First of all, great to see you’re still with us! Thanks for your loyal support of the Meet Kate Foundation. You are very important to us. So it’s about time you heard from us again. In this newsletter we would like to tell you what we’ve been up to, both in Ghana as in The Netherlands, and what stage the Meet Kate Foundation is in.
Meet Kate has always had a clear vision on effective developmental work. We are convinced that good intentions and charitable feelings aren’t enough to effectuate long term changes. Preferring equal instead of dependent relationships, gives us the opportunity to work on the future together. In 2007, this lead to the idea of supporting local people in realizing their dreams and helping them stand on their own feet after the project was realized. Over the coming period, we will work towards full self-sufficiency and ownership for Meet Kate Ghana. This also means that in some time, Meet Kate NL and UK will no longer be active as foundations. We hope we’ll be able to look back and say: we did it! We have built up beautiful projects, we have witnessed our MK-children grow up and we saw our school becoming a well-respected school in the region.
Now that this step is coming closer, the Ghanaian board are taking over more and more responsibilities from the Dutch board, making the Dutch board less active in decision making, budgeting and planning. Exactly how we believe it’s supposed to be in the development of a self-sufficient project, not supported by Western help.
This also means we’re slowly decreasing the financial aid. For now, we will continue to pay for (part of) the exploitation costs, but with a steady decrease in amount every six months. We will also continue payments on the Teach-the-Teacher-project (with which our teachers receive a 3-year part-time education to improve their skills) and a large amount of the children’s school tuition. So your donations are still much needed and well-spent. We will keep you posted on the steps and decisions we are taking towards total independence.
Not only our projects and foundation have grown, our team has continued to develop as well. It is over 9 years ago that Muriel and Kelly first set foot on Ghanaian ground. And even though working for Meet Kate is not taking up a prominent place in our lives anymore, it has meant the world to us. Muriel is now working in a forensic psychiatric policlinic in Amsterdam and is doing a postdoc education, Kelly is married and is living in Ghana, where she works for an NGO that promotes sexual and reproductive health in youth. Our treasurer Nienke became a mom and is working in the developmental sector and Myrthe discovered she want to use entrepeneurship to help make young adults more self-reliant in this fast-changing world. Kiymet is also heading towards a bright future no that she has finished her Master’s Degree in International Development Studies. Ten years ago none of us could have imagined where we’d be right now.
Who knows what the future will bring. What we do know, is that we will do our best to hand successfully hand over our beloved Meet Kate Foundation to the Ghanaian board. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. We couldn’t have done it without your support! So thank you, very much. If you have any questions about the path we’re taking, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
In the picture you see five of our oldest girls from the Meet Kate Children’s Home during a sleepover party at Kelly’s place in Accra
In Ghana, a lot has happened too over the past few months. Due to a big orphanage scandal in Ghana, Social Welfare decided to shut down all the orphanages and children’s homes in the country. On August 17, 2015, Meet Kate also received a letter to close its Children’s Home.
Thanks to our close collaboration with Social Welfare, we already suspected what was coming. Partly due to these developments, the Ghanaian board decided to start off into a new direction and focus more on our school (Meet Kate Academy). A large part of the children from the Meet Kate Children’s Home have been placed back with their families. We still pay for their school and lunch money and they are welcome for breakfast and dinner every day. But from now on, most children no longer sleep at the Children’s Home. This means that over the past 5 years, we took care of over 20 children and successfully placed them back with their families. This is an amazing accomplishment which fills us with pride and joy.
At this stage, there are still 13 children living at the Children’s Home. These are orphans or children whose families live too far away for them to commute. We will register these children as boarding students and sponsor their school fees and boarding costs. This means that the Meet Kate Children’s Home will officially close its doors as a children’s home. We will focus fully on our educational projects, with a special interest in helping children whose parents are unable to pay for school fees.
Reaching the end for Meet Kate NL and UK will definitely not mean the end of Meet Kate Ghana. We will continue our projects and remain committed to helping children in the region. The Ghanaian board is very thankful for all the help, donations and support from the Netherlands and the UK over the past years. We will keep you posted on our work and we hope you will continue to support us until we reach the joint decision that we’ve reached our goal!