After a much needed two week break for all ATE staff, we’ve flown into 2024 with excitement, big plans and a LOT to do…


Girls happy to be back at school!

We were so pleased to see our 857 children return to school after their break. School holidays always make me anxious – it’s a time when many of our young people are forced to leave Lawra and travel south to earn money. Our support covers the basics (a daily meal, monthly sanitary pads and essential learning materials) during term time, but lots of rural children have very little financial support from parents and so work in the holidays to make sure they can survive. I hate the thought of them working in dangerous industries, sleeping in safe places and being so far from home. It’s a huge relief to see classrooms filling up on those first days of the term, children getting back into the routine of learning, and getting that essential free school meal that is at the heart of our education programme.


Our impact in education is proven and long lasting. At our two newest schools, in Kalsagri where we began working just on year ago, enrolment is up by 20%, and attendance is over 90%! Just one year into our work in this Hub, we’re making a massive difference. This gives us joy! In our SNAP Programme, we supported 10 of our children to go to specialist schools last week – a miracle, and one which gives them the best possible chance of a good life. Our school costs have gone up by 40% in the last twelve months, inflation is sky high. We need to raise more funds than ever to keep providing these vital meals, so please consider giving a donation to help us do this here.

On the day that school opened, we had an incredible 11 visitors leave their homes in Australia and the UK to make the long journey to Upper West Ghana and spend time with our team.

From our partner Gamma Telecoms, Robbie Lesiak was visiting to experience the incredible impact of their huge generosity, Charles Gardner (co-founder) led a team training our staff in business training skills, and a group of health professionals spend 10 days in rural Kalsagri observing local health activities and infrastructure to advise ATE where they may be able to help improve health outcomes over the next 3 to 5 years.

It was a busy and productive time, where the most important outcome was probably the relationships between the visitors and the ATE team. We love people connecting with and contributing to our work, helping us find the way forwards, bringing fresh ideas, engaging with us for the future. My wonderful colleague Ernestina Gan, SNAP Coordinator, said ‘It was really fun and exciting having them in our presence they were lovely, very supportive and curious 😄 to understand the actual work we do’.        

A big highlight of their time with us was an audience with Naa Puowele Karbo III, the Paramount Chief of Lawra Traditional Area. We’re proud that the Chief is a supporter of our work and an advocate for our programmes. His support is appreciated and incredibly important. We were proud to hand him our most recent Annual Report, which is page upon page of brilliant impact stories of our work in Lawra. You can read that here  


Kaamil (Lawra Manager) checking and directing the build

In the background, we’ve been beavering away on big projects and are now fully excited about our brand new work in a brand new district! Building work has finally begun on the new Inclusion Centre in Nandom, with roof and walls coming down and a new roof going on this week. The finished building will be our base in Nandom, where we can hold workshops for disabled children and their carers, training for small business owners and – eventually – set up an IT Suite. We plan to complete this building work by March, and begin recruitment for our team up there as soon as this happens. This is the first time we’re branched out of Lawra. Replicating our brilliant work in a new locality gives me shivers of excitement, mixed in with anxiety! There is a lot to do, but I know we will meet the challenge as we always do.


In Lawra, we’re recruiting too – could you be our new Hub Manager? More info here. Passion, integrity and fluent Dagaare are all essential!

So, a busy start to what will be another busy year! Do you want to get more involved with ATE this year? We’re (as always) over stretched and incredibly keen for more help – from making phone calls, to data analysis, to bucket collecting, please get in touch if you’d like to do more. We need you!

Thanks for reading! By Sarah Annable-Gardner, Chief Executive and Co-Founder.