Victor & Cissy Elinoff
For the last six years, we have been very involved in helping native Ghanaian, Mary Afari, build the Golda Meir Academy in Kitikpa. In September of 2011, 54 children were enrolled into the elementary program. As of September of 2012, enrollment is up to 73 children. The progress of Golda Meir has been remarkable, and our participation is very rewarding.
The school is well on its way to educating young minds in becoming productive Ghanaian citizens. However, there is still much work to be done to make improvements to the existing structure and enhance the quality of the school and the curriculum.
Please read more about the Golda Meir Academy below and the ways you can help Mary Afari enrich the lives of children attending the school.
Thank you for considering a gift to help us continue Mary’s dream of building and maintaining the Golda Meir Academy.
Victor and Cissy
About Golda Meir Academy in Kitikpa, Ghana
Golda Meir Academy (GMA) was established by native Ghanaian, Mary Afari. She named the school after reading a biography about the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. Mary believes that Golda Meir served as a strong role model for girls, and wanted the name of her school to reflect her desire to empower girls to become leaders in their communities.
With the help of Victor and Cissy Elinoff of Binghamton, NY, the first five classrooms of Golda Meir Academy were constructed, and in September of 2011, 54 children were enrolled into the elementary program. As of September of 2013, enrollment is up to 83 children. The Ministry of Education has requested that Golda Meir educate both boys and girls from kindergarten through junior secondary levels. However, the senior secondary school will cater to girls only.
The Mission of Golda Meir Academy
At the elementary and junior levels, GMA seeks to promote a positive and challenging learning environment that encourages students to stay in school and continue the educational process. The faculty focuses on creating an atmosphere where higher learning is a major priority.
The goals of the future senior secondary school are to educate girls and encourage them to continue their education beyond secondary school. GMA will strive to raise young women to become responsible citizens of their communities by boosting their self-esteem and teaching them to become independent thinkers. GMA will prepare girls to develop careers in fields presently available only to men.
How Orphans’ Heroes Has Helped Golda Meir Academy
As of September of 2013, twelve children have received full sponsorship to attend Golda Meir Academy.
Installation of a Water Pump
In September of 2012, Orphans’ Heroes installed a water pump on the grounds of Golda Meir Academy. The pump is available to the 2,800 residents of the Kitikpa community. Access to clean water will drastically reduce the amount of typhoid disease, parasites, worms, E. coli, dysentery, cholera, and many other water-borne illnesses.
Purchase of Health Cards for Every Child at the School
Following the death of a young child from Golda Meir Academy, Orphans’ Heroes registered all of the children at Golda Meir (and many siblings) for National Health Insurance (NHIS). Every year, children die of preventable and curable illnesses because families cannot afford to purchase National Health Insurance. NHIS gives a child access to treatment for one year at the government hospital in Hohoe, Ghana. Mary Afari also held a meeting for parents receiving the health cards and advised them on the importance of renewing the cards each year.
Fencing Around the School
In April of 2013, the fencing of the school grounds was completed. The fence was an important step in ensuring the safety of the children by keeping strangers off of school property, and preventing the younger children from wandering away of school grounds.
Outdoor Playground Equipment
Play is a necessary part of the children's day as it helps them to release excess energy and maintain focus in the classroom, and enables children to socialize. In May of 2013, Orphans' Heroes installed a swing set, merry-go-round, slide, and teeter-totter at GMA.
By May of 2013, every child at Golda Meir Academy was provided with one school uniform. In Ghana, a school uniform is a source of pride as it shows that a child is a member of an academic institution.
Funds for teachers’ salaries were raised for the 2013 and 2014 academic year at GMA. As Golda Meir Academy seeks to create a business and to maintain operating costs of the school, we are pleased to have secured funds that will ensure teachers are paid through 2014.
About Mary Afari, Director of Golda Meir Academy
Mary is a seamstress by trade and specializes in handcrafting beautiful Batik fabrics. She teaches this trade to other women. If you spend just an hour in her shop, you will quickly realize that Mary’s greatest passion is to educate and inspire girls in Ghana to become strong leaders. Mary has traveled throughout the Volta Region to lecture to girls about sex and health education –– a mentoring program she will one day incorporate into the curriculum at the Golda Meir Academy.
Current Needs for the Elementary School
Though the existing school is functional and many improvements have already been made, there are still upgrades to be made to the building to make the learning environment more comfortable and expand the programming. The list is in order of priority:
A Revenue Generating Business
Our primary goal is to help GMA become self-sustainable so that operating costs will be covered from year to year. Orphans’ Heroes will focus on finding a solution to help GMA become financially stable and less reliant on donations.
$30 per desk
GMA has expanded by 29 children since its inception. More desks are needed to comfortably accommodate the students.
Electricity needs to be run to the school so that ceiling fans may be installed, and computers can be added to the curriculum. The estimate includes the cost of computers.
Tro Tro (School Bus)
Approximately $7,000 - $10,000
GMA would like a second-hand bus (or “tro tro” as called in Ghana) to bring children from areas further out where no local schools are available to children. The tro tro could also be used to transport locals and earn some money to help with operating expenses of the school.
How to Help
Please consider sponsoring a child’s education. + MEET THE CHILDREN FROM GMA
General donations toward a self-sustainable business, desks, electricity, or the purchase of a tro tro may be made online, or by sending a check to Orphans’ Heroes, P.O. Box 333, Bedford Hills, NY 10507.