ATE are extremely fortunate to work with the supporters, staff and volunteers that we have as part of our wider organisational family. Donors and supporters provide us with the funds vital for our programmes, whilst staff and volunteers drive the impact forward. When a long time supporter and donor also brings their skill and time to us, it’s like an early Christmas.
This November one of our long term supporters and friends, Dee Anderson, made the lengthy journey to Upper West Ghana for the second time, to bring her skills and passion to our Ghana team, Inclusion Centre and most importantly, our SNAP Play Scheme.
As some of you may know, our Special Needs Awareness Programme (SNAP) grew this year. Our twice weekly Play Scheme launched in July – a drop in service for disabled children to learn through play whilst their parents (usually mothers) receive emotional and practical support. This program is led by Ernestina Gan, our bubbly and talented coordinator. Dee, a retired educational professional who has made a difference to many lives to schoolchildren not only in Hungerford but in the Gambia, West Africa too, travelled to Lawra to share her skills with Ernestina.
Ten days into her trip and we cannot believe the work Dee and Ernestina have achieved in such a short space of time. From completely transforming the Inclusion Centre with explosions of colour, magical designs and educational images, to developing sustainable and locally made resources for the scheme.
Last week Dee, Ernistina and our SNAP Project Lead Kaamil led two wonderfully bright and fun Play Schemes. But the highlight for so many reasons was our Lawra Monthly Meeting. With over 70 in attendance, mothers and grandmother’s were able to sit with their children and play. Genuinely play. To focus on stimulation and education of their children in a fun, safe and warm environment. With games, activities and storytime, books that Dee had brought offer as a donation to set up a small library project.
It was a special day for so many reasons. Not only was this a day that these parents and children will never forget, it won’t be the only one. It was a rich example of the collaboration and partnership working that we at ATE believe in. Ernestina, our coordinator from a village in Lawra and Dee, a retired teacher from our English community of supporters, based around Ramsbury. The two ladies created magic and shared skills and knowledge with one another.