During the rainy season in 2008 a particularly violent tropical storm partially destroyed the primary school of the Ghanaian town of Kyekyewere. In order to be able to offer a substitute form of schooling in spite of this, the local authorities came up with a makeshift solution: They set up an operation in a nearby church so that the children could continue to have lessons, albeit at an unusual place and at staggered times. Since this could never have been a permanent solution, Lindt & Sprüngli immediately actively supported the reconstruction of a more efficient school by investing in modernising the structure, building school's connection to the electricity grid and refurbishing with new modern tools.
The reconstruction was achieved thanks to the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program, which is financed by premium paid for every ton of traceable cocoa bought from Ghana used for LINDT chocolate. Construction already started in September 2008. The primary school was extended into a secondary school which was opened the following year and was soon enlarged by a further extension In addition to the classrooms which permit the teaching of 400 pupils, the school has rooms for the teachers, an office and a shop. It is also adjoined by a training centre called "Village Resource Center" that offers access to computers and the Internet and is used both by the pupils and by the cocoa farmers of the surrounding villages.
The new school is also supplied with electricity. Alex Bruce Appiah, headmaster and teacher, says: "The electricity supply and the access to a printer make my work considerably easier. For instance, today, I can simply print out the exam questions in the Village Resource Center, which is just next door." Deborah Awiah Mensah, a 17-year-old pupil, is also delighted at the benefits offered by the electricity supply: "Unlike in the past, I can now attend evening classes. That has become possible because we now have light in the evenings. Thanks to the light, I can learn for longer - and I am much better prepared for the exams."
Improving the Living Conditions of the Younger Generation
Both Alex and Deborah are convinced that the extended school and the improved infrastructure are of great value for the pupils of Kyekyewere. This helps to ensure that today more pupils attend classes on a more regular basis and with greater enjoyment. And school education, particularly in Ghana, is hugely important for improving the living conditions of the younger generation in the future.
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