About 35 volunteers from an Israeli non-governmental organisation, HELPAPP, with support from the Israeli Embassy in Ghana, have renovated a basic school in Denu, in the Volta Region, as part of efforts to make aid accessible to Ghanaian communities.
The NGO gave a facelift to the 50-year-old school by painting the inner compound and connected the school and parts of the community to running water. The organisation also expanded an access route for disabled children to enable them to reach classrooms with ease.
An amusement park and a library have also been constructed for the basic school.
HELPAPP operates as an app that provides a platform for Israelis to sign on and provide community volunteering services and support to deprived communities around the world.
The climax of the humanitarian event on Friday, September 27, 2018, was the donation of five wheelchairs to students with disabilities by the Israeli Ambassador-designate to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Shani Cooper.
The ambassador-designate, who took part in the painting of the school, explained that activities of HELPAPP fit into the broader objective of the country she represents in Ghana.
“Israeli’s like to volunteer and when we heard that there is a group of [35 people] coming to Denu to volunteer, then we knew that this is our place. When we are talking about volunteering, we are not talking about unilateral action, we are talking actually about cooperation. You saw this school you see the activities that HELPAPP organisation is doing here, they are doing it together with the community," she said.
She added: “One of the things that we like to do is to help each other. And not only that we like to do it, but this is also one of the things that we are obliged to do by Judaism and by our own morals. So first of all, when you give to the other you get the benefit of giving.”
A member of the HELPAPP delegation in Denu, Gal Ben-Haim, explained that the organisation has deployed a total of 17 delegations across the world to make aid accessible.
“The organisation has been to South Africa, Uganda and also now in Ghana…We have doctors, students, even an 18-year-old; they came in order to volunteer in this community. We’ve been living in this area for a week and we will stay for a week longer and our aim is to make the school a little bit better for the students and to provide things for the students that maybe they don’t get in the school now,” she said.
In all, a total of 20,000 shekels [a little over 27,000 Ghana cedis] was raised for the Denu project, according to Gal Ben-Haim.
“The entire funding for the delegation comes from us. We each paid to come here. We paid for our flights to come here, we paid for everything. We also raised a lot of money in Israel for everything we buy and make here,” she said.
The headmaster of Denu Chicago M/A Basic School, Wisdom Kordorwu, said the assistance from the NGO with support from the Israeli Embassy could not have come at a better for the over 800 pupils.
Image: Wisdom Kordorwu says the assistance is timely
“We were not having potable water. We do go outside to fetch water, and now they have established a borehole for us,” he said.
Mr Kordorwu appealed to education stakeholders to get more teachers for the school. He also cited a lack of classrooms as a key challenge facing the school.