Access to Education Programme

“The provision of learning materials to the pupils has helped to improve attendance and regularity to school. I asked some of the pupils and they said, and I quote, “Why will I stay at home when I have everything I need to be in school?”

Assistant Headteacher of Kunyukuo JHS

In Lawra, Upper West Ghana, families can at times struggle to eat as little as 4 meals per week and the costs of uniforms and textbooks present a huge burden. Without support, only 1/4 pupils in Lawra will complete basic education. The pandemic exacerbated this – 22,000 children in the Upper West didn’t return to school upon reopening in January 2021. We’ve made great progress in Lawra over the last decade, but Covid has meant that there has never been a more important time to defend the value of education.

Educating children is vital in the fight against rural poverty. Our EducATE programme is dedicated to getting children into the classroom and empowering them to own their future. Since 2013, we’ve supported 2500 students across nine schools in Lawra to access education – and in January we’re expanding to two more schools.

“ATE’s support has helped reduce burden on our parents who could not afford so many things for us. With this support, we get more time to learn because we don’t need to labour in order to get money to buy books.”

Amedius, student at Koro JHS

EducATE works to address the barriers that prevent children from attending school. By providing a daily school meal, learning materials, and uniforms to our partner schools, we enable students to access an education today, and create opportunities for themselves in the future. This vital intervention both alleviates hunger, and makes a measurable difference to enrolment, attendance and retention. During the 2022 lean season, the average attendance rate at our schools was 94%.

To drive forward gender equality in the communities we work in, we deliver targeted support to the girls at our schools. This includes the provision of sanitary pads, empowerment workshops and personal hygiene education, ensuring dignity and confidence throughout the month.

After the challenges of the pandemic, advocating for the value of education, and carrying out individual casework is a vital part of our programme. We ensure each school has a dedicated Hub Manager to deliver outreach action for school dropouts, and advocate for the children in their community. Last year after just one community meeting addressing school dropouts, 11 students returned to school in just one day.

Our programme is vital in ensuring pupils can fulfil their potential – both for the benefit of themselves, and for the sustainable development of their community.

“The pads issue was the reason why I travelled South to work, washing bowls to get money to buy pads myself because my parents could not afford it. I used to have to use rags which was affecting my learning. But now that ATE is giving us pads every month I will not go to south again until I finish.” 

Patricia, student at Gombile JHS

Piutoar, Songbo, and Longwuor, cooks at Biro JHS

Theophilus Begume, pupil at Gombile JHS

Registered Charity: 1149988