In 2023, a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation enabled us to establish our Community Center, close to the Castle. It is home to the CAHP’s Outreach Education Project, and comprises a library, and our landmark ‘Archaeology Club’.
The Community Center is located in an under-resourced and under-served area of Osu. This community is living in one of the most impoverished areas of Accra, immediately adjacent to Christiansborg Castle. The quality of the housing is very poor. There is no water supply into the houses and the electricity supply is known to be unreliable. There are shared public toilet facilities but many cannot afford the fee. The unemployment rate is high.
Interviews conducted by the CAHP with local parents reveal, in many cases, their own lack of education, but they aspire to a better future for their children. School attendance can be erratic because the parents lack the finances for the associated costs (uniforms, lunches, stationery etc), and the home environment is not conducive for study. Sometimes the children are required to stay away from school in order to assist the parents in their various modest income-generating activities.
The local schools also need more resources, and teachers are forced to adopt a ‘chalk and talk’ pedagogy. Our Outreach Education Project seeks to build upon and enhance the current educational resources. We aim to motivate the children and young people to develop a spirit of inquiry, critical thinking and transferable skills. Thus equipped, they will be able to seek better employment in the future, and an enhanced quality of life.
Our Community Center is a visionary, inclusive and accessible space for teaching and learning. It is a space where people of all ages, abilities and socio-economic backgrounds can enjoy access. They can then play a key role in developing the community’s identity: a springboard for community revitalization and optimism.