TAKORADI EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE

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THE TAKORADI EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE HELPS CHILDREN AGES 6-15 REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL AND OBTAIN SKILLS FOR A BETTER FUTURE.

1. Project summary
Summary: 

TO BE WORLDWIDE IS A FOUNDATION THAT HELPS CHILDREN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES REALISE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL, SO THAT LATER THEY CAN HELP BUILD THEIR COMMUNITIES. TO BE WORLDWIDE HAS MADE A MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS ACCESS TO FACILITIES FOR QUALITY EDUCATION. FOUNDED IN 20024 BY NELLIE KIRSCHNER-TIMMER, WHO IS OF GHANAIAN/DUTCH DECENT.

NELLIE WANTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO HER GHANAIAN ROOTS BY USING HER EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE GAINED IN EUROPE. SHE HAS USED HER BACK GROUND AS A HUMAN RESOURCE SPECIALIST TO DEVELOP THE CONCEPT OF THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE.

TO BE WORLDWIDE BUILDS & OPERATES EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRES THAT COMPLEMENT THE EXISTING PUBLIC SCHOOL STRUCTURE. EACH FACILITY OFFERS A LIBRARY, A COMPUTER CENTRE AND AN ACTIVITIES PROGRAM TO STIMULATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN'S CREATIVE AND TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS. THE CENTRE OFFERS INNOVATIVE E-LEARNING MATERIAL THAT REFLECT WHAT THE CHILDREN ARE TAUGHT AT SCHOOL. THE CENTRES WORK WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE COMPUTER LESSONS DURING SCHOOL HOURS AND OFFER A RANGE OF ACTIVITIES (E.G. DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECTS ETC.) FOR AFTER SCHOOL. CHILDREN PAY A NOMINAL FEE TO USE THE CENTRE THEREBY ENSURING COMMITMENT. WWW.TOBEWORLDWIDE.ORG

THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS PROJECT IS TO SCALE UP THE CONCEPT OF THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE IN DIFFERENT REGIONS OF GHANA. SCALING UP THE CONCEPT WILL BASED ON THE (SUCCESSFUL) EXPERIENCE OF THE FIRST EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE LOCATED IN TAKORADI, A 4 HOUR DRIVE FROM ACCRA, AND SERVES
MORE THAN 12 LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.

TO BE WORLDWIDE STRIVES TO PROVIDE CHILDREN IN GHANA WITH SKILLS THAT WILL BETTER PREPARE THEM FOR THE FUTURE, FOR THE LABOUR MARKET AND FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR COMMUNITY.

2. Country (City / Region)
State: 
Ghana
City: 
TAKORADI , WESTERN REGION
3. Company/organization/institute presenting the project
Organization: 
To Be Worldwide
4. Type of organization
Select type: 
Other
Other: 
Foundation/Ngo
5. Project coordinator
Name and Surname: 
NELLIE KIRSCHNER- TIMMER
E-Mail: 
nellie.kirschner@tobeworldwide.org
6. Website
The website of the project: 
http://www.tobeworldwide.org
7. Please select the category in which you candidate your project
Youth Education Project. Select Project Users by age: 
Up to 15 years
Helping youth step in the job market: 
Helping youth step in the job market
Creativity and Social Innovation: 
Creativity and Social Innovation
8. How long has your project been running?
From: 
24/07/2004
9. Targets and Elements of Innovation
Please explain the targets and the background of your project: 

TO BE WORLDWIDE WANTS TO DEVELOP 4 EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTERS BETWEEN NOW AND 2013. SHE THEN WANTS TO MAKE THE CONCEPT OF THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE AVAILABLE TO PARTNER ORGANISATIONS TO SET UP IN AREAS IN GHANA AND EVENTUALLY OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES WHERE THESE PARTNERS WILL HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE NEEDS OF THAT PARTICULAR REGION OR COUNTRY. TO BE WORLDWIDE WILL PROVIDE HER EXPERIENCE AND STANDARDS TO MAKE THE IMPLEMENTATION SUCCESSFUL. WITH THE 4 CENTERS SHE REALIZES HERSELF SHE WANTS TO REACH 25000 CHILDREN OF THE AGES 6-15 YEARS.

What does it try to achieve and how: 

THE PRESENT EDUCATIONAL, RESOURCE CENTRE BASED IN TAKORADI GHANA, REACHES 3000 CHILDREN. IT IS OUR INTENTION TO INCREASE THE ENROLLMENT AT THE CENTRE AND WORK CLOSELY WITH THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND THE LOCAL SCHOOLS TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE THE RIGHT MATERIAL AND PROGRAMS THAT COMPLEMENT THE REGULAR SCHOOL SYSTEM. THEN TO BE WORLDWIDE WILL CONTINUE TO CREATE INNOVATION BY BRINING IN EXCITING E-LEARNING COURSEWARE, WORKSHOPS, EXCHANGE PROGRAMS ETC. ALL GEARED AT EMPOWERING THE CHILDREN WHO MAKE USE OF OUR FACILITIES. WE WILL THEN DOCUMENT ALL THESE PROCESSES IN ORDER TO MAKE THE SCALING UP MORE EFFICIENT.

Which opportunities/problems does it address to: 

WE REALISED THAT ALTHOUGH GHANA HAS A GOOD EDUCATION SYSTEM IT IS STILL DEALING WITH A HIGH DROP OUT RATES WHEN CHILDREN TRANSITION FROM PRIMARY SCHOOL TO SECONDARY SCHOOL AND BEYOND. WE HOPE WE CAN CONTRIBUTE, BY MAKING LEARNING EXCITING AND OFFERING MORE FACILITIES, TO KEEPING CHILDREN AND PARENTS MORE INTERESTED IN EDUCATION AND THUS KEEPING CHILDREN LONGER IN SCHOOL.

Please explain what is unique or special in your project: 

OUR PROJECT IS UNIQUE AS IT IS INNOVATIVE IN ITS APPROACH, TRANSPARENT AND EFFICIENT IN ITS MANAGEMENT. BUT MOST OF ALL ALTHOUGH WE TARGET CHILDREN AGES 6-15 YEARS WE INVOLVE THEIR TEACHERS AND THEIR PARENTS ON ALL LEVELS, THUS PAVING THE WAY FOR THE CHILDREN TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS WITH THEIR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY ABOUT THEIR FUTURE.

10. Results
Describe the results of your project as per today: 

AS MENTIONED BEFORE WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REACH AROUND 3000 CHILDREN, MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF SO MANY CHILDREN. WE HAVE SEEN STUDENTS USE SOME OF THE SKILLS OBTAINED AT OUR CENTRE TO SET UP SMALL BUSINESSES (USING POWER POINT TO MAKE ADVERTISING STILL FOR LOCAL SHOPS AND EARNING A LITTLE MONEY TO FURTHER THEIR EDUCATION) TEACHERS HAVE CONFIRMED THAT CHILDREN WHO USE OUR FACILITIES HAVE IMPROVED IN THEIR REGULAR SCHOOL WORK

How does it fulfill the users’ needs: 

CLASSES AND MATERIALS AT OUR CENTRE COMPLEMENT THE CURRICULUM OF THE EXISTING SCHOOL SYSTEM IN GHANA. THIS MAKES IS VERY USEFUL TO THE USERS. CHILDREN ARE ABLE TO EXPLORE TOPICS TAUGHT AT SCHOOL AT OUR CENTRE AND LEARN MORE, BY USING THE INTERNET TO RESEARCH OR EVEN USING THE REFERENCE BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY.

How many users interact with your project per month and what are the preferred forms of interaction: 

ABOUT 470 CHILDREN VISIT THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE EACH WEEK/1800 A MONTH. THESE ARE REOCCURRING USERS. CHILDREN COME TO THE CENTRE TO TAKE ICT COURSES, USE THE INTERNET, BORROW BOOKS , READ AND PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES

How has it improved the quality of educational and/or training services: 

WE HAVE ALSO OFFERED ICT TRAINING TO THE TEACHERS OF ALL THE SCHOOLS WE SERVICE IN THE COMMUNITY. WE HOPE THAT THIS WILL HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THE NEW IMPLEMENTED CURRICULUM BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION. WE ALSO HOPE THAT HAVING ACCESS TO THE INTERNET THROUGH OUR CENTRE WILL HELP THEM PREPARE THEIR CLASSES AND MAKE THEM MORE APPEALING FOR THEM SELVES AND THE CHILDREN

How has it improved the participation of professionals, children, youth and other stakeholders: 

WE FEEL THAT WE ARE MORE AND MORE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE KEEPING OUR TARGET GROUP OF CHILDREN AGES 6-15 IN MIND. RECENTLY A SURVEY FOR CHILDREN’S PARENTS MADE US REALISE THAT A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF PARENTS WERE ILLITERATES. WE THEN PROCEEDED TO CONTACT THE NON-FORMAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TO DISCUSS POSSIBILITIES TO HOLD LITERACY CLASSES FROM OUR FACILITIES IN EVENING HOURS WHICH WILL THEN ALSO ALLOW US TO OFFER THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THE CHILDREN’S PARENTS. WE FEEL THAT ONCE THEY ARE ALSO FUNCTIONALLY LITERATE THEY ARE IN A BETTER POSITION TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN PLAN FOR A BETTER FUTURE.

How does it promote the use of ICT for the educational and cultural development by professionals, children and youth: 

THE CENTRE OFFERS A BASIC COMPUTER SKILLS COURSE TO CHILDREN AGES 6-15 YEARS. MOST OF THEM COME FROM SCHOOLS WITHIN A 10 MIN. WALKING RADIUS OF OUR CENTRE. BUT THERE ARE ALSO STUDENTS THAT COME FROM ACROSS TOWN. THE BASIC COMPUTER SKILLS COURSE IS ALSO OFFERED TO ADULTS, BUT AT A FEE, WHICH ALLOWS US TO GENERATE INCOME LOCALLY.
THE COURSE CONSISTS OF MS OFFICE, INTERNET AND WORKING WITH THE E-LEARNING COURSEWARE AVAILABLE. DIFFERENT PROJECTS ARE INITIATED USING ICT, E.G. EXCHANGE PROGRAMS SUCH AS THE GLOBAL TEENAGER PROGRAM OR DIRECT EXCHANGES WITH DIFFERENT SCHOOLS.

Describe how you measure (parameters) these results: 

WE REGISTER THE NUMBER OF USERS AND THE NUMBER OF BOOKS BORROWED EACH MONTH. IT IS STILL VERY DIFFICULT TO MEASURE THE EXACT IMPACT OUR WORK HAS ON THE CHILDREN. WE DO HOLD SURVEYS AMONGS OUR USERS AND WILL SOON BE WORKING ON A REPORT CARD COMPARISON TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ON HOW CHILDREN WHO HAVE USED OUR FACILITIES HAVE FARED COMPARED TO CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT USED OUR FACILITIES. OBTAINING THE RIGHT MEASURING INSTRUMENTS IS ONE OF OUR WISHES.

11. Sustainability
What is the full duration of your project: 
More than 6 years
What is the approximate total budget for your project (in USD): 
From 10.001 to 30.000
What is the source of funding for your project: 
Grants
Is your project economically self sufficient now: 
No
12. Transferability
Has your project been replicated/adapted elsewhere: 
Yes
Specify: 

WE ARE CURRENTLY BUILDING A SECOND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE IN ANOTHER REGION IN GHANA. WE EXPECT THE CAPE COAST EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE TO BE UP AND RUNNING IN THE FALL OF 2009 .

What lessons can others learn from your project: 

WE INVITE ANYONE WHO HAS THE INTENTION TO SET UP A SIMILAR TYPE OF PROJECT TO CONTACT US AS WE ARE ALL FOR SHARING OUR EXPERIENCES AND LIKE TO LEARN FROM OTHERS AS WELL. OUR STRENGHTS LIE IN OUR APPROACH. THE FOUNDER AND MANAGER IS OF BOTH WORLDS, THE WESTERN WORLD AND THE DEVELOPING WORLD. THIS COMBINED WITH OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE CORPORATE WORLD AS WELL AS THE NGO WORK MAKES US VERY CAPABLE AT CREATING A CONCEPT AND IMPLEMENTING IT.

We are available to help others starting or working on similar projects: 
We are available to help others starting or working on similar projects.
13. Background information
Background: 

I (NELLIE KIRSCHNER-TIMMER) WAS BORN IN TAKORADI GHANA AND I AM HALF DUTCH , HALF GHANAIAN. I HAVE SPENT MANY YEARS STUDYING AND WORKING IN EUROPE AND EVENTUALLY DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF GHANA USING MY SKILLS. THIS LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPT OF THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE. WE HAVE WORKED HARD AT REALISING THE FIRST CENTRE WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF PARTNERS SUCH AS UNICEF GHANA, EUROPEAN UNION IN GHANA AND MANY OTHER SPONSORS AND VOLUNTEERS. WE ARE NOW ON OUR WAY TO OPEN A SECOND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE.

Barriers: 

AMONGST OUR CHALLENGES WAS THE FACT THAT OUR PROJECT DID NOT, IN THE EYES OF SOME POTENTIAL FUNDERS, ADDRESS THE ISSUES SUCH AS HUNGER, DISEASE POVERTY DIRECTLY, THUS MAKING FUNDRAISING IN THE BEGINNING VERY DIFFICULT. ANOTHER CHALLENGE IS MAKING A BUDGET AND WORKING WITHIN IT. WHEN DEALING WITH INFLATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, YOUR BUDGET FOR BUILDING A CENTRE ENDS UP DIFFERENTLY THEN INTENDED.

Solutions: 

BY TRAIL AND ERROR , EXPERIENCE AND NOT GIVING UP EVENTUALLY GOT US THROUGH MOST OF THE BARRIERS. E.G WHEN MAKING A BUDGET FOR BUILDING CALCULATE IN A LARGER AMOUNT FOR INFLATION AN FLUCTUATION OF PRICES OF BUILDING MATERIAL.

Future plans and wish list: 

AS MENTIONED BEFORE. OUR ORGANISATION WOULD LIKE TO DEVELOP 4 CENTERS BY 2013. THIS WILL REQUIRE FUNDS TO BUILD AN OTHER 2 CENTERS ( € 100’000). BUT EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT IS TO BUILD OUR ORGANISATION IN GHANA TO MANAGE THESE CENTERS, TO SUSTAIN THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION GIVEN AND REMAIN INNOVATIVE. THIS REQUIRES THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT POSITIONS. FUNDS FOR RECRUITMENT AND CAPACITY BUILDING (€ 25000).

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