Girls' Scholarships

What?

Our girls' scholarship program is one we are so excited about, we can hardly contain it! The idea of this program is to give girls the opportunity to receive a high school education when they otherwise wouldn't have the ability to.  We have awarded 3 girls this scholarship that will cover 3 years of school fees. It will cover room & board, school uniforms, books and travel to and from home.

Why?

The entire reason we decided to invest in a girls scholarship program is simple. Students desire to attend high school, but the financial burden it brings causes them to lose hope and stop attending school prematurely.  This is a problem across the board, but it is even worse for girls. Most families in Ghana don't have the finances to have their children attend high school, and if they do it doesn't usually go to girls. For the educational benefit and need to see equal amounts of each gender in high schools, we decided to develop this program.

How? 

We have a great partnership with one of the most amazing foundations that will be supporting the initial steps of this program.  They are donating the funds for the 3 girls to be awarded scholarships. On top of the donations they have so generously given, we have implemented ways to continue to build a great quality of life for these girls on top of education.  One way is Josephine (see below). 

Who?

We just selected the 3 girls to enter into this program.  The parents of these students have been very supportive of their daughters education by regularly attending PTA meetings, helping them complete homework and study in the evening with the EPI lanterns.  These girls also had the highest BECE scores (required testing for enrollment to high school) on their island. Each one of them works hard in class and had high recommendations from teachers as well as a great need for financial assistance, making them some of the most deserving.  

Meet the Girls

Adu Gladys Dede

"Getting a high school education means preparing one's future so that one can take good care of his or her community and be a better person."

 Her desire to better the community around her is astounding. We are so excited to see what the future holds for her! (Picture below)

Adzigodi Jennifer Sinerkie

"I am much inspired to learn and perform well in school because when I looked at the background of my family and the society in which I come from makes me sad.  So this do motivate me to put my best to learn hard for me to become somebody who will help my family and community." 

She is a great example of someone wanting to work hard to make the lives of people around her better. (Picture below)

Martha Ohui Siameh

            Martha Ohui Siameh

            Martha Ohui Siameh

"I want to be a Nurse because I have developed the interest in learning of science with the science kits provided by Empower Playgrounds.  After receiving high school education I will come back to the community for others to benefit."

We love seeing Martha have a desire to learn because of exposure to our science kits! The future looks bright for her, and we couldn't be more pleased. (Picture above)

                   Jennifer                                            Josephine                                  Gladys

                   Jennifer                                            Josephine                                  Gladys

                Jennifer                                             Martha                                Gladys

Josephine

This is Josephine, she is the local working on the ground in Ghana to help facilitate interviews, organize exam scores and comprise information based on the guidelines we have set for these scholarships. She is currently a university student and the most excellent choice for helping us navigate this program. Her role with us at EPI is necessary for propelling these girls into the future. Josephine will be a bridge between the students and their education, making her a valuable person in helping these girls succeed in their education. She will be both a personal and educational resource for these girls because of her background of coming from a rural village in Ghana. We couldn't have found a better person to embrace these girls and mentor them into a future of better education and a better life!

Josephine enjoying time with students at our schools! She is incredible to willingly mentor the girls, and makes this process so much better.

Josephine enjoying time with students at our schools! She is incredible to willingly mentor the girls, and makes this process so much better.

EPI Library Project

Empower Playgrounds First Library

This summer we installed a pilot library at the school Bahankra. They were thrilled to provide their students with access to fun children's books as well as reference materials.  

The picture below is of the librarian who had never held a dictionary before. She is very excited to teach children who do not have access to internet, how to look up words. 

After returning for a visit this summer we were able to look over the library lending log to see that children are checking out the books and using the library well with their lanterns. We are excited to begin extending this project to 5 more libraries next next year in partnership with the African Library Project

We hope to have libraries at all of our schools, but will be rolling this project out slowly over the next few years. We will be collecting book donations until March 2017 for the libraries that will be installed in 2017. The schools where we will install libraries are: 

  1. Obane Primary School
  2. Pediatorkope Primary and Junior High School
  3. Attabui Primary and Junior High School
  4. Mpaem Primary School
  5. Aketamantag Primary and Junior High School

How can you get involved?!

Volunteer to head a book drive: 

Sign up through the African Library Project and request to be matched to one of the schools (listed above). Get your school or club or family together to collect 1000 books and raise $500 to help with shipping costs! The African Library Project has extremely helpful information on how to get started and make a successful book drive. 

  1. Book Drive Guidelines
  2. Planning Your Book Drive
  3. Raising Funds
  4. Book Drive Resources

Donate Books

Donate your lightly used books or buy & donate your favorite book or book series. We also have this list of suggested books including books that will be particularly relevant to children living in rural Ghana. Click here to to access the suggested books on Amazon.

Ship books to:

Empower Playgrounds, Inc.                                                                                                 1905 W 4700 S #432                                                                                                           Salt Lake City, UT 84129  

 

Meet Juliana

After she gathered litter of black plastic bags and used tissue paper into a small pile, she hid her face shyly and ran off to her classroom with bare feet. She joined a crowd of students curiously staring and giggling at the older student as she set up three blue plastic chairs for an interview.

The older student’s legs were bruised on the knee and on her heels; her hair was cut the same way as the boys in school as part of their uniform. Her body was built like an athlete, properly proportioned and as if she didn’t carry any unused muscles.

The older student gestured the interviewer to sit, but waited until she was asked to be seated on the chair. She introduced herself as Juliana. She is a class six student, oldest in the Ata’ampuurum ‘A’ primary school.

Ata’ampuurum is located in Bolgatanga in the northern region of Ghana. The area has a high  concentration of poverty unlike the developing southern region where the capital, Accra, is based.

Despite financial challenges Juliana and her family face, Juliana understands the importance of receiving an education and sees the essential role it plays in the progress of the country. The lanterns provided by Empower Playgrounds Inc. made a significant change in her academic performances.

“Our parents don’t know what school is. They didn’t do school. Some people here, because they don’t school and they don’t like school, they don’t come,” Juliana said.

Juliana attends school to help her family in the future but also to look after her community. “We are the future leaders,” Juliana said. She explained that people who have enough money to take care of their immediate family can do more. Juliana herself wants to become a doctor after schooling so that she can cure sickness.

Though she seeks to help people outwardly, she has her immediate family to take care of. Her father passed away and her mother and her aunt make a living weaving baskets. They live in a compound (a collection of rooms) that Reverend Fathers built in 2013.

Juliana contributes to her family’s living by working at a farm. She doesn’t want her mother to be out working, so while her mother stays at home weaving, Juliana farms. “Because I know how to do it, I go and make money.”

“If there’s food in the house, I’ll eat,” said Juliana when asked how often she eats her meals.

Juliana nodded with a smile when she was asked whether she was happy. She did mention, “When they ask me of my father I don’t know, I always cry because there’s no one to take care of us.”

 

 

Juliana strives to do her best in school and at home with the many responsibilities on her shoulders.

The lanterns allow the children to study at night after school hours. Many students are expected to help their parents work during the daytime, and they do not get the chance to review materials outside of the class.

“We study all the time,” said Juliana. There are two other students who study with her; During their study sessions, they quiz each other on spelling and help each other understand the reading.

Before receiving the lantern, Juliana scored 15th place in the class, but she has achieved first place consistently in the past few terms. She said that she can read well and understand the materials better in the class.

She remembers a particular moment during a term when she read a section about the importance of education.When she came to school the next day, an exam given contained a question about what she had read, and she was able to answer the question because of her previous evening study. She scored around 80 on the exam, which was a good score for Juliana.

“If teachers ask question in the class, I couldn’t answer them. But now, we now have the lights,” said Juliana.

The lantern helps the children’s academic performance, which influences something larger—the community. The lantern project enhances the children’s learning and encourages children to dream bigger.