Ghana School Project

Cadets interacting with the children in the village in Ghana

Every two years the fire cadets from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service visit Ghana in West Africa to help to build or refurbish a school.

Ghana school project 2013

The Ghana school project 2013 involved a group of fire cadets visiting Ghana to refurbish and modernise a school block in the community of Abordahi near Ho in the Volta region of Ghana during August 2013.

The school block comprises of 3 classrooms which are used as a kindergarten and new entrants classrooms. All new entrants to the school, irrespective of their age, start their school life here.

Pupils have to pay on a daily basis for school. If parents can not afford the fee, the child may not start school until they are 7or 8 years old. 

The community of Abordahi is a rural community comprising a number of villages with a subsistence farming economic base. The villages raise crops of cassava, peanut, onions, tomatoes which they sell in local markets.

We are familiar with this community as our cadets built the junior school block there in 2007.

School refurbishment in the village of Abordahi

The school block selected for the 2013 project was started back in 2007,  but due to a failure of external funding was never completed to a good standard. The  block has basic breezeblock walls cement and earth floor.

Cheshire fire cadets completed the building by replacing the floors, rendering all the walls, providing windows and doors and decorating the whole building.

After the block was modernised the cadets celebrated the re opening of the school with a ceremony of singing and dancing with the community.

The group then travelled to various parts of Ghana to visit sights of natural beauty at the Kakum National forest, Willi Falls, on the border of Togo. The group also visited the Cape coast to visit the castles that operated the slave trade for over 300 years.

A group of 17 fire cadets and seven staff visited to Ghana in 2013.

Each cadet had a personal fundraising target of £3,000 - They had to plan, organise and deliver a number of events over a set period of time. This had to be balanced with their school commitments, forcing them to remain focussed and dedicated.

Blog about the trip to Ghana in 2013

The cadets wrote a Blog during their stay in Ghana in 2013, which contains a diary of their time spent in Ghana:

Blog about the Cadets trip to Ghana

Previous Ghana projects

Cadets from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have been visiting Ghana since 2005. See below for information about the previous trips to Ghana.

Ghana school project 2011

A group of fire cadets visited Ghana in 2011, which included 14 fire cadets and seven volunteer cadet leaders from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The group helped to complete a new school in Gbatana in the Volta region of southern Ghana.

The school will provide young villagers with the education they need to give them the best possible chances in life.

In spite of the difficult economic climate here in the UK and sitting their own school exams, the cadets - all aged 16 and 17 - funded the trip themselves.

They raised a staggering £56,000 through car washes, packing bags in supermarkets and securing sponsorship from local organisations - £5,000 more than their original target.

It is the fourth school to be built by fire cadets from Cheshire since 2005.

Using tools and equipment purchased through their own fundraising efforts, the cadets helped villagers finish a school they started building at the end of last year. They also took part in the school's colourful opening ceremony and presented village elders with the furniture, books and
educational materials which they bought and shipped to Ghana ahead of the visit.

The trip co-ordinators were Kevin Kelly and Sue Cleaver while the young people who went on the trip were:

  • Cadets Bethany Pennington and Ryan Smith and Cadet Leaders Andrew Bowles and Christopher Williams from Widnes

  • Zac Preston from Stockton Heath

  • Cadet Leader Martin Webster from Runcorn

  • Lauren Yarwood and Cadet Leader Victoria Elliott from Frodsham

  • Mathew Madeley and Abby Sullivan from Winsford

  • Jessica Thiele, Lewis Darlington and Ben Avery from Poynton

  • Jack Hodges and Cadet Leader Danielle Burgess from Congleton

  • Sam Morley and David Vernon from Audlem

  • Jake Brown from Bollington

  • Luke Tindall from Sandbach.

Cheshire fire cadets first visited Ghana in 2005 when they built a school in Akrofu. They returned in 2007 to build another in Abordahi and in 2009 at Adeklu. This year's fourth visit brings the total money raised since the start to £160,000.

Ghana school project 2009

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service cadets built their third schools in Ghana in 2009.

Follow the link below for a short film showcasing the third school being built in Adaklu-Helekpe.

Ghana Project 2009 (opens in a new window)

Ghana school project 2007

Ghana Outlook chose Abordahi in the Volta region as a suitable community in which to build a school in 2007.

The villagers had to be prepared to do the majority of the work required to build the school despite the fact that this limited their ability to work on their crops and reduced their income earning capacity in the short term.

It fell to the fire cadets selected for the venture to raise the funds for the building materials and the educational materials to equip the school.

They were also required to pay for their own flights and food, as were the Fire and Rescue Service personnel who accompany them.

As money was raised by the fire cadets through sponsorship, fundraising events and charitable donations, it was forwarded to Ghana to purchase the building materials which enabled the villagers to start work on the school.

Approximately two weeks before the school completion date the fire cadets flew out to Ghana to work alongside the villagers to complete the building and celebrated with them when the school was formally opened. The project is a true cultural partnership. 

The Fire Cadets experience life in a rural African community, participate in a worthwhile project and return to the UK with an enhanced view of the world.

Ghana school project 2005

The registered charity Ghana Outlook used local knowledge to identify the rural community of Akrofu in the Volta region of Ghana as suitable for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Fire Cadets to carry out a project to build and equip a school.

The villagers recognised that the pathway out of poverty for their young people depended on them receiving an education.

Young people from Cheshire, who have benefited from a good education, wanted to help the young people in Africa and this project was an ideal means of achieving that ambition.

The appreciation of the people of Akrofu shown to the fire cadets for their help in building the school made Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Youth Engagement Team realise that another school building project would be a very good idea and started making plans for 2007.

More information about the Cadets

Please use the links below to find out more information:

Back to the blog about the Cadets trip to Ghana

More information about Cadets within Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Last updated: Thursday 08 June 2017

Related images

Building built by cadets in 2007
Cadets dancing in Ghana
Cadets interacting with the children in the village in Ghana
Fire Cadets visiting a fire station near Ho in Ghana, Africa
People from the community of Abordahi, just outside Ho - welcoming the cadets with music