After travelling to Ghana in early 2023 to try and assist farmers in their fight for basic human rights, Harris Pogust, Founder and Chairman of Pogust Goodhead, was shown around the village of Kplandey, a farming village in the Fanteakwa district in the Eastern Region of Ghana. After seeing the conditions of the schoolhouse that the children went to every day to try and learn, without hesitation, Harris committed to funding the construction of a proper building for Kplandey Anglican Primary School.
“My heart was broken when I saw the conditions of the schoolhouse that the children went to every day to try and learn. It was basically a dirt floor with a makeshift roof. This is even the case during the rainy season when the conditions are beyond unbearable.”
He learned that between the months of May and September, children were often unable to attend school as the building was not protected from heavy rains. This meant that over 240 children between the ages of six and 11 could not receive a full education.
Improving educational facilities in Kplandey village
A girl at the school was delighted when she heard that she would not have to do her schoolwork in bad weather conditions anymore: “I do not like studying in the old classroom. Anytime it rains, we get wet and so do our books. When we have a proper classroom, I will be able to enjoy school and study hard to become a lawyer when I grow up”.
Pogust Goodhead’s contribution
As well as funding the construction of the school building which when finished, will have proper ventilation and lighting, Pogust Goodhead will also donate books, computers, and other items to help the local children of Kplandey and nearby villages in the region to succeed.
Edmund Bentsi-Enchill, an Associate at Pogust Goodhead, added: “I am really proud that we can make an immediate impact on this community by supporting these children’s education. Communities in Ghana are experiencing a lot of economic turmoil on top of the generally poor labour conditions and poverty wages they earn for producing cocoa for Western consumers. This project will improve the chances of the kids in this community and support them into a more stable and prosperous future.”
Community impact and creating jobs
Since the spring, local people have been working on the construction, which has created dozens of jobs.
Evans Larbi is a farmer and the CEO of Beit Farms, an agricultural and education organisation that has led the project in Ghana: “The new school building in Kplandey will have a lifetime positive educational impact for the community and put a lot of smiles on faces of our little ones. They are our future leaders.”
The headteacher of Kplandey Anglican Primary School, Mr Kelvin Pabi said: “As a headmaster, my main duty is to ensure a conducive environment for effective teaching and learning in my school. The old classroom did not protect the children and teachers from the sun and rain.”
Mr Pabi continued: “I am delighted and thankful that Harris Pogust and his team have provided us with a new classroom. I am confident that this support for our school will motivate the children to study hard. I am looking forward to the day that some of these children become lawyers or doctors because of this and other support they received.”
The school is due to be finished in early 2024, complete with a playground, computer block and staff common room.