Buriton has developed strong links with the rural community of Dominase in the far north of the Central Region of Ghana over a number of years. An innovative 'Village-to-Village' Group was set up in 2003 to increase awareness and support.
The 'Village-to-Village' Link now involves residents across the entire communities in both countries. A Committee of residents in Buriton works closely with an equivalent Committee in Dominase to identify priorities and to coordinate assistance. Buriton Primary School has a link with the Marfo JS School in Dominase and Ditcham Park School is linked with the Besease DA School.
Latest news from our work can be seen in the boxes to the right - click on each story to read more.
As a registered charity (No.1139835), tax can be reclaimed on donations from UK taxpayers under the Gift Aid scheme.
Thanks to the generosity of a local sponsor, every penny of money raised for this charity is spent 'on the ground' in Dominase - none of it is spent on any sort of administrative costs.
If you would like to help us with our work - simply click on the 'button' below:
Or you can help us via our new programme of regular giving (by Standing Order) which helps us plan our support for the future:
- £1 a month buys a reading book for a child every month
- £2 a month buys books to boost school libraries
- £5 a month buys enough school books for a whole classroom of children every year.
If you would like to help in this way, simply return the Standing Order form at the end of our "Make a World of Difference" leaflet: click here.
And you can print out your own money-box for Dominase (to save some of your small change) by clicking here or on the pdf file at the bottom of this page.
If you think that you may be able to help this small charity in any way, Please contact us by clicking here.
Living conditions in Dominase are still fairly primitive and unhealthy. There is no running water in the area and only a few wells, standpipes and boreholes. The local river, still occasionally used for washing, is very dirty and can cause chronic disease and death. Mains electricity reached the community in 2009 but not all villagers can afford it.
There are a few communal toilet shelters (open pit latrines) but, until we initiated our 'Buy a Bog' programme, most people - including children - just squatted in the open in bushes near to homes and water supplies.
Schools only had primitive toilet pits - if anything at all - until we commenced our programme of work and they also had very few facilities or teaching aids for over 3,000 children.
Our current priorities
As a result of lots of detailed research with our counterparts in Ghana we launched a major new Education initiative in 2012 - initially focusing on providing extra reading books for school children and on helping teachers obtain better training.
In the schools in and around Dominase, supplementary reading books can make a big difference to children's opportunities to learn English at an early age - which opens the door to all subsequent learning of other subjects; and to a route out of poverty.
Miss out on English in their early years of education, and the children miss out on life-chance opportunities thereafter - as generations of villagers have done in the past.
Every £1 that we raise can provide a new book for our School Library initiative. There are few books in schools at present, but there is a willingness in all of the local schools to develop a Library facility - even if the library is in a box!
And we have successfully helped cohorts of local teachers obtain important training and qualifications by subsidising their fees to attend recognised training courses.
These initiatives are now linked with annual inter-school reading competitions (supported by funding from Buriton) which are boosting enthusiasm to raise standards amongst children, teachers and parents.
If you would like to help with this work, simply click on the Virgin button above or contact us by clicking here.
Buy a Bog for Dominase
We have provided 500 families with their first ever household latrine toilets as a result of our innovative 'Buy a Bog' campaign to help improve sanitation conditions in Dominase where people, particularly young children, often die due to diseases caused by poor sanitation. More and more villagers in the area are now providing their own facilities having seen the benefits from our project.
And we have also provided blocks of toilets at five schools which had no such facilities: girls and boys had to squat in nearby bushes whenever they wanted to go to the loo. Over 1,000 children now have somewhere safe and clean to go – which, in turn, helps to boost attendances. Children, particularly girls, are now be able to attend school more consistently as they know that they have some privacy when needed. And all the children can wash their hands thanks to big tanks which collect rainwater from the roofs.
We have also provided additional help with:
- health facilities in Dominase
- clean, safe water supplies
- education and schooling
- providing mobile phones
and we are considering an annual programme of careers advice for teenage school students as they prepare to choose their subjects to study at Senior High School.
By working with the Upper Denkyira West District Assembly in Ghana, we have arranged for our County and District Councils in England to establish a link to help with economic development in the area, using funding from the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. This work was featured as an example of good practice by the Local Government Alliance.
Our principles include:
- priorities are always decided jointly - in conjunction with the 'Village-to-Village' Group in Dominase. Their views are taken into account throughout all projects
- villagers in Dominase (and its out-stations) contribute to every project - both with their local knowledge and by giving their labour free of charge
- if we are providing new facilities in Dominase we will always aim to arrange appropriate training as well (eg. in health, hygiene, construction etc.)
- our work should be sustainable - we would not wish Dominase to become dependent upon us
- we work closely with elected authorities in Ghana - having regard to their policies, programmes and priorities
- we raise money in and around the parish of Buriton and from kind donations from further afield. We are also constantly looking for suitable grants to supplement our fund raising efforts
- our Committee and helpers in the UK are all volunteers. Every penny that we raise goes towards funding our programmes.
It is very pleasing to see how Buriton's Village-to-Village Group is raising awareness and support for Dominase and to see how our little initiative can make a big difference for people thousands of miles away.
Perhaps you can help in some way?
Or, if you would like to find out any more about the link with Dominase, please contact any member of the Village-to-Village Group: James Dryden, Doug Jones, Mary & Terry Owens, Mary & Bernie Saunders.