A brief record of FOYS-related activities undertaken by Mrs Patience Gibbs during October / November 2016. These included the handover at Calvary Presbyterian Church Abiriw of a key-board for the Calvary Gibbs Choir and the handover to Abiriw Presbyterian JHS school of a projector for use with IT instruction. These donations were followed by FOYS-Funded pop-up clinics at Asasekokoo (10 October) and at Dawu (11 October), and by a three-day ICT Training Workshop for young people held at Abiriw (15, 22 and 29 October). The following month, fund-raising activities were held in France (25th and 26th November).
After her arrival in Ghana on 29 October, Patience Gibbs purchased and then handed-over in Calvary Church, Abiriw, a key-board for the use of the Choir (see above). In this, and other activities described here, she was supported by her son, Francis Koranteng. (In white shirt in picture above.) She then pushed-forward arrangements for Pop-Up Diabetes Testing clinics to be held at Asasekokoo and Dawu. The first attracted 131 people, including a number of school children over fifteen, and the second 129.
In holding a clinic in Asasekokoo (pictures left), FOYS was rising to the challenge of operating ‘off the beaten track’ for, while there is a laterite road to Asasekokoo, it has been so badly ‘beaten’ (eroded) that it can only be negotiated at the risk of damage to vehicles and of injury to limb. Dawu, by contrast, and because it more or less adjoins Abiriw, offered no challenges of access. However, since it did not have the record of contact with FOYS enjoyed by Asasekokoo, it raised subtly different issues. These were removed by the good work of Nurse Rosina Osae who made contact with administrative officers (including ‘Assemblymen’), and with local health workers – whom she incorporated into her medical team. Thanks to the establishment of good relations, the clinics were made welcome at both venues. The good relations were demonstrated by the prompt provision of tables and chairs – or, in the case of Asasekokoo, benches.
On 15 October, and in collaboration with the Adakasu Education Foundation (AEF), the first FOYS-funded ICT Training Workshop was held in Abiriw. Over a hundred young people – more than half of them female – began the course that was designed to address their needs directly and ninety-nine completed it.
The Workshop was held in the Community Information Center, Abiriw, mwhere local IT teachers employed by the Ghana Education Service, Felix Manukure Kissiedu and Solomon Frempong-Boateng, worked closely with Information Center staff member Edward (‘Edie’) Otto- Bekoe.
The group picture above shows some of the participants with instructors, with Mrs Gibbs and members of the Committee of AEF. While youthful participants dominate the pictures below, it is possible to pick out the instructors who delivered the programme, and to seen Mrs Gibbs handing a certificate to one of the 99 participants.
Outline of Workshop Programme: 15 October: Introduction to Computers and to basic mouse and key-board skills; 22 October: introduction to MS Word and Internet Use; 29 October: Extension of IT skills; introduction to Email Etiquette; File and Folder Management.
At the end of the Workshop, it was evaluated and there was a closing ceremony. Mrs Gibbs presented Certificates to successful participants, And locally -sourced refreshments were served.
In addition to addressing a deep-felt need for a formal introduction to ICT, it was felt that the venture represented a very worthwhile collaboration between FOYS and AEF, and between the Presbyterian and Seventh Day Adventist schools in Abiriw.
Fund-Raising in France. On Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November 2016, Patience Gibbs was in France raising funds for FOYS at the 9th annual Christmas market held in Montreuil sur mer. She carried over a wide range of FOYS products for her stall and promoted the work of the organisation to interested enquirers.
FOYS items included established favourites, such as soaps, balms and bags, and new lines, including ties and bracelets. The latter, Made in Abiriw of course, proved particularly popular.
The considerable work involved in packing and transporting FOYS items was rewarded: and 386 Euros were contributed towards FOYS future projects
For further information: visit foysngo.wordpress.com
This document: FOYSA Newsletter 2016/ 2b. See also 2016 11 23 FOYS ICT Brief Report on ICT Workshop.
FOYS NEWSLETTER 2016 / 1 (Spring)
When Mrs Patience Gibbs was in Ghana from February 29th to April 26th, FOYS activities began with two Pop-up Clinics: one in Apirede on Friday 11 March and the other in Awukugua on Tuesday 15th. nce again Nurse Rosina Osae had prepared the ground by making visits to the towns involved and alerting community leaders. When Aunty Patience reached Abiriw, she and Nurse Rosina fixed the dates, sorted through the existing FOYS stock, and arranged to collect necessary additional items from Accra. The premises available in the Clinic at Apirede proved very suitable, and the programme, that included a well-illustrated presentation on Diabetes, by a Principal Nursing Officer from the Municipal Health Authority, proceeded smoothly. One hundred and eleven people were screened.
Awukugua, half way between Abiriw and Adukrom, provided a well-organised welcome for the pop-up diabetes clinic. Once again Nurse Osae’s team worked very efficiently, and this ensured that, despite a three-hour downpour , the screening went well. More than 70 people attended – including a higher than usual number of young men. The cost of the tests worked out at roughly £2.50 per person, and the budget for the programme was about £450.
Patience provided paint for the redecoration of the Presbyterian Primary School at Abiriw – a project supervised by the head-master of the Junior High School (JHS), Mr A M Kwakye-Fianko. In order to keep costs down and ensure those who benefitted had a sense of ‘ownership’ of the project, work was carried out by teachers, teachers in training and senior pupils. Reports indicated that pupils were excited to be sand-papering the walls of their class-rooms and took pride in the task. The initial estimate for the paint and equipment required was £600, but an additional £36 had to be added to that to complete the job.
Students on the Fashion Course taught by Ms Pat Azu at the J G Knol Vocational and Technical Institute, Adukrom have been graduating without any experience of using the electric sewing-machines they are meant to be familiar with. On the advice of Ms Azu an Industrial Neating and Embroidery Machine was purchased, assembled and, on 22 March, presented to the Institute at a simple ceremony. On the 18th April, the Principal of the Institute, Mr Wisdom Narh Amatey, wrote expressing the ‘heartfelt appreciation’ of the Staff for FOYS’s continued support.
On Tuesday 30th Mrs Gibbs arranged a one-hour session on careers guidance at the Presbyterian Junior High School in Abiriw. The programme provided opportunities for Pat Azu and Mr Larbi (English Teacher) to speak about the courses on offer at the Knol Institute – and at other vocational training institutes. This was followed by a lively Question and Answer session in English and Twi.
A year ago, Patience took initiatives to establish a choir in Abiriw whose repertoire would focus on compositions by Professor J H Kwabena Nketia. She provided relevant recordings, scores and, later, some financial support towards the purchase of uniform. The choir came together around Winneba-trained choir-mistress Mrs Bertha Anorh-Nyarko. By the beginning of 2016, the choir was receiving appreciative applause for their performances in Calvary Presbyterian Church, and at the end of March choristers sang for their relatives and Aunty Patience at an open-air concert.
They demonstrated that they had broadened their repertoire and that they thoroughly deserved the applause they had been given. After the performance, Aunty Patience made another donation to the group, and there was a discussion about the possibility of securing additional instruments. While, the group has grown in numbers and progressed steadily under its dedicated choir-mistress, there is a cloud on the horizon since Mrs Anorh-Nyarko anticipates moving away from Abiriw.
As on previous visits, Aunty Patience was able to encourage necklace, ear-ring, bag and soap -making activities that are important for FOYS’s income-generating activities at in England and France. To these activities has been added Flip Flop Decoration using beads. It remains to be seen whether these will find a market.
Follow up to Bee-Hive Making Workshop held in Autumn 2015, Bees Abroad funded a five-day bee-hive making workshop in Asasekokoo, a village at the foot of the Akuapem escarpment that was delivered during November 2015 by Victor Ayeboo of ADRUCOM. During March 2016, Brian Durk of Bees Abroad visited Asasekokoo, met the chief and saw some of the hives made by workshop members. He reported that eleven of the hives had been colonised and looked likely to produce harvests. (A family trust had donated £1000 for this project. Picture shows procession to place the first hive.)
Meanwhile back in Bristol: On March 5th James and Rebecca Gibbs set up a FOYS stall a part of the Fair Trade Fortnight at the New Room, Broadmead. They were able to establish contact with Fair Trade activists, tell people about FOYS, and raise £35.
Message from Mrs Patience Gibbs: FOYS operates thanks to the open-hearted generosity of supporters on three continents, and I would like to thank all who have enabled the organisation to fund programmes such as those described above. Because I constantly assessing the impact of what FOYS does, I am convinced that the services provided are valuable. They are certainly much-appreciated. Meda mo ase.’