This month, Meet Kate got some visitors from other organisations. They said so many lovely things about us and about the great work we are doing. For me, being a part of Meet Kate is such a marvellous thing but sometimes working within it, you can lose sight of just how remarkable it is. It is nice sometimes, to take a step back and look at Meet Kate through the eyes of visitors. Then I can fully appreciate that we can only do what we do because of all the wonderful people involved.
Kate inspired Kelly to start Meet Kate Foundation and she is still an inspiration to us today. But behind the scenes, there are other people without whom Meet Kate wouldn’t be the same. Today we would like you to meet just a few of those special people.
We can’t forget that Meet Kate only works because of the collaboration between you and the team in Ghana. We couldn’t do any of it without you: our lovely donors and followers.
Mr. Annam has great vision! He is open-minded and is always ready for new ideas to make the school better. He sees so much potential in both the children and teachers and wants to see them all succeed. This month, he entered the school in a cultural competition. Even though the school is only a few months old and competition was tough, Mr. Annam believed in the children and they won 1st prize. Meet him and you will understand why Meet Kate Academy, though barely a year old, is already thriving.
Lives in the Meet Kate Children's Home
She is beautiful, funny and confident. Sometimes, she is shy in the way that teenagers are when they are unsure of themselves.
Janet wants to be a hairdresser. She said to Naa “I want to do your hair for you so that you can look beautiful. That’s why I want to be a hairdresser, so that I can make everyone look beautiful”. There is so much beauty in this young girl and that is why she inspires!
He is the head administrator at Meet Kate. He is also the one who now oversees the cocoa plantation.
One of Meet Kate’s visions has always been self-reliance. We are at the stage now where we really want to focus on the projects being run by locals. With Kelly now living in Accra, Kofi is one of the keys in making this transition smooth. He sends daily updates to Kelly and takes all the beautiful pictures you see on Facebook.
Helen works for GlobalGiving UK: an online platform that allows people to make online donations to charities. They also help small organisations with training and advice.
Helen was with Meet Kate for one week. She met all the staff and children and will write a report on what Meet Kate does well and suggest some tips on how we can be even better. GlobalGiving UK and Meet Kate UK are starting an exciting partnership. Helen worked with Naa to get this off to a great start.
She brought so many ideas, enthusiasm and positivity! That’s what we love at Meet Kate. Thank you Helen. Meet Kate UK looks forward to working with you. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NEWS FROM GHANA
Meet Kate has recently expanded with a school shop and a carport. Parents will be able to buy school uniforms, gym clothes, school books, notebooks, pens and pencils at our school shop. The new carport is to protect our car's from the wear and tear caused by the wheather conditions in Ghana. Our pick-up is currently at the garage for a major overhaul. There is a lot of rust on the car, and because of the many potholes in the roads, the car has a lot to endure. Hopefully, in two weeks time, the car is in good condition again.
The school year is coming to an end. August 1st is the start of summer vacation in Ghana. Right now, the children are working hard at their exams! Exciting!
Our 'my bood buddy' library project is up and running for about three weeks now and it's going very well. The children are very enthusiastic and make sure to bring their books on Fridays to switch it for a new one! 'Reading is fun!'.
Last Friday, the students of the Meet Kate Academy played a friendly match against the teachers of the Fairview school, to strengthen our relationship. The match ended in a draw: 1-1.
Meet Kate UK is taking on scholarships. “Meet Kate Goes to School” was started a few years ago by a volunteer and now allows 8 students to finish high school. As The board of Meet Kate UK are all university students, we realise how important education has been in our lives. We want to see those opportunities given to other children. While Naa is in Ghana, she will be meeting with the current students, the mentor and seeing the schools they go to. When she goes back, the team will start with a fresh passion to give more people this wonderful opportunity.
Whenever anyone talks about Meet Kate, the sense of family is always the major feeling they express. Still, it took me by surprise when I came here. The sense of unity, the feeling that this is home is almost palpable in the air. I find that children are extremely adaptable: put them in a place with love and they will create their own family. Family takes on a whole new meaning at Meet Kate, especially with the staff. The flow of conversations, the fun they have with each other and the genuine care for each other. It is not always easy when there is a mix of two cultures, but these signs are demonstrative of people who love each other completely and care deeply for each other. Its so evident it makes my heart swell and now I get to be a part of that! I get to call this place my home for the next couple of months and get to know the project inside out.
As I type this, the children are outside, drumming and dancing in preparation for a cultural show they have in a week’s time. They are carefree, happy and sometimes get frustrated because they can’t pick up a dance move quickly. But what is important is that they are just as children should be. They feel like they belong and they can be themselves here because they are loved and part of a family and I think that the quote above is truer here than it could ever be. Something very wonderful is indeed happening.
Sending you a pocketful of the sunshine from Meet Kate!
Often people ask the same two questions after finishing highschool: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and "What are your dreams for the future?". When I got the idea to start the Meet Kate Foundation at age 19, I never could or would have dreamed that the foundation would be such a success 6 years later.
We have wonderful projects in Ghana, such as the recently opened primary school and our daycare center. But the happiness of the children at our Children's Home and scholarship program also make my heart beat a little faster. In The Netherlands, more and more people are becoming aware of what we do. Thanks to our own television commercial and interviews in papers and magazines, people are hearing more about the positive side of Africa. And in the UK we are starting to create more awareness as well.
Six years Meet Kate, is something the board is very proud of. It sure is an achievement! But without your support as our donor, follower and/ or supporter we could not have done it. Foundations often thank big donors and funds for their support and donations. But today, we would like to thank you! Our loyal donors. Some of you have been supporting us for 5 years! Thanks to your €2,50, €5,- or €10,- a month we have been able to give our children a nice warm bed to sleep in, fufu on their plates and a good school to go to.
Dear loyal donors, thank you so much for your trust over the past few years!
Now that the "Love, Kate" storm has passed, it is time for new things. Spring is in the air! On March 10 in the Little Buddha Amsterdam, we experienced how loyal and valuable our followers are, and as far as we're concerned, there will be many more wonderful projects and special collaborations to come! We would like to thank you again for coming and supporting this evening. Look back at our first benefit concert 'Love, Kate' (or see what you've missed) with our aftermovie and pictures.
Sometimes you meet someone who inspires you, who changes your life. That is how the Meet Kate Foundation came to be: when Kelly and Muriel volunteered in Ghana, Kelly was struck by the positive attitude of her then 4-year-old hostsister Kate. In turn, Kelly is someone who inspires me tremendously. After visiting The Netherlands for the past month, she now officially emigrated to the country that stole her heart. Kelly lives and works in Ghana because there's no place else she is happier or feels more at home. She is the symbol for seeing opportunities in stead of obstacles, and she shows me - and many others - that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. So in a way, everyone has their own Kate.
I wish you an inspirational spring!
Chairman Meet Kate Foundation
Emigration, and then...
After living in Ghana for 2 years, it was time. Time to decide what my future will look like. Will I go back to The Netherlands and find a 9-to-5 job? Will I stay in Ghana with Meet Kate? Will I move to another country? So many choices and possibilities. For some people it is hard to choose between all the options, with a decision like this they usually focus on the obstacles instead of the possibilities. For me, it was a decision that I actually made some time ago.
For the time being, I’m staying in Ghana. I feel at home here! But there were several things that I had and wanted to change this year. First of all, I realised that Meet Kate is doing very well.
The sun was out yesterday and I thought that finally spring had come. Today, the clouds have come back with a vengeance and with it the low temperatures. But nothing can quench all this excitement. I absolutely love being president of Meet Kate Foundation UK.
We had our first board meeting and it was a great success. We left with lots of positive energy and bursting with ideas. We have a few things up our sleeve but can’t reveal them yet. Be on the lookout in the next newsletter, or better still on Facebook.
We have been overwhelmed by your support and we love hearing from you, so feel free to send us an email: email@example.com, especially if you have any ideas about fundraising for us.
Last year, I had a great time visiting Myrthe in Holland, a year after we first met in Ghana. This time my trip to Holland is more for “business” purposes but I can’t think of business that’s more fun. Love, Kate is going to be such an amazing event! It will be so nice to meet all the followers and supporters of Meet Kate and the music is set to be top class.
The preparations are underway, and even in the UK we are inspired by the idea. Watch our version of the “Share the word, Spread the love” video!
Think you can do better? Send your version to firstname.lastname@example.org. Personally, I am most excited about meeting the people behind Meet Kate Netherlands: the team that make the magic happen. Kelly will be visiting from Ghana, so it’s a perfect opportunity to see her again and of course my dear friend Myrthe; but also, the board, ambassadors and volunteers.
After that, I’ll come back to studying, but I have no doubt I will be inspired and have a lot to share with the UK team.
After a successful opening, the school is now almost ready for use. The finishing touches are being made, and it's looking nice! The paths and fence are finished and in three weeks time we'll put up the slides, swings and seesaws. Finally, we'll lay green grass between the paths to give the school a fresh look. But, no school without students. Fortunately, many children want to attend our school. Since the opening, so many children have enrolled that we are now full! This is a wonderful start for the new school year and sign that parents in the Ekwamkrom area appreciate and believe in what we’ve been doing so far!
The paths and fence are finished around the Meet Kate Academy
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