Nneka Youth Foundation in collaboration with Charitable Fellows Foundation, both not-for-profit organisations have embarked on a campaign to replace 'blackboards with white boards' at the Junior High School (JHS) level in some parts of the Volta Region.
Seven JHSs, namely; Ve Gbodome D/A JHS, Ve Agbome D/A JHS, Logba Adzakoe JHS, Kpando Gadza JHS, Dzogbefe D/A JHS, Dzolokpuita JHS, and Vane JHS, respectively, have so far benefited from the campaign dubbed 'Pull Down the Black Boards.'
Mrs Cecilia Fiaka, Executive Director of NYF, said the exercise coincided with Martin Gordon's 40th birthday. Martin Gordon the main sponsor of the project, who grew up a charity case, dropped out of secondary school in 1997 because of hardship and ended up in the street to survive.
Through all the challenges of life Martin Komla Bakudie, as he was formerly known, motivated himself not to let the activities of the streets dent his character and values.
"By dint of hard work and perseverance, he got himself enlisted in the British Army where he served and retired at the age of 39.
"Martin loves charity as he was a charity case growing up. His dream is to see all children grow up in a home setting and have the right to education".
Mrs Fiaka said black or chalkboards become difficult to read in the dark, spark respiratory problems, particulates enter the eyes, dirt nuisance, chalk dust could be harmful to allergic people and may cause lacrimation and breathing troubles in the long run.
"Some teachers at least three in some of the schools we work in have been confirmed to have been suffering from respiratory problems because of chalk dust."
She said the "benefits to the teacher and the child in the use of White Marker board definitely should be preferred".
The Executive Director envisions reaching out to some 200 schools in the communities in its catchment area by the end of 2022, all things going well.
"Charity Begins at Home', and as a River, we are not to forget our source else we dry up. This project starts from the very schools that have impacted us positively growing up.
"Nneka, today serves more than 3,000 youth in nearly 200 communities, when in 2012, we served only 500 youth in 10 communities, through summer camps, mentoring sessions and scholarships, as well as seminars and summits related to drug abuse prevention, reproductive health, effective goal setting and leadership development. Because of our promising growth and evident impact on school enrolment and reintegration, test scores, teen pregnancy and substance abuse prevention, more communities are demanding our services".
She said NYF was envisioned to give the necessary guidance and support to children in the rural communities in an attempt to curb social vices and bring them to a point of believing that they could be world changers.
Some of the NGO's activities include, summer camp, workshops, teacher training, speed mentor, financial literacy, sponsorship programme, book drive, vocational entrepreneurial pathway and Nneka palm oil empowerment reorientation scheme.