It’s that time of the year, when the long (summer) break is over and it’s time to get serious again and return back to school. I am preparing to return to Ghana in ten days and the children at the orphanage are getting ready to return to their desks for another year of learning. I was chatting with maa Philo the other day and she told me the happy news that all of the children (who are enrolled) have been promoted to the subsequent class. Many of them were one or a few years behind already when arriving at the orphanage, and it’s a bit hard to catch up when you’re in a big and busy class with only one teacher. But this year they have all done well. Makua is now in KG, and Sandra and Cassandra had their first day of school ever yesterday when they joined Paa Yaw at the nursery. Maa Philo told me they didn’t even cry. I can hardly believe that they are so grown already.

School is supposed to be free and mandatory in Ghana from Kindergarten up to Junior High School (2 years of KG, 6 years of primary school and 3 years of JHS). Even if you don’t technically have to pay school fees there are a number of fees involved, for uniforms, books, Parent and Teacher Association fees, printing fees, and of course costs for lunch. Public schools in general do not have a positive reputation wherefore many parents strive to enroll their children with a private school (at varying costs). Senior High School, which is not mandatory and completely at the expense of the parents is rather costly for Ghanaian standards. Last Friday I wired some money so that maa Philo could pay the school fees for the first term for Atsu and Christie, who are now starting SHS 3 and 2 respectively. Fortunately we had some donations from kind people in Germany and the fees could be covered for the two of them to continue their education. Esumang graduated from JHS before the summer and he is still waiting for the results and placement. JHS 1 students start school later than their older peers.

So far we have managed to cover the children’s school fees with donations, fortunately there are several former volunteers at the orphanage who continue to care for the children even now when they are back home in Germany. My family and friends in Sweden have also been of great assistance. I am hoping though, by next year, Color me Ghana will have raised enough funds for the foundation so that donations may not be necessary.

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The kids in their Friday wear, except Abenateria who´s wearing the ordinary uniform. Oh, and they now also have a special Thursday t-shirt. School is truly free and cheap!