Awaso Hope Foundation
Awaso Hope Foundation is affecting change by supporting the students and teachers at the school through a sponsorship program as well as assisting with new and ongoing projects and facilities needs.
Ghana is a democratic country that is politically stable with an elected President and Parliament. Ghana was a British Colony until 1957.
- Primarily English speaking
- Predominantly Christian (70%), Muslim (15%) and other tribal religions (15%)
- Subsistence agriculture and mining of natural resources are main source of income
- Cocoa is main agricultural export
Awaso is a rural village in the southwestern region of Ghana with a total population of 6,000 people. It is 500 miles from the capital city, Accra.
- Awaso has little running water
- Only 1/4 of Awaso has electricity
- The average worker earns $1-2 a day
Education Options in Awaso
Most children in Awaso attend local village schools through 8th grade. Over 90% do not continue on to high school because they lack adequate academic preparation to pass the required entrance exam for high school. Given this likely outcome, most students drop out of school before high school.
The schools in Awaso today suffer from:
- Lack of infrastructure, including no running water
- Inability to attract and retain credentialed teachers, who prefer to teach in larger cities
- Lack of curricular support and government funding
- Overcrowding – 4-5 children per desk
A Word From Father Paul
Dreams of Faith and Hope
Father Paul Mensah was born on January 15, 1961 in the small village of Awaso in the western region of Ghana to the late Peter and Cecilia Mensah. He is the youngest of seven children, the only one to have gone on to college in Ghana, receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy. He also has 3 Masters of Arts degrees in Divinity, Spirituality, and Educational Administration, the latter two he obtained at Santa Clara University. He has ministered in Nova Scotia and Alberta Canada and San Jose and Morgan Hill, CA.
When Father Paul travelled back to his town of Awaso, he became increasingly aware of the overwhelming effect of young peoples’ lack of progressive education and failure to thrive in a global economy. Over 90% of the children do not progress to high school due to poverty and lack of opportunity. Moved by the plight of these children, Father Paul began to focus on education in order to break the cycle of poverty and provide them with a brighter future and greater opportunity.
Father Paul’s vision was to start an academy which would provide current and relevant education that will empower the children to advance and take their place in the global community. With the support of the Awaso Hope Foundation and the Awaso Canadian Academy Foundation (ACAF), the school began construction in 2007. The school opened in 2010 with three grades (kindergarten and 2 pre-school). Father Paul currently resides in Awaso and is the Executive Director of the school.