Monthly Archives: December 2015

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Tigo Ghana Shows Leadership by Supporting Rural Education

The management and employees of Tigo Ghana have over the years demonstrated unyielding commitment to building educational infrastructure to support the needy and deprived in rural Ghana. Under the company’s flagship project “Shelter 4 Education”, Tigo has since inception of the project, impacted the lives of over 3000 rural children in deprived communities across six different regions including Dimabi L/A Basic School in the Northern Region. The project has also created local employment opportunities as artisans and handy worker were engaged to bring work on stream. Notwithstanding the unavailability of quantitative data to evaluate social impact, the sheer output of the project lends credence to the proposition that positive outcomes (such as school attendance, gender-balanced enrolment, and test outputs) may accrue as a result of Tigo’s remarkable intervention.

Information from Tigo’s website provides particulars in respect of philosophy, intended reach and project approach.

“At Tigo, we passionately believe education holds the key to the successful development of any nation. Over the years, education has been a priority for us, and most importantly to see to the welfare and wellbeing of children. Our current flagship project ‘Shelter 4 Education’ is aimed at providing both infrastructure and technology support to basic schools in rural Ghana. Under this project, we have renovated 2 schools and built 4 schools at select deprived communities across the country.”

Each school building consists of a 6 unit classroom block, headmaster’s office, staff common room and public place of convenience. According to the company, the select schools also received school uniforms, sandals, exercise books and other learning materials.

The demonstration of responsible corporate citizenship by Tigo Ghana in creating social and economic opportunities for the underprivileged within rural Ghana meets the full commendation of Rural Height Foundation. We would however like to encourage management of Tigo Ghana, as we do all actors within the CSR space, to adopt an open and transparent approach in evaluating outcomes for the purpose of informing public policy. We believe that the discipline of evaluating outcomes, using social impact metrics, provides clarity in terms of real impact and also opens up new learning opportunities for the in-house project management team.


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Technology Solutions for Rural Ghana

Category : Technology

The role of technology in removing or optimizing value chain rigidities is an accepted orthodoxy in global commerce and trade. In Ghana, tech applications in economic sub sectors arguably have contributed to high rate of growth sectors such as Services , consequently transforming its contribution to Ghana’s GDP (2011:49.1%, 2012:48.4% and 2013:49.5%), compared to other sectors (22% and 28.6% in 2013 for agriculture and industry respectively. The trend persist in 2014 and per projections, 2015 as well. Albeit ICT itself as a sub component in the Services construct remains the lowest, its critical enablement of other sub-sectors like financial services and insurance provides substantial impetus for growth of these sectors. This is the context for Rural Heights Foundation’s proposition that many value chain gaps, especially in rural Ghana, still remain for tech-driven social enterprise.

 

Case in Point: Esoko

Esoko, an inspiring social enterprise providing tech-based supply chain optimization services to farmers in Ghana and indeed all of Africa is case in point. The company uses mobile technology to provide market information to farmers thereby enabling better negotiations for farm output. As an enterprise, commercial viability was achieved quite early in their growth process due to the excellent utility of service provided. The proposition has since then moved to address scale challenges. With the right partnerships, entrepreneurial drive and finance, the Essoko brand is poised to consolidate its reputation as a high-impact social enterprise.

 

More Growth Opportunities

The challenges in rural Ghana; agriculture, education, transport and communication, present remarkable growth opportunities for tech innovators. The critical success factors in deploying any tech application to solve value chain gaps are; adequate understanding and definition of the problem on one hand, and the design of appropriate technological response. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs must forge close partnerships with other actors in the social space to formulate a comprehensive database of supply chain gaps in high-growth poles such as agriculture. For instance, C. R. Doss & Morris (2000) find that farmers in female-headed households have a lower chance of adopting improved maize varieties as compared to households where both women and men are present in a male-headed households in Ghana. A clear understanding of the motivations driving this behavior could spawn a whole social enterprise to provide tech-based propositions that improve gender-based adoption rates of agriculture technology. Tech indeed is the future of Africa.

It is with this broad understanding, which Rural Heights Foundation, through its Gomoa Teaching Project (GTP) is reaching out to teachers in selected villages within the Central Region of Ghana, to free deliver training-of-trainers sessions, using simple video-sharing technology with the goal to improve pedagogical approaches. Areas of focus for this project are how to embed critical-thinking and problem-solving into teaching approaches. With our rural teachers adequately empowered, they will be better equipped with techniques that encourage inclusive learning. The ultimate goal of the project is to help retain young talent in the rural areas to support agriculture and the general rural economy.

For volunteering opportunities, visit of our website and sign using the pop-up form.

 


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RHF Collaborates with B&FT Newspaper on CSR Project

Category : Blog , Events , News

According to official reports by the Ghana Education Service, the year 2011 saw one of the most abysmal performance in Ghana’s B.E.C.E examination. 70.9% of candidates who sat for B.E.C.E in Sisala West failed the exams. 13 schools in Agona West during the same period recorded 0% pass. There are also reports attributed to Prof. Yankah of Central University College, that by year-end 2015 71,000 would be added to the already about 200,000 unemployed graduates currently in the system. This is the dire context that provided a basis for engagement with Accra-High Senior High School students during a presentation made by Executive Director of Rural Heights Foundation, Mr. Nkunimdini Asante-Antwi, at this year’s Business & Financial Times Corporate Social Responsibility drive on November 18th 2015. Mr. Asante-Antwi, speaking on financial literacy, inspired the students to begin a deep and personal conversation about self-reliance as far as employment and value-creation is concerned. He spoke on the topic of entrepreneurship. He also encouraged the students to eschew the typical Ghanaian sense of entitlement that causes many to be dependent on others; the government, donors, “rich uncles” and whatnot. “Only a keen sense of personal responsibility coupled with diligence and consistency, provides a guarantee for success” he said.


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The Gomoa Teaching Project – A Call for Volunteers

What is the Gomoa Teaching Project?

Rural Heights Foundation is scheduled to embark on a teaching project at W.O.P. Methodist A in Gomoa Pinanko in the Central Region on January 15, 2016. The project is designed to provide engagement on two levels:

  1. A core team of facilitators will engage the teachers in a group discussion on teaching methods and approach, after reviewing a video on international best practice in teaching and child development. The main area of focus would be skills such as critical-thinking, problem-solving, community volunteering and leadership by example. Following this session, a pre-post assessment model would be used to test learning outcomes.
  2. Other Volunteers will engage the students, from primary to J.H.S. on non-technical subjects such as; decision-making, career choices, managing social relationships, opportunities in rural economy etc. Technical subjects based on Ghana Education Service (G.E.S.) curricula are reserved for persons who desire to volunteer for a period of 1 week or more. This is to ensure consistency and sufficient time for emphasis.

 

Why Volunteer on this project?

  1. As a Foundation with interest in policy advocacy, we deem rural empowerment at all levels a key to stop the rural-urban migration, which negatively impacts agriculture and ultimately, the Ghanaian economy. Teaching subjects like decision-making, volunteering and entrepreneurship to young people, we believe would achieve immediate positive outcomes in two key sectors; education and agriculture. When you volunteer you become a part of this valuable project.
  2. Secondly, the teaching field offers unparalleled opportunities to learn what motivates people and the value system that drive their decision-making processes.  This unique insight may open a window for self-assessment and own career choices. It’s also a platform for building long-lasting cross-cultural friendships and relationships.
  3. Finally, because we make fetish the importance of measuring impact, it serves as a feedback tool for the volunteer’s own work in terms of methods and effectiveness. It helps you grow as a social impact actor.

 

Additional Info

  1. Interested persons should call Daniel on 0245613007 or send email to info@ruralheights.org
  2. Transportation to and from Gomoa Pinanko will be taken care of by Rural Heights Foundation.
  3. Lunch will be provided by Rural Heights Foundation. Volunteers are advised to pack snacks for breakfast as set off time from Accra will be 6.00am GMT.
  4. Project is expected to last 3 hours (10.00am-1.00pm) GMT.
  5. Volunteers must be 18 years+.
  6. No prior teaching experience is required. Basic training would be provided.
  7. If interested but not available for January 2016 project, volunteering opportunities still exist as project continues in different schools for every month of 2016. Kindly visit www.ruralheights.org and complete the volunteer pop-up form.
  8. To support our 2016 Rural Education Support program, you may reach the Executive Director by email n.asante-antwi@ruralheights.org or phone 0505767865.



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Owiredua Rural Scholarship Grant

Rural Heights Foundation has introduced an educational scholarship scheme named Owiredua Rural Scholarship Grant Scheme (ORSGS) to cater for the bright but needy pupils in the rural zones where the Foundation engages in its intervention programs. The scope covers primary level to Junior High students and the grants includes tuition and learning materials. Efua Arhin, an indigene of Gomoa Pinanko was the first to benefit the Foundation’s ORSG scheme in October 2015, to the tune of GH500 that covered her first term tuition and study materials at Swedru Business College. Efua was discovered during a baseline survey trip conducted within the Central Region by Rural Heights Foundation to ascertain the socio-economic needs of the area where the Foundation had planned to intervene in 2016-2017. The decision to support Efua was driven by good performance record and a keen desire to succeed through education. The Foundation wishes Efua well on her journey to become a journalist.

For more information on Owiredua Rural Scholarship Grants Scheme, send an email info@ruralheights.org

 


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Get Inspired at P&L Conference 2015

Amidst the tussle of words, weak macroeconomic fundamentals and gloomy growth outlook, there are Ghanaian companies that have done marvelously well in both for-profit and nonprofit space. As part of Rural Height Foundation’s issue advocacy efforts, this year’s Patriots and Leaders Conference would focus on telling this inspiring story two Ghanaian companies that have done remarkably well; mPedigree and Wonda World Estates. mPedigree Network is a Ghanaian brand, which to all intents and purposes, can be said to have achieved the kind of global relevance and status only rivalled in our history by the musical band Osibisa. The company has in its client portfolio brands such as; AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Neimeth, Tropical Cables and Conductors Limited and many more. The company operates in more than five geographical markets including Nigeria, Kenya and India. With this impressive constellation of global pharmaceutical giants as clients, mPedigree has yet found new markets within Ghana’s textile manufacturing sector to leverage its anti-product counterfeiting solutions, GoldKeys.

Nana Kwame Bediako is an inspiration to many Ghanaians both young and old. He is the C.E.O. of Wonda World Estates – one of the leading Real Estate Development Companies in Ghana, and the President of Petronia City Development – A 2000 acre master planned city development in the Western Region of Ghana. He has been a successful developer in the luxury real estate space in Ghana for over 15 years, and has developed over a 150 units with his team at Wonda World Estates. There is no question that these Patriots and Leaders of their field would inspire and challenge conference participants during this year’s P&L Conference on December 19th 2015 at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The object of this conference is to convene a meeting of great minds where inspiration would provoke deliberate action leading to a popular desire by conference participants to incorporate social impact enterprises and entrepreneurial ventures. As a Foundation, we believe this would promote the spirit of self-reliance and create jobs in the process. All proceeds from the conference would go to fund the Foundation’s intervention program in Gomoa Pinanko and Ampia-Ejumako in the Central Region.

Rural Heights Foundation is non-profit initiative founded to intervene in the rural areas (savannah and coastal) within three thematic areas; well-being, education and micro enterprise. The Foundation in September, concluded a baseline survey and stakeholder consultation in three villages in the Central Region; Gomoa Pinanko, Brofoyedu and Ampia-Ejumako as a precursor to its intervention. The Foundation is helping to provide technical and grant support to some selected women in Pinanko and Ampia-Ejumako (25 for each locality) to enable them start micro enterprises in petty trading, agriculture and other value chains.

The mission of Rural Heights Foundation is to help promote financial security in rural areas through value chain interventions. We do this by working with Community-based Organisations (CBOs) and local women groups. We believe this would help address gender disparities and contribute to a reversal of rural-urban population drift. We also engage in policy advocacy to support our intervention activities. Our broader focus is to help shape public policy in a manner that supports the agenda of shared growth through rural development.

 

 

Why You Must Attend P&L Conference 2015

  1. It will help you understand the key drivers of social change and how to position your organisation for donor or investor capital.
  2. You will learn best practice standards from those who have achieved global excellence and have operations in over 5 different geographical markets.
  3. If you work in the social space or work in the corporate affairs department, you may be interested in how to efficiently allocate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) capital. This is for you too. You will learn about globally accepted standard metrics for measuring social impact, beyond the financial.
  4. If you are unemployed and you are looking to take a leap of faith, this is your chance to learn how and get inspired.
  5. If you run a start-up, SME or an NGO, and you are struggling to attract investor capital or donor funding for your project or program, here is your learning opportunity.

 


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