Dear Anansi Friends,
Merry Christmas from me, and all our family and friends in Ghana. It is the time of year when everyone is inclined to reflect on the previous year. In reaching out to you, and reflecting on the journey of Anansi, I am compelled to summarize the incredible history of Anansi and all that we have been able to do.
When Anansi began funding talented and desperately poor Ghanaian high school students in 2005, most all of the help was in the form of tuition payment. Each sponsor had their own assigned student or students. In 2016 with the election of Nana Akufo-Addo as president, secondary education became tuition free. We didn’t know exactly what our role would be moving forward.
It became clear however that many of our students did not have the means to buy the necessary items to go to school: mattress, chop box, uniform, extra provisions, books, calculator, etc., so we helped. We also knew that students from poor village families did not have the means to provide the extra provisions (food) that most students brought with them to the boarding schools, so each of the three terms we provide some additional food for our students as they return to school.
When it became clear that the physical schools could not accommodate all of the students now able and desiring to attend school, students were rotated through each high school facility. This resulted in months of time at home, away from school, for all students. The parents with means hired tutors for their students during this unstructured time. Our students just stayed at home.
We tried to send tutors to the villages, however, our students were spread out and it was expensive to pay for tutor or student transportation. Then Daniel Osei, our academic director in Ghana, came up with the brilliant idea to bring the students together at the Anansi House in Mpeasem for two weeks of intensive tutoring. This became our “Host and Teach” tutoring program.
Daniel and Angelina are our Manager and Assistant Manager respectively, as well as our primary tutors working with the students. In addition, we hire six more Anansi graduates who teach various subjects. We are now doing this six times during the year so that each student comes to the Anansi House twice during the year for two full weeks of intensive study. It is making a tremendous difference for our student’s academic success and their confidence.
Throughout our tenure, it has been an option for our sponsors to visit Ghana and meet our students. At the moment, Jane Vernon, an American woman and sponsor is volunteering as a teacher of English during our December “Host and Teach” program in Ghana. Kameron Reitan, a recent graduate of WWU from Alaska, will be spending two and one half months beginning in mid January teaching and volunteering for other Anansi duties during her stay in Ghana. It is wonderful for all our students and staff to get to interact with their supporters from the U.S. If you want to visit or just see first hand what we are doing in West Africa, know that you would be welcome.
So, the specific application of Anansi support has changed since 2005 when we began, but our mission to serve the needs of the students of dire need has not.
I will be returning to Ghana on January 6th if all goes as planned. There is no way to put into words the gratitude I feel when I realize that Anansi is now run well by Anansi graduates in Ghana with the generous continued support of all of you. Thank you, and may this season be a good one for all of you wonderful people who in so many ways make Anansi Education work.
With love, Kathryn Roe
The easiest way to make a donation is to go to our website: anansieducation.org and use the paypal button. If you would prefer another method, you can mail a check to Alisa Roe, written to Anansi Education at: 8810 NW Lakecrest Ave, Vancouver, WA 98665. If you have other questions please feel free to email me.