State education in ghana isn’t free. We believe all children deserve an education – that’s why we set up the brightlingsea free school

In 2014 Porridge and Pens joined forces with Ben Antwi, a passionate and dedicated Graphic Arts Teacher and Exams Officer in Kumasi. Ben’s family have always worked in education and they are passionate about supporting development in the village where the Brightlingsea School stands today. Porridge and Pens worked with Ben to help him build a school in a rural and remote area of Kumasi, now known as the Brightlingsea Free School.
Many families have moved to the area because they cannot afford to pay the cost of renting in the city of Kumasi. As the area is so rural, it’s not easily accessible; the roads are very poor and food production is low, there are a handful of businesses operating in the area which means employment levels are very low. Over 90% of adults in the area are traders, selling palm oil or water on the streets. A handful of adults have more skilled jobs such as shoemakers, hairdressers or seamstresses.
Children as young as four are responsible for getting themselves ready to go to school after their parents have left for work. Their walk to school – across snake-ridden marshes – can take an hour. Children who come to the Brightlingsea school are often malnourished. When a child is given a place at the Brightlingsea school this allows the parents to go out to work knowing their child is safe and taken care of.

School facilities

Brightlingsea Free School provides:
Eight classrooms 
Four toilets 
A water well (with a pump coming soon) that’s also used by the village 
A school kitchen 
Playground (being shipped to Ghana early 2018 from the UK) 
10 members of staff at the Brightlingsea School.

you can help us keep the school running by sponsoring pupils or making a one-off donation

Sponsor a child and make a difference

For just £7.50 a month you can give a child these lifechanging benefits

When you sponsor a child they will benefit from:

An education and a place at the school five days a week

Two meals a day – essential for children in such extreme poverty who often go hungry

Medical card – gives access healthcare for treatment for illnesses such as malaria

Tests and vaccinations – all pupils are vaccinated against hepatitis B and some pupils sufferers receive expensive treatment

School uniform

School nurse – to monitor pupils’ health

Social worker – to monitor the safety and wellbeing of the pupils

When you donate, you’ll receive:

Our school social worker will send you regular updates including photos, videos and progress information. Should you have any specific questions you can ask Kofi directly and he will get back to you. We ask that sponsors communicate via What’s App when possible as this is the form of communication available to our staff in Ghana.

Newsletter

We like to keep you updated on the school as a whole, building work, progress and advancements and forthcoming fundraising events in the UK. We aim to send you a newsletter a few times a year – you can find a link to sign up at the bottom of this page.

Additional communication

We are very grateful to anyone who sponsors a child and there is no expectation for you to do any more than that. Some sponsors like to have more involvement and communication with pupils and therefore there are opportunities to send cards, photos and letters at certain times of the year should you wish. Children at the Brightlingsea School may also send cards and sometimes hand crafted gifts to their sponsors as a thank you.

We have a Christmas shoe box and back pack appeal which you can fill with toys, clothes, food and educational supplies. These are sent to arrive in time for Christmas. At Christmas everyone is given the opportunity to contribute towards a hamper of food to be given to the families.

School facilities

Brightlingsea Free School provides:
Eight classrooms 
Four toilets 
A water well (with a pump coming soon) that’s also used by the village 
A school kitchen 
Playground (being shipped to Ghana early 2018 from the UK) 
10 members of staff at the Brightlingsea School.

you can help us keep the school running by sponsoring pupils or making a one-off donation

Sponsor a child and make a difference

For just £7.50 a month you can give a child these lifechanging benefits

When you sponsor a child they will benefit from:

An education and a place at the school five days a week

Two meals a day – essential for children in such extreme poverty who often go hungry

Medical card – gives access healthcare for treatment for illnesses such as malaria

Tests and vaccinations – all pupils are vaccinated against hepatitis B and some pupils sufferers receive expensive treatment

School uniform

School nurse – to monitor pupils’ health

Social worker – to monitor the safety and wellbeing of the pupils

When you donate, you’ll receive:

Our school social worker will send you regular updates including photos, videos and progress information. Should you have any specific questions you can ask Kofi directly and he will get back to you. We ask that sponsors communicate via What’s App when possible as this is the form of communication available to our staff in Ghana.

Newsletter

We like to keep you updated on the school as a whole, building work, progress and advancements and forthcoming fundraising events in the UK. We aim to send you a newsletter a few times a year – you can find a link to sign up at the bottom of this page.

Additional communication

We are very grateful to anyone who sponsors a child and there is no expectation for you to do any more than that. Some sponsors like to have more involvement and communication with pupils and therefore there are opportunities to send cards, photos and letters at certain times of the year should you wish. Children at the Brightlingsea School may also send cards and sometimes hand crafted gifts to their sponsors as a thank you.

We have a Christmas shoe box and back pack appeal which you can fill with toys, clothes, food and educational supplies. These are sent to arrive in time for Christmas. At Christmas everyone is given the opportunity to contribute towards a hamper of food to be given to the families.

meet some Brightlingsea school pupils

zipporah

Zipporah lives with her mum and siblings in a rented room with others in a small house in the village next to the Brightlingsea School.

They live very basically but this doesn’t stop them being one of the happiest families we have ever met. The family are a tight unit and although incredibly poor, always look out for each other. They are always laughing and joking and Zipporah is never seen without a smile.

Zipporah’s mum leaves for the main Kumasi market early each morning to sell basic food items to walkers on the streets to provide for her family. She values the role of education, believing it to be an important step to climbing out of poverty, and wants Zipporah to be educated to a good standard.

CHRISTABEL

Christabel is in the youngest class at the Brightlingsea School. She attends school every day with her elder brother, Michael Dwamena. Michael walks Christabel to school each day as their Mother leaves for work early each morning.
Christabel’s mother sells fruit each day at Kumasi Central Market. This is the busiest market in the whole of West Africa!
The family rent a room in a shared house with other families from the Brightlingsea School. It’s a very busy house!

CINDY

Cindy is in the eldest classroom at the Brightlingsea School. Primary 1. She will be in Primary 2 this September. Her brother Marvin also attends the school and they walk together each morning.

Cindy’s Mum sells water at the local market each day. She leaves early for work so Cindy and her younger brother must get themselves ready for school each morning. Cindy’s father gets work when he can as a local builder he struggles to find work in the local area since people are very poor and building work is irregular for him. They rely on Cindy’s mother’s wages to pay their rent in a shared house with other families near the Brightlingsea School.

JUNIOR

Junior lives with his mother and father a few miles away from the Brightlingsea School. Junior is very close to his older brother, Joseph. Joseph is already sponsored to attend the Brightlingsea School.

The boys’ mother works in a shop in the village. As soon as the boys finish school they walk to where their mother is to help her sell things in the shop. Then they all walk home together around 10pm. They are a very happy and loving family.

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