Between the villages of Tungan and Zagkpee in northern Ghana is an area of high ground. If you had walked across the savannah this time last year you would have encountered a peaceful scene: a view across the countryside and the scattered, simple homes below. Yet that tranquil December scene would, in many ways, have been misleading. The two villages were facing the same severe poverty that they had encountered across generations. Neither enjoyed the benefits of a school. Children like Nuo Ziem (aged 9) had no prospect of education and, without opportunities, spent their time helping with basic farming and other chores. Many of her fellow children in the village died before they reached adulthood.
But this December – just 12 months later – the scene is transformed. A beautiful, blue Christian school, built by Savannah Education Trust, sits like a beacon on the hill. Since September Nuo Ziem has attended every day, receiving a meal and a decent quality education. It is remarkable how much has changed in such a short space of time, and exciting to think that Nuo Ziem and her classmates now have the precious gift of education and of hope.
The construction of Tungan-Zagkpee School is a result of a huge amount of work by the Savannah team in Ghana and the villagers. It is the latest expansion of our work, and we are thankful that Nuo Ziem is now one of over 1,500 children benefitting from a Christian education across Savannah’s six schools.
During the year we have been carefully and prayerfully considering the future. The team in Ghana have surveyed the whole area and it seems probable that another five schools would mean that every child in the district would be within reasonable walking distance of a school.
We therefore feel that it is right – if the Lord will and as funds allow – to build another five schools over the coming years. Of course, this is a daunting prospect for the Trustees, particularly as we have no paid staff or office in the UK. And yet, seeing the profound effect of Savannah’s work on children like Nuo Ziem and on communities like Tungan-Zagkpee, we feel convinced that this is the right path for the charity.
More than ever, we are indebted to the sustained kindness and loyalty of our supporters. Without your generosity, Tungan-Zagkpee would be once more without the hope provided by a Christian school this Christmas – as it was last year, and as it has been for a hundred generations. You are a continual encouragement to us and to the villages that we serve in West Africa.
Our friends in Ghana join each of us in thanking you and wishing you God’s blessing for Christmas and the New Year.
On behalf of the Trustees, and with our sincere good wishes,