Shine On! is co-hosted by Tools for Schools Africa Foundation and the Rotary Club of Red Deer East. Here is a little background on Tools for Schools Africa Foundation
TFS-Africa Foundation in Canada and Tools for Schools Africa Society in Ghana are registered charities with volunteer teams who work together to keep more girls in school and to help develop better educational opportunities for kids in northern Ghana.
Our history in Ghana goes back to 1968 when Marilyn and her family lived in Damongo for two years. Allen Moore, her father, worked on an agricultural project with CIDA, and we are still there in the same village, Damongo. It is wonderful to work in a community where we have known people for forty years.
Our educational work in Africa began in September 2003 when Marilyn was hired by the Association of International Schools of Africa to do a teaching tour. They visited five African countries, including Ghana. After the tour Ghanaian teachers wrote to express their thanks but also to ask for books for their non-existent school libraries. The initial shipment was two forty foot containers of school supplies, and the start of a project larger than we had ever envisioned. Besides scholarships, a number of projects have been undertaken to meet community need. We have done professional development with over 800 teachers to help improve the quality of classroom teaching. We built a boarding house for junior high girls as many of them have no junior high schools in their own communities and must leave home to continue attending school. In 2011 and 2012 we published and delivered a 48 page, full-color ABC book, free of charge, to northern area schools. Over the years we have set up three libraries and in 2013 completed the building of a library, computer lab, and administration block. Our journey in the Damongo community continues. More in-depth information about each year’s projects can be found under the PROJECTS link.
The Canadian Board and the team are based in Red Deer, Alberta. The Ghanaian Board is composed of both Canadians and Ghanaians, so are scattered. Both Ghanaian and Canadian Board became registered charities in 2008-9.
The biggest part of our project is educational scholarships for promising girls at junior high, senior high and post-secondary levels. The girls come from small villages all over the Northern Region. Most are living away from their families for the first time so our mentors help them solve problems and offer support. All our mentors are professional educators who volunteer their time. Including the 2015/2016 school year, we have supported the education of more than 120 girls.