INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS

Ghana Education Project
The Ghana Education Project (GEP) (www.Ghanaeducationproject.org.uk) was set up in partnership with the GEP Steering Committee, Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School, the British High Commission in Ghana, Scholastice Blue Horizons and Marks and Spencer. Now a registered UK charity, GEP looks to support the development of education and associated infrastructure in Nkwanta, a deprived area of North East Ghana. The Kyabobo School for Girls opened in 2013 with 80 pupils and has now expanded to 450 pupils with a further increase to 500 by the end of 2019. The education at this school, unlike others in Ghana, is free because of the GEP fundraising but the girls do need to pay for their uniforms. Core teaching staff are supplied by the Ghana Education Service while GEP provide intrastructure, leadership and funds for all running costs. Alongside the school is a guest house and community centre which provide jobs for local people and a venue for children to participate in sport.
This is a long standing project which we have supported for a number of years through sponsorship activities, sales of goods, collecting stationery, books, art materials and sports equipment, computers and bicycles. More recently we set up a Bursary to pay for three girls' education for 3 years at the newly built school. One of our members also swam the distance of the English Channel to raise money- 22 miles in a local pool over 10 weeks, a total of 1416 lengths! £500 was raised through sponsorship.
We have also had students from Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School come along to talk about their visits to the Project and the work they did with the children there. Every two years 15 girls from the Grammar school are chosen to work on a project and during that time they aim to raise £50,000.

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Ghana Stalls
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Kyabobo School

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The girls outside their new school


Sewathon Making Feminine Hygiene Packs
Members helped in a sewathon with a local school to produce female hygiene kits which enable girls in Ghana and Malawi to attend school throughout the month without breaks in their schooling because of periods. The kits help girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene and awareness, by direct distribution of sustainable feminine hygiene kits. Our project partnered with non-profit groups and organisations for supply of the kit materials and their eventual distribution.
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South Africa

Our friendship link in South Africa, the Cape of Good Hope club, supports a hospital for traumatised children, and the Saartjie Baartman Centre for abused women and children. Another project in the Phillipi township helps disadvantaged children who have been rescued by two women who care for them in their own homes while their parents seek food and work. Previously the children had been locked away for their own protection.
Using the link with the Cape of Good Hope club we planted trees in the garden at the Saartjie Baartman Centre to provide shade and shelter, and we also donated vegetable and flower seeds. We also knitted teddies for distribution to the children at these projects.
Also in the Phillipi township we continue to help Community Connections, an organisation which aims to strengthen the capacity of community workers and groups to organise and agitate for the transformation of society. We raised funds to resource a reference library for the organisation and we have also collected library books, drama and poetry, and teaching books and pens. One of our members has made a return visit to how the community led project has developed.

The BIG Project
As well as being involved with our own club projects we also support projects which are run across the wider Soroptimist organisation, typically over a 3 year period. As an example, we organised a Bagathon sale of nearly new handbags, scarves, jewellery and shoes which raised over £700 for the BIG project (Birthing in the Gambia). Working with MCAI (Maternal Childhealth Advocacy International) Soroptimists raised funds to provide higher grade maternal care to combat the high maternal mortality rates in the Gambia.
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Our Bagathon Stall