“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"
Nelson Mandela

About

The founder first  went to Ghana in 2008 as a voluntary English teacher. She immediately fell in love with the beautiful country and its wonderful people. But she also soon noticed the position that girls hold in their society despite having so many talents and so much potential. Coming herself from a background where the sky is the limit, she wanted to inspire these girls to follow their dreams. To her, the key to this is education. And so Go Girl Ghana was born.

Vision and mission

Mission

Our mission is to inspire girls to believe in themselves, to get an education, to make decisions about their own bodies, to reach their full potential and to let their voices be heard. If we want them to have the space to do this we cannot simply focus on them. We need to change the mindset of the entire society about their value within the community. We believe the communities have their own strengths and capabilities to make this change, they just need to be empowered to believe it too.

Vision

“When you educate a man, you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”
– Kwegyir Aggrey

Girls have an equal part in any society and education is the key to growth. By educating girls, making them believe in their talents, capabilities and rights, they can be part of the growth of their families, communities and even their country.

Core values

We have based our core values on Adinkra. These are visual symbols originally created by the Ashanti people of Ghana. They represent concepts or aphorisms. The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.
Our core values are:

Cooperation

“Boa Me Na Me Mwoa Wo”

Help me, help you

Feminity

“Duafe”

Wooden comb

Progress

“Owia a repue”

Rising sun

Strength

“Dwennimmen”

Ram’s horns

Knowledge

 “Nea onnim no sua a, ohu”

He who does not know can know from learning

Love

“Akoma”

The heart

People and organisation

Go Girl Ghana is a registered foundation in both the Netherlands as well as Ghana. The day to day workings of the foundation in Ghana are carried out by the project coordinator Agyeman Wettey Otabil who is from the district with support of founder Leonie Heppener. They are supervised by the watchful eye of the board of directors in the Netherlands and the Board of Trustees in Ghana. And will be supported by an administrator, an intern, as well as 30 volunteers who work in their own communities and as such are best equipped to work with, and motivate, the communities.

GGG works with partners to make sure the change it is after is realised. We will work with a facilitation partner but also with the local governmental organisations and expanding on their already existing work rather than starting everything anew.

As of June 2017, Go Girl Ghana has become part of advisory board of the Girls Education Network in the Central Region of Ghana. This is a collaboration between the Girls Education Services (Ministry of Education), Ghana Health services, the department of Gender and several NGOs to ensure close cooperation for the improvement of quality education for girls.

Board of directors Netherlands

President – Leonie Heppener
Finance Director – Femke Campbell
Secretary – Monica Hampson

Board of Directors Ghana

Founder and Executive director – Leonie Heppener
Co-Founder and Director of Operations – Emmanuel Oppon Kusi
Secretary and Field Coordinator Ghana – Agyeman Wettey Otabil

Supporting team

Field Officer – Hanatu Antoh
Field support team – Prince Larbie
Deputy Marketing Officer – Miriam Benyarku

Facilitators

We work with local volunteers from the respective 12 communities as well as 1 health facilitator per community. This gives us a team of 30!

Board of Trustees

Based in Ghana, we have an amazing Board of Trustees who will make sure Go Girl Ghana grows both strategically and financially and also makes sure we stay on the right path of change.


Chairman – Naa Adjeley S. Alakija Sekyi
– Lecturer at the department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Cape Coast. She is a gender specialist focussing her energy on women’s empowerment subjects.

Dr. Patience Ofosua Arhin – Medical doctor in the region who is committed to the rising number of teen pregnancies and maternal health which are keeping girls out of school.

Nai Operteh Omai – Maintenance engineer at the Electricity Company Ghana who as the only man in the group but as the Sanahene of the Awutu Traditional council an influential one who can get the men of the district on board.

Nachey Dodey Akaabi II – the paramount Queen Mother of the Awutu Traditional council. For years a strong supporter of education as a whole and believes girls are the future.

Ernestina Nana Apena – The youngest of the group but definitely not the least important. She is from Bonsuoku and is part of our Go Girl Group there and will be representing all the girls in our organisation.

Partners

Awutu Senya Municipal Assembly

Awutu Senya District Assembly

Awutu Senya District Education Office or Girls Education Unit (GEU) which lies under the Basic Education Division of the Ghana Education Service (GES)

Awutu Senya – Central Region Community health directorate

The Constellation – facilitation partner

Peer role models and (international) volunteers for workshops

Founder

About Leonie

When people describe me they say I am a strong lady with Dutch directness who works with great passion, especially for something she believes in. And yes I am a fighter. I’m a single mother with a background of working in a well-paid and high pressure job in Marketing/ Brand for international brands such as Nike, wanting to make the lives of girls in Ghana a little better.

Coming from divorced parents myself, I was very used to taking care of myself when I was a teenager. Not without both my parents’ support but they felt I was up for the job I guess. They made me feel like I could do anything. I started college but never finished because during an internship I decided to stay at that company. I learned so much more on the job! So I worked really hard and have made myself quite successful as a marketing project manager. Working for international advertising agencies and most recently for Nike. In these positions I worked in the startup of a new agency in Moscow and led international advertising campaigns for the biggest of brands. I have done this work as a freelancer for 13 years now, giving me the freedom to travel and experience the world. Usually 9 months’ work, 3 months’ travel.

As such, in 2008, I became a volunteer English teacher for 4 months in Ghana. It was such a life changing experience, it is hard to describe the impact it had on me. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done but also the happiest I have ever been. Such a beautiful people, so much untapped potential. One of the kick starters for me was when the teenage girl in the family I was staying with came up to me and asked to help her set up an account for a European dating site so she could marry a European as that was her only way to success. It was so striking for how girls feel about themselves there. This has not let me go since and after many years of reflection, I have made the step to go to Ghana. To inspire the girls and work with the communities to keep girls in school and as such, unlock their beautiful potential.

Community life competence

Go Girl Ghana uses the Community Life Competence Process (CLCP) from the Constellation as the method to engage community conversation and to motivate them to local response. CLCP and SALT is a method using strengths and mutual learning to motivate communities into local response, which will allow them to take ownership of the issue of girl’s education and come up with their own solutions to create change.

The Constellation is an organisation which has made itself famous with the CLCP since 2004. They first started as a project to counter AIDS in Thailand, now the method is being used worldwide, by different organisations, in several different thematic areas. Currently groups from 68 countries are converting their challenges into action. Worldwide organisations like UNaids and Unicef apply it to motivate communities into local response in their battle against malaria and aids. But other countries apply it to community building and to create more resilience with refugees, youth, schools and job-seekers.

For more information:
http://communitylifecompetence.org