New projects as well as annual events
2023 was another productive year in Buriton’s sister community of Dominase, thanks to money raised through generous donations, legacy bequests and other fund-raising activities.
We were able to provide another successful ‘Careers Orientation’ event in July: the third year that we’ve funded this initiative which helps teenagers decide which subjects to study when they move on to Senior High Schools. In previous years the event has been arranged for final year students at the 12 Junior High schools in the Dominase area (students in the JHS3 classes) but, following liaison with education experts in the Local Authority, it has been decided to switch to the younger year group (JHS2) to give them more time to draw upon the advice received… So, in order that none of the students missed out, this year’s event catered for all JHS2 and JHS3 students (about 700 in total!). Next year (and onwards) will just be for JHS2 students. As in the past, the event enabled all the students to hear from a range of speakers including a midwife, a doctor, an agricultural expert, an engineer, teachers and bank managers etc. Feedback from local education officials confirms that these events are very useful, helping children consider which subjects to study in their last years at school and make good choices... Money from Buriton pays for all the transport to bring all the children from outlying village schools to the venue and to pay for refreshments during the day.
The annual inter-school Reading Competition took place in November with all the 13 Primary Schools in the area taking part in a fiercely contested event. We commenced this initiative in 2014 and, as well as paying for all the transport to bring children from the outlying schools (and for refreshments during the day), our small charity pays for prizes and awards. All the children who took part (one from each age-group class in each school) were given a pen, a pencil, an eraser and an exercise book with bigger prizes (school bags etc) for the top 3 in each year-group. Local Education officials believe this event is helping to improve standards year-on-year.
A new project to help teenage girls make their own, relatively cheap, sustainable period products commenced in October. Many girls in rural Ghana cannot access or afford expensive products and this can lead to them missing one week in every four of their teenage school career. Missing a quarter of their time at school can have a major impact on their educational attainment, their confidence and self-esteem and so we have been searching for ways to help. During 2023 we teamed up with ‘Girls Club Ghana’ (a small Ghanaian charity) to conduct a trial at two schools involving about 30 girls. In October the GCG team helped girls learn about menstruation hygiene and make their own, relatively cheap, sustainable period products with a follow-up visit in December to monitor and assess progress. Money from Buriton also paid for the materials for the products and a workbook to help the girls learn more about their periods. If successful, and if enough money can be raised in Buriton, it’s hoped that the programme can be run at all the Junior High Schools in the area – helping hundreds of girls every year.
It has also been another successful year for fund-raising and publicity to attract interest from others in our work. Our big Quiz Night in the Ditcham Tithe Barn last January raised £1,510 and our Barn Dance which has been arranged for January 2024 swiftly sold out. The Petersfield Post featured our new Sanitary Pad project in November and Petersfield’s Shine radio have also been in contact, seeking to record interviews for transmission in the early part of 2024. Discussions with staff from Ditcham Park School look like they will result in some promising cooperation during the forthcoming year: the Head of the school’s Buriton House has kindly agreed to support us in a number of ways after a school assembly to begin the process.
A ‘regular giving’ initiative continues to help us plan our work ahead: even £1 a month can help towards valuable projects. For anyone willing to contribute in this way, please see the leaflet attached at the foot of this web-page and simply return the Standing Order form at the end.
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.