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RSS

Literacy School

1500 entrepreneurial girls and women and 500 men will have increased their income and improved their health conditions through basic literacy.
  • Local solution

    When non-literate girls, women and men learn to read and write it will improve the quality of their work and life. Women in Ghana are generally enterprising, they are the backbone of the informal sector as they contribute the biggest to the economy of Ghana. However, many of these women are non-educated and lacked access to support systems such as non-formal education. The Nabdam Literacy School aims to fill this gap.

    Restorative Seed Society (RSS) plans to replicate the successful Bolgatanga Literacy School initiative for women and girls in Nabdam District. This is in response to the request of smallholder farmers and other women groups in the area. The objective is to help them improve the quality of their work and life. The school provides informal classes to improve numeracy skills, reading, speaking and writing skills, basic arithmetic skills as well as general entrepreneurship and reproductive health education. The students are involved in topics or subjects that are discussed in the school.

    Lives improved

    1500 non-literate girls and women and 500 men will have increased their income and improved their health conditions through basic literacy. They are small entrepreneurs  involved in local markets and small holder farming. Some examples of what the adult students will learn include managing their time effectively, reading simple labels, interacting better with customers, carrying out simple calculations related to their businesses.

    Results from RSS first literacy school showed that a number of students work as office workers because now they can read and write and some were admitted to for the National Vocational and Technical Institute exams, which allows graduates to work I governmental services like the police or fire services.

    Community impact

    Studies show that access to literacy education for women can improve their lives and that of their families.

    From experience RSS sees that some husbands initially resisted their wife’s participation in the literacy school, and later on they start supporting by accompanying them to school or by donating equipment for the school. Increased literacy will also enable women to help their children with their schoolwork. Moreover, evidence shows that educated women raise their confidence, are more likely to gain economic independence and more often engage in local governance.

    Budget

    The project requires GHS55,000 (or €8,032). The donations will be used for:

    • The purchase of basic equipment for the school, such as furniture and learning materials such as desks, marker boards, reading books (including printing copies of teaching manuals) and markers.
    • Field trips for classes visiting places like hospitals, banks and post offices to make students confident about using their facilities in the future.
    • (Refresher) training of teachers, also engaging the District Assembly for future support.
    • Transport fees of teachers moving to the teaching venue daily.
    • Monthly allowances for teachers
    • Recurrent expenses such as utility bills.

    Every additional donation of €4 will result in one more student to access the literacy school, also in other communities that RSS works or start working.

  • Local solution realised

    When non-literate girls, women and men learn to read and write it will improve the quality of their work and life. Women in Ghana are generally enterprising, they are the backbone of the informal sector as they contribute the biggest to the economy of Ghana. However, many of these women are non-educated and lacked access to support systems such as non-formal education. The Nabdam Literacy School aims to fill this gap.

    Restorative Seed Society (RSS) plans to replicate the successful Bolgatanga Literacy School initiative for women and girls in Nabdam District. This is in response to the request of smallholder farmers and other women groups in the area. The objective is to help them improve the quality of their work and life. The school provides informal classes to improve numeracy skills, reading, speaking and writing skills, basic arithmetic skills as well as general entrepreneurship and reproductive health education. The students are involved in topics or subjects that are discussed in the school.

    Lives improved

    658 non-literate women and men, small entrepreneurs involved in local markets and small holder farming in Nabdam and surroundings were trained in literacy and numeracy skills, and gained information.

    The improvement in literacy skills of the learners, some who started with not be able to identify the alphabet (!), shows from they can now write their names and do basic arithmetic, identify names on their phones, etc. That means that learners can now make phone calls on their own without assistance because they can identify names on their phones. And they can append a signature, whereas before they used to thumb print.

    Thirteen (13) volunteers also benefited from the training, having received capacity building to facilitate the class sessions in the communities. Volunteering on the project has improved their communication and leadership skills having to deal with adults.

    Women empowerment through information: the project has enlightened the learners on various subjects such as child marriage, local governance, sexual and reproductive health rights and so on. Evidence shows that educated women raise their confidence, and are more likely to gain economic independence, face less domestic violence and more often engage in local governance. Moreover, the project has allowed us to identify emerging women leaders among the beneficiaries whom we could encourage to participate in local governance in their communities in the future.

    Community impact realised

    Economic empowerment: Interestingly at least 10 learners per community in 4 communities so far come together in similar trades to collaborate on work. Those classes have become a rallying point for inter-sales among themselves which is giving them some income. Others have started Village Loans and Savings Scheme (VSLA to save money collectively to be used as capital for one person and the process goes round in circles. This is building social cohesion and harmony across many communities in the project area, and it is giving them some more financial power. Longer term, we expect to see an increase of income because of adult education. However, this can’t be measured at this stage.

    Ultimately, on a longer term on average 5 family members per recipients benefits from an increased income.

    Budget

    The initial plan was to procure study desks and set up a model learning centre in Nangodi to be used as a model for the district. However we have difficulty finding a suitable location in Nangodi to serve the purpose. Meanwhile at the same time some of our communities don’t have study desks. We therefore resolved to distribute the procured study desks among various communities instead of going by the initial plan.

    Follow up

    What we have learned: The project was a first of its kind for RSS, scaling the success of the first Literacy School in Bolgatanga – a very much needed solution in the area, where many small business owners are non-literate. We plan to continue our activities of scaling Literacy Schools in the region, as we do see that the solution works, but the students need more time for study than 3 months. We now know that a cost-efficiency rate of €12 per students is more feasible.

    Continuation of the project: We do plan to continue the project, and still reach the remaining 1341 students, as follows:

    • Short-term, for the next 9 months to be able to keep on paying the monthly allowances for the volunteer teachers to be able to reach out to new students, will come from additional donations through iMPACT direct, at the costs of €550.
    • Longer-term, we are in conversations with the District Assembly to find opportunities within their non-formal education programme to ensure the continuity of the project. (Relations had to be built again, after elections and redesign of the Assemblies.) The support we expect from the Assembly could be in the form of providing allowances for the volunteers through their various development initiatives to continue to keep the classes running.
    • Moreover, there is a high level of enthusiasm raised in the project communities and the potential for the project to replicate itself by the communities themselves is unquestionable. For instance, a few students later joined the class sessions with their own books without supply from RSS showing the willingness of learners in the future to take care of their own writing materials.
    Video of our recipients

Testimonials

  • I am a Caterer at the Zuarungu Senior High School in Bolgatanga and since joining the Bolgatanga Literacy School, my work has improved. I have recently been promoted to ‘Chief Cook’. Before joining the school, I could not read nor write. I’m now very confident in my work.

    Madam Vivian Akansong

Project Details

  • Project
    Literacy School
  • Campaign
    Finished
  • NGO
    RSS
  • Location
    Ghana
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Quality Education
  • Start date
    June 25, 2021
  • End date
    March 31, 2022
  • Total amount raised
    € 8375
  • Lives improved
    658 persons
  • Community iMPACT
    3290 people reached

Final Report

RSS

Restorative Seed Society (RSS) is a local organisation based in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Established in 2007, RSS is committed to helping people and groups realise their full potential through the provision of a supportive environment that ensures the achievement of personal goals and collective goals. The literacy school project is one such initiative that is helping non-literate women and girls learn to read and write for an improved life.

Project in Pictures

Project location Literacy School

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