take a moment to thank the Meet Kate UK team for their enthousiasm and support this year. They did a wonderful job raising funds and awareness with the Halloween Event and Global Giving Challenge. Meet the English board here.
We would like to thank everyone for following and supporting us this past year! A foundation like ours cannot exist without the confidence of our loyal donors.
We'll be back next year!
Kind regards,
Meet Kate NL: Nienke, Muriel, Kiymet and Myrthe
Meet Kate UK: Naa, Guy, Rebecca and Tanya
Meet Kate Ghana: Kelly, Steve and Philomena



Dec 27, 2013

Have a very merry challenge!

Dear friend,

Last month we presented you with our brand new websites. Unfortunately, a technical error prevented you from actually seeing the websites. For that we apologize. Once again, we would like to invite you to visit our website. A little tip: check our beautiful infographic, which tells the Meet Kate story in a nutshell. 
But, there is more! November has been a very productive month in Ghana, The Netherlands and the UK! Read all about our UK-activities in this month's newsletter. 
Wishing you warmth and happiness!
Naa Akle Dromo Okantey & Myrthe Oostenbach
Presidents of Meet Kate UK and The Netherlands


Tis the season to be jolly, and at Meet Kate, we are overflowing with joy this season! This summer, a Global Giving UK representative came to Ghana to evaluate our projects and we embarked on what was to become a beautiful partnership. Global Giving UK is an online fundraising platform that works with small not-for-profit organizations to raise money for their projects. To make sure that the charities they invest in are motivated, they set us a challenge: Raise £2000 in 30 days. Completing the challenge will give us access to one of the biggest online-fundraising platforms out there, training, big corporate partnerships and so much more! This challenge has given our team the new burst of energy we needed to propel us from raising awareness into fundraising.
Our followers have overwhelmed us with their support and it warms my heart to see that we are really beginning to build a Meet Kate family in the UK too! Do you want to help us reach our target of £2000 by the 23rd of December? Click here!



Four medical students did something special for us last month. They decided that they were going to challenge themselves to spend £1 a day on food, for 5 days in solidarity with the 2.4 billion people worldwide who are living in poverty. They have raised £800 and counting for Meet Kate. We are thankful that they are raising awareness of an important global issue as well as the positive message of Africa that Meet Kate wants to show the world.
Have you got any ideas of something fun or challenging that you can do to raise money for us? We would love to hear from you. Get in touch:



Any occasion is an excuse for a party, so it was no surprise when everyone came out in their best Halloween outfit for Meet Kate night! If you look closely, you will see that they are wearing Meet Kate bracelets on their wrists. These were handmade by a craftsman in Ghana and were used as tickets to enter the club. Everyone loved having a little piece of Ghana to keep with them forever and all proceeds from the night, went to Meet Kate! Thank you to Medsoc for organizing it. 




Oct 1, 2013

Is it true that Africa used to be poor?


Dear follower,
It is high season in the world of developmental work. Last week, the Millennium Goals of 2015 were discussed during the General Assembly of the UN. The first goal - halving the number of people living in poverty and with hunger - is achieved. Furtermore, there are more girls going to primary school, child and maternal mortality rates have been reduced and there are less people dying of Aids. A good start. 
"Is it true that Africa used to be poor?" It is UN secretary Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's dream that a 7-year-old boy from her native South Africa will one day utter those words.
In our own country international developmental work is again point of discussion, partially due to the economic crisis. The new National Budget states that in 2014, 986 million euros will be cut from the developmental budget. For now, The Netherlands take a step back from the 0.7% norm (of the GDP). 
We think it's time to show you what developmental work brings. This month, we would like to go back to how we see Africa: a continent filled with strength and positivity, where good investments can make any dream come true.  
                                                                        See more videos
Kind regards,
Myrthe Oostenbach
Chair Meet Kate Foundation

'We Africans want the same things that you want'. This movie proves that. These Ugandan women lipdub in style to the hit Price Tag by Jessie J: an initiative by Microbanker. In this movie, 500 women show the enterprises they were able to start with bankloans. 
Huge market opportunities, upcoming mobile services and a fifth of the government expenses go to education. This infographic shows seven reasons why Africa's time is now. 


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Project Leader

Kelly de Vries

Agona Swedru, Central Region Ghana

Where is this project located?