In less than a week I’ll be on the plane again, back to the country that changed my life a year ago. By doing voluntary work in Ghana, I got to know the Meet Kate Foundation. By now, there is nothing I’d rather do than work for this wonderful cause and so I can’t wait to see the children, Kelly and our employees again! I won’t leave The Netherlands empty handed, I’ll be bringing lots of wooden jigsaws, abacuses, costumes and letter boxes. All school supplies donated by you to further improve the quality of the care and education in our daycare center. On behalf of our project manager ‘Education and Development’ Noor van Hout and all the children: thank you very much for your wonderful responses and great donations! For our next newsletter I’ll give you an update from Ghana!
Meet Kate is 'back on wheels'!
Last year, both our school bus and our pick-up broke down. The first due to a broken engine and the second because of an accident. This month, we got our wheels back!Meet Kate was able to buy a new bus to take the children to and from school every day. We can also use it to pick up the teachers and children of the daycare center. The children were very happy when they first saw the beautiful bus. They were dancing, singing and drumming in celebration! To them, this bus also means they can be taken on new trips to the beach or the castle.The Meet Kate Foundation was able to make a great deal and get a new pick-up as well. Now we can take our own truck to go to the cacao plant or pick up the food for the chickens. The car can also be used for appointments, emergencies and for picking up visitors.
Brainstorming about new plans, discussing our collaborations and thinking of new ways to raise funds to finish building the school... The board members of the Meet Kate Foundation are ready to go! On Saturday the 9th of June we held a productive meeting on the status quo of the Meet Kate Foundation. Even secretary Nienke (who currently lives in Ghana) was able to make it!
First of all we would like to thank you for all the congratulations, comments and messages regarding our 5 years anniversary and our new ambassador. It is very special to see how many people are involved in the work that the Meet Kate Foundation is doing. Thank you for that special birthday feeling!
The Meet Kate Foundation has been very busy this past month. In Ghana, the construction of the Meet Kate Primary school has officially started. This primary school will provide quality education and a safe environment for approximately 200 children, in order to enable them to achieve more and determine their own future. Do you want to know more about the construction? Click here! Do you want to contribute to this special project? You can! Sponsor a child in Ghana and enable them to attend this school!
In this month's newsletter, you will read about our collaboration with Foundation to Build; the foundation which also supervised the construction of the Meet Kate Children's Home, and the Zonline & Wakawaka Foundation. In addition you will read about the work of Noor van Hout, the educationalist at Meet Kate and the experiences of our brand new ambassador Veronica Hoogdalem.
Chair Meet Kate Netherlands
P. S. Have you liked us on Facebook yet ? Help us achieve a thousand likes!
We work for Meet KateVeronica van Hoogdalem'Last week my mother called me to tell me how proud she is of me . These last couple of weeks she has told everybody about her daughter being the new ambassador for the Meet Kate foundation. I could imagine her talking about this with enthusiasm and passion for the work the foundation is doing. I was very moved when I heard my mother speaking with so much pride and love. It was then that I realized that I have indeed started a new adventure by becoming the new ambassador of this foundation. Meet Kate has welcomed me into their organization but also into their family. Every picture I see on Facebook and every story I read makes me even more anxious to visit the foundation in Ghana. I am determined that, that will happen this year. I can not wait to get involved in Ghana as well, see how the organization is working there and experiencing everything for myself. My job as an ambassador is to raise more awareness among my target group. Through Twitter I have a lot of contact with young people who watch my TV programmes. It is very pleasant to see that they are very curious about the Meet Kate foundation. When I tell my followers on twitter what Meet Kate is doing they all respond in a very positive en enthusiastic way, frankly I didn't expected anything else! Meet Kate represents the positive side of Africa and that is something I want to forward as well.'
Read more here about our second ambassador and watch her promotional video here!
Noor van Hout
'Time flies.... I have been in Ghana for almost two months now! It's amazing how quickly the time passes , but that's a good sign I guess, because since the first day I arrived here I have felt very welcomed and I am very happy to be part of the Meet Kate family.
The Ghanaian people and children are a great inspiration and example of how to live a happy life. Although major challenges can cross their path, with a lot of strength, perseverance and optimism people can overcome them and continue. I have great admiration for the people here! The satisfied and happy faces of the kids and the appreciation of the staff fills me with satisfaction, enabling me to continue my work with a lot of joy and love.To start with, I am particularly focusing on writing a curriculum for Meet Kate's day care centre. In this curriculum, the vision, principles, methods and teaching potential of Meet Kate are illustrated. In addition I am working on the implementation of schedules and registration forms which will provide guidance for the teachers.By means of workshops (training), observations and assessment of teacher competencies, we are working on the quality of teaching. This will eventually contribute to the futures of the Ghanaian children.'
We work together with Meet KateFoundation to Build'My name is Peter Schlooz and I started working for Foundation To Build in April 2, 2012. After 4 years of working in the Netherlands for a major contractor, I have taken my chances to start building for Africa. I always wanted to work abroad and especially in Africa. After a successful Skype job-interview with Eric de Ruiter (co-founder of Foundation Building), the decision was easily made.Foundation to Build supports Dutch NGO's with designing, budgeting and building constructions such as schools or clinics. One of our main goals is to involve the local community in the construction. So for the Meet Kate foundation, we are building the primary school with the help of skilled workers from Ekwamkrom and surroundings.In this way, we hope to create support and commitment within the community to the construction of the new school and also to generate some extra income for the local economy. During construction, Foundation to Build will monitor the budget, planning and quality.I hope I can use the knowledge and skills I obtained in the Netherlands to contribute to the expertise here in Ghana and vice versa. Ultimately, our goal is that with this collaboration between Ghana and the Netherlands we can open a beautiful new school within 6 months.'
Zonline & Wakawaka foundation At Zonline you can order solar panels for your own home and simultaneously help to enlighten the lives of children who live in the dark. Last Thursday, April 12th , the Waka Waka Foundation was launched. WakaWaka, which in Swahili means: 'Brilliant Light', is a friendly and affordable LED light that runs on solar power.A short movie demonstrates that this lamp can make the lives of 1.5 billion people without electricity a lot easier and safer. Zonline is the first sponsor of this sympathetic initiative and donates an average of five WakaWaka lamps for each solar system sold. The Meet Kate Foundation is one of the charities that distribute these LED lights within their projects among the children who desperately need them. We are very pleased with this partnership!
We exist five years!
This month you are receiving an extra celebrative newsletter. The main reason for our celebration this month is of course our 5 year anniversary! The 27th of April 2012 marks exactly 5 years since Kelly de Vries decided do something with the potential and the love she saw in Ghana. Together with Muriel Koch she founded the Meet Kate Foundation: An organization that has achieved tremendous results so far.
As you probably read in the last newsletter, we have embarked on a very special partnership. We proudly present to you our new ambassador, Veronica Hoogdalem! She is a Dutch Television host. She is half Ghanaian, and appreciates that the opportunity to decide your own future, is not always an option. She is passionate about participating in the projects of the Meet Kate Foundation so that she will be able to help the children in Ghana and ensure that they will be able to determine their own future!
We are delighted that Veronica has become our second ambassador! In addition to Peter R. de Vries, Veronica will particularly be committed to obtain more recognition about the Meet Kate Foundation among the younger generation. Veronica: 'I want to ensure that Dutch youngsters know what the Meet Kate Foundation is doing for their peers in Ghana. Furthermore I would like to participate in the projects of the Meet Kate Foundation to show people the ''other side'' of Africa. Africa doesn't only have poor and starving children, but there are so many inspiring and hopeful children as well.'
Have a look at this movie made by Danny Stolker and click here to read more about Veronica's motivation!
Would you like to support Meet Kate just as Veronica does? Go to this page, and see how you can sponsor a child in Ghana! We look forward to the next 5 years!
Kelly de Vries and Myrthe Oostenbach
Director and Chairman
Dear Friend of Meet Kate
Spring has begun! The season of a fresh start, new ideas and energy, and for Meet Kate it’s no different. Director of Meet Kate was in The Netherlands for the past month and is now back in Ghana to work on several projects amongst which is the construction of the primary school. Pedagogue Noor van Hout will share her knowledge and experience as a Project manager of “Education and Development”. And we are certainly not sitting still in The Netherlands.
On April 27 the Meet Kate foundation celebrates its fifth year anniversary, and we’re not letting this go by unnoticed. On this date we are announcing very exciting news! To let you in a little, it’s a very special collaboration that we are very proud of! Keep an eye on our social media sites the coming month! Furthermore I would like to thank you all for the lovely emails and responses on Twitter and Facebook, that make our work that much better!
Kind regards,Myrthe Oostenbach
Chairman Meet Kate foundation
P.S. For the most recent updates and pictures, follow us on social media. Thanks to you we now have over a thousand followers on Twitter, and we’re getting close to that on Facebook. Like us and help us to get a thousand likes!
Kelly is back in Ghana
As you could read in our last newsletter, our founder and director Kelly de Vries spend the past month in The Netherlands. On March 16, she flew back to her second home... Kelly: “I’m back in Ghana. The past month I went to The Netherlands to see my friends and family, and to do some work for Meet Kate. I finally got to meet the new board, what a great team we now have in The Netherlands!
On March 7 I turned 25 years old, and for that occasion I gave myself a special present. On my left wrist there’s a tattoo that symbolises everything that Africa and especially Meet Kate has given me. It is the reversed Meet Kate logo. The eye of inspiration Kate with in the iris the continent Africa. For always in my heart and on my body!” Now I’m back in Ghana and everything has run smoothly. The children are doing great, the building looks amazing and the daycare center is doing fantastic. I’m so proud of the way things are running in Ghana. And I’m happy I can get back to work..”
Introducing project manager 'Education and Development' Noor van Hout
“Hi, I’m Noor van Hout. I would like to introduce myself to you, since I’ll be going to Ghana for the next nine months to work for Meet Kate as remedial teacher and project manager of Education and Development. I will work on the quality of the care at the MKCH (children’s home) and the education at the daycare center. I am looking forward to working with Kelly and the (local) employees of Meet Kate to make a contribution to the development and quality of the lives of the most vulnerable children in Ghana. Luckily I know the culture and country quit well, because I lived in Ghana before, for a year, and worked as coordinator of a basic children’s home. I am convinced that Meet Kate is a special, challenging and well functioning project that in the future will grow into a sustainable and self reliant developmental project.”
Meet Kate is slowly expanding: a thousand chickens, but also new applications for the daycare center and of course in a few months the primary school that will provide high-quality education to 200 children. This month we have lots of news to share with you. First, our president Kelly de Vries flew to The Netherlands for one month. Also, we had an inspiring Business Models workshop and are starting our chicken farm which is our third sustainability project. We also received a lot of fun and heart-warming responses to our promotional film which has been viewed almost 7000 times by now! Fantastic!
With kind regards,
Chairman Meet Kate Foundation
Ps. For our most recent updates and pictures, follow us on our social media sites. You can find us on Facebook.
Kelly in The Netherlands
After spending eight months in Ghana, Kelly de Vries (president) landed on Dutch ground on March 17. She will meet the new board and there are a few exciting meetings planned. More about that later! Kelly leaves behind the projects of Meet Kate in full confidence. She proudly says: “I’m not the least worried. Together with the Ghanaian employees we built an incredible organisation over the past year, in which everyone knows exactly what to do. Of course I will miss everyone the coming month, but I am very pleased the projects are this successful and that I can visit my friends and family in The Netherlands without having to worry about Ghana”.
The Meet Kate family expandsAnd with no less than one thousand chickens! This month, our third sustainability project (a chicken farm) has started. Together with the daycare center and the cacao plant it is supposed to contribute to the children’s home’s sustainability. We hired a Ghanaian chicken expert to coordinate the project and care for the chickens. We rent his chicken farm for a period of two years. The chickens were bought when they were one day old and will start laying eggs when they’re six months old. The sale of these eggs (and after 80 weeks the sale of the chicken meat) will generate an income used to finance the educational projects of the Meet Kate Foundation.
Building the school: The meetings for the construction of the primary school are in full swing. We start building in April!
Education: The second period school fees of the children at the Meet Kate Children’s Home have been paid for.The daycare and kindergarten classes are doing very well. The applications keep coming in. All our groups are full right now, so we have started a waiting list. We also had another parent-teacher night last month. We received many positive and enthusiastic responses from parents about our education and daycare facilities.
First Aid course: Thanks to WARA (West African Rescue Association), five of our staff members followed and passed a First Aid course. In six hours time they were taught theoretical and practical skills, so they are now able to help the children in cases of emergency.
Update The Netherlands
Business Models workshop: Last week Myrthe and Kelly had a brain storm session with Yvo, Jack and Sylvia of Hot ITem. The goal of Hot ITem is to permanently improve a company’s or government’s achievements. The accomplish this by doing performance improvement projects on the intersection between business and IT. Hot ITem sponsors Meet Kate with such a project and in 10 days we have our second meeting. We are very enthusiastic and curious about the outcome!
GET Teacher Training DONE: In April, our pedagogue Noor van Hout will come to Ghana for eight months, to work on the educational program of the Meet Kate Primary School. She’ll also be giving workshops and training to our teachers and employees, on the subject of individual care and education. To finance this project, we work together with Get it Done: an online platform for small scale developmental projects. You’ll find our project here. We are now at 5,8% and every contribution is more than welcome! Share this with your friends and let’s get it done!
She inspires... We invest. Get involved!February 2012
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