- Published on Saturday, 24 September 2016 17:54
It was an exciting moment to see school children ran to share the joy we came with and the everlasting smile on their faces during our Shelter for Education #Homecoming trip.
It threw me back to my primary school days at Nsakina in the Ga West District in 1999, I was in class one. We lacked a lot of basic learning materials which included desks and tables. We had to bring our own tables and chairs to school. The perseverance led some of us through, while others dropped out because the setting and the structures was not attractive to studies enough. You come to school and you virtually had to write on the floor. The fortunate ones had writing board. The whole experience was challenging.
It casts my mind back to when finally the government decided to release desks to us. The day the desks arrived, we went home late while others stayed on and wrote their names on the desks to identify it the next day.
Being in Tupa and Adeiso both in the Greater Accra and Eastern Region respectively, I was faced with such realities again, to watch excited children, parents and teachers gathered to thank us for the basic educational material we brought to them. That was not only what the gratitude was for but the total rebuilding of the schools which has eventually increased enrollment and performance.
Until last year, these schools were operating under dilapidated structures, part of it were made from palms branches. This situation posed a lot of challenges as most parents were reluctant to send the children to school, and teachers refused posting to such facilities. It was multiple barrel shot.
Watching these children shout Tigo, Tigo Tigo… I could see the relief and if you look deep into their eyes, you see their dreams relived. Satisfaction and the zeal to learn.
“Now the children see Tigo as their second god. We can’t thank Tigo enough, we are more than grateful. Teachers are willing to stay. Enrollment increased and there is concentration in the classroom. You see children wake up from bed and they are willing to go to school to learn. That is the future we have always yearned for and want.” Mr Albert Amable, the Headmaster of Obeng Yaw Basic School in Adeiso recounted.
Beyond the social responsibilities, I could realize that lives have been touched and transformed, beyond the PR rhetoric, there was a silent message of sacrifice, togetherness, reward and love among the communities.
It was such same excitement and feeling at the 6th GHACEA Ghana CSR excellence Awards, when Tigo was awarded CSR Initiative of the year and CSR for education for its Shelter for Education initiative. It is a well-deserved feats.
For her experience, dynamism, strategy and the strong desire to impact to the society, Gift Bingley, Director of Corporate Affairs, Tigo Ghana, was awarded with the CSR practitioner of the year.
Again, beyond the recognition, I must congratulate and thank Gift Bingley for holding the team steady and touching lives through the initiative.
I saw that teary eyes, when your name was mentioned @Gifty Bingley.
This initiative of Tigo was engineered under its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Shelter for Education. Four out of Six schools were rebuilt and the others revamped and stocked with teaching and learning materials in 2015
The school included African Faith Basic School in Banda Ahenkro, Tupa MA Basic School in the Ga South District of the Greater Accra, Obeng Yaw Basic School in Adeiso, Eastern region; Dimabi DA Primary school in the Tolon kumbungu District of the Northen region, Ahiawoanwu Basic school in Ejura and St. Joseph school for the children with special needs in Obuasi, Ashanti region.
Joshua K. Quaye