The Ghanaian cocoa farmers are used to there being tropical storms in the rainy season on a regular basis. But nobody could have expected that a particularly violent storm would destroy the primary school in Kyekyewere. Fortunately, the school was quickly rebuilt, not least thanks to the support of Lindt & Sprüngli.
Looking back, the tropical storm that partially destroyed the primary school of the Ghanaian town of Kyekyewere in 2008 also has its positive side. Without the storm, a higher school education would probably still be a long way off for the children in the villages around Kyekyewere. And things would probably not look that good for the school's connection to the electricity grid either. But one thing after the other.
Up to a few years ago, there was only one primary school in Kyekyewere.
Its destruction in 2008 by the said rainstorm was a source of great regret. In order to be able to offer a half-decent form of schooling in spite of this, the local authorities came up with a makeshift solution: They set up a kind of makeshift operation in a nearby church so that the children could continue to have lessons, albeit at an unusual place and at staggered times. It was clear right from the start that this would not be a permanent solution. The authorities thus sought an opportunity to rebuild the school.
Financed by the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program
The reconstruction was ultimately achieved thanks to the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, which is financed by premium paid for every ton of traceable cocoa bought from Ghana used for LINDT chocolate. The local partner organisation of Lindt & Sprüngli, Source Trust, was entrusted with the implementation on site. Construction already started in September 2008. The primary school was extended into a secondary school which was opened the following year and was soon enlarged by a further extension In addition to the classrooms which permit the teaching of 400 pupils, the school has rooms for the teachers, an office and a shop. It is also adjoined by a training centre ("Village Resource Center") that offers access to computers
and the Internet and is used both by the pupils and by the cocoa farmers of the surrounding villages.
The new school is also supplied with electricity. Alex Bruce Appiah, headmaster and teacher, says: "The electricity supply and the access to a printer make my work considerably easier. For instance, today, I can simply print out the exam questions in the Village Resource Center, which is just next door." Deborah Awiah Mensah, a 17-year-old pupil, is also delighted at the benefits offered by the electricity supply: "Unlike in the past, I can now attend evening classes. That has become possible because we now have light in the evenings. Thanks to the light, I can learn for longer - and I am much better prepared for the exams."
Improving the living conditions of the younger generation
Both Alex and Deborah are convinced that the extended school and the improved infrastructure are of great value for the pupils of Kyekyewere. Today, the school's image among the local population is much improved. This helps to ensure that today more pupils attend classes on a more regular basis and with greater enjoyment. And school education, particularly in Ghana, is hugely important for improving the living conditions of the younger generation in the future.
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