Projects in Ghana
In addition to the regular Lifestyle activities – the school and the supervision of the students – the Holland Bolga Support Foundation has begun to install or research four projects together with the Lifestyle Artisans group .
The aim of the projects are to contribute to the independence of the Lifestyle Artisans group.
The first two have already been activated. The other two projects are now under investigation or at a research stage.
Project 1. Craft competition
Project 2. Credit production line
Project 3. Bamboo plantation
Project 4. Educational improvements
As soon as more extensive project plans are ready for these last two projects, they will be available here on this website.
Project 1. Craftmens championship
The project competition crafts took place for the first time at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019. Lifestyle Artisans has begun to organize the annual competition, initially for the furniture makers. Step by step, the other crafts will be added over time – in no particular order – a competition for: the weavers, seamstresses and dressmakers, hairdressers, jewelery makers and goldsmith – each with their own assignment.
This first time many of the Lifestyle furniture makers took part: each made a table of prescribed dimensions. The furniture makers were so enthusiastic about the competition that it was decided to make it an annual event.
The competition for 2020 has now also taken place. In 2020, in addition to a competition assignment for the furniture makers (a stackable stool), there was also an assignment for the furniture makers students (a collapsible stool). The festivities surrounding the award ceremony were unfortunately limited this year due to the corona pandemic.
The aim of the competition is not only to stimulate creativity and to increase the quality of their products, but also to promote mutual cooperation and knowledge transfer, as well as to increase the awareness of the Lifestyle Artisans in the region.
To make it possible for everyone to participate, the costs are reimbursed by Holland Bolga Support. This mainly concerns material costs, but also costs for the purchase and festive presentation of the prizes, organization and public relations.
Project 2. Credit Production Line
The plan for this project was created at the end of 2020 by the management and board of Lifestyle to generate its own income and support the process of privatization.
The project started in February 2021, also here initially with the furniture makers.
Most furniture makers do not have the money to finance materials – especially wood – or to make investments in machines for their business.
Supported by the furniture makers, Lifestyle has agreed to pre-finance these material costs or machine investments through the Holland Bolga Support Foundation.
The furniture maker can then continue making what he is good at: producing furniture such as tables, cupboards, beds, sofas, chairs, etc. Production often takes place on the basis of specifications agreed in advance.
Thanks to the financial help of Lifestyle, the furniture maker is no longer dependent on the long processing times of local banks or the conditions that local (usually private) financiers set.
The furniture makers pay Lifestyle the agreed interest on the loan amount on a quarterly basis. This amount is pooled and managed by the management and board of Lifestyle.
Until now, the interest of 3 quarters has been credited to Lifestyle’s bank account. As of February 1, 2022, the last installment plus the loan amount will be paid.
The criterion for spending the surplus that Lifestyle manages is the support for activities that promote the privatization of Lifestyle.
The project has been received with great enthusiasm by the local craftsmen. The seamstresses, tailors and hairdressers now want to start a similar construction within the Lifestyle partnership.
Holland Bolga Support and Lifestyle will further develop this plan. In the meantime, the project for the furniture makers continues.
Bamboo for Lifestyle Artisans the local eco environment
The idea of this project arose from brainstorming with Prof. David Millar of Millar’s Open University in Bolgatanga. David Millar himself was educated at the agricultural university in Wageningen.
Holland Bolga Support shares with him the enthusiasm for the use of bamboo as a sustainable construction and carpentry material, produced close to the place where it is processed.
Due to the favorable climate and the soil, bamboo grows profusely in Ghana. Since the wood that is for sale in Northern Ghana around Bolgatanga is often not of high quality, or is relatively expensive because it has to come from far, the Holland Bolga Support Foundation discussed with David Millar how the furniture makers and carpenters of Lifestyle Artisans can gain knowledge of the possibilities of bamboo and how to set up a production line using this material.
To this end, the right kind of bamboo will have to be grown, close to the place where it will be processed – in-house at Lifestyle Artisans.
The aim of the project is to create a Lifestyle Bamboo plantation in Bolgatanga, in which and with which the Lifestyle members can work with the maintenance of the plantation and the self-harvested bamboo to make furniture and perhaps also structures or other bamboo products. The project is still at an exploratory stage.
Project 4: Educational innovation
This project is still under development and the boundaries have yet to be determined. The educational reform relates to two important subjects for secondary schools that prepare students for the state exam in the three years indicated:
- The curriculum
In the first instance, the idea here is to train the often illiterate novice students in an extra course. A program should be set up for them in which extra attention is paid in the first and second year to:
- • reading and writing in the local language
- • learning to speak and write English
- • how to calculate
- • technical drawing
Goal: to bring the students of the school to the same level as quickly as possible and to increase the flow into the 3-year curriculum.
- • In-service training for the teaching staff.
The teachers show a lot of energy and enthusiasm while teaching and they devote a lot of attention and time to carrying out the school program and complete it on time. Lifestyle wants to organize a additional pedagogical training for those who have not followed a teacher training course. Improving the quality of teachers is also on the agenda: Lifestyle wants to familiarize the teaching staff with the use of modern forms of education: instead of standing in front of the class from a distance and dictating the material, actively guiding the students in their learning process.
- • Learning resources
Make an inventory of the necessary but now often missing educational resources to support education.