Basil Johnston went to Ghana as a volunteer in 2000.
Basil Johnston became best friends with Juliet Osafo, Head of the school where she was volunteering. They decided to build a school together.
Juliet is now our Ghanaian director.
The school is 2 hours inland from Ghana’s capital, Accra.
A typical rural village home. Most houses don't have electricity, none have running water or sanitation.
Another typical rural village home.
Abigail having her morning 'bath'!
Asafo village - many of our children come from here.
The aim of our school is to educate the brightest children form the outlying impoverished villages.
Buying the land to build Juliet Johnston School in May 2002. We bought enough land so we could farm and feed our children. Many rural children only eat two or three meals A WEEK!
Clearing the land - we had to get permits to cut down the bigger trees which we then used to build our school furniture.
Building the school..
We opened in September 2003 with 49 children.
The chief of Tafo attending our Open Day.
The children showing the Chief "t" for "tickle" and "v" for "vomit"! The children adapted Jolly Phonics for Ghana themselves.
A typical state school.
A typical state classroom.
Another typical state classroom.
One of our classrooms.
Another of our classrooms.
Phonics with Madam Mercy.
Guided reading with Madam Charity.
We now have over 400 children!
One of our 2 school buses. It takes each minibus over 4 hours to transport our children to school and back every day over very harsh terrain because we have over 300 children and our catchment area of outlying villages is huge.
It looks good but this bus was 17 years old when we bought it and cost £10,000! Secondhand vehicles in Ghana are 4 or 5 times the price in Europe.
The majority of our children's parents are subsistence farmers.
Ophelia Boateng is 5 years old, extremely bright and extremely poor. Her father had a stroke 2 years ago at the age of 46 and is unable to farm, while her mother is a tomato and pepper petty treader. She is one of 6. Sponsored by a UK donor, Ophelia is doing really well at school.
Ghana is a very peaceful country and held its 6th democratic presidential election December 2012. In other countries a cutlass is seen as a weapon but in Ghana its a useful farming tool used by all children and adults alike.
Despite the enormous cost of transporting so many children, we remain 100% committed to our objective of educating as many of the brightest children from the poorest outlying villages as we can.
Thank you for supporting us!