For the Programma Uitzending Managers (PUM) Albert and Margreeth Engels from Rockanje are sent to Ghana. Albert gives technical advice to a granite company near Kumasi city. Margreeth visits a few schools. The foundation for the Rockanje School is made this year.

Albert is sent to Ghana for a granite company and Margreeth travels with him. They meet the technical manager of this company, Mr. ET Mensah. In this year specific plans for the school are made.

In the months June, July and August of 1992, Mr. ET Mensah brings, at the expense of the PUM, a visit to the Netherlands and does an internship in some stone-processing companies. He stays with Albert and Margreeth. In September he goes back to Ghana again with Margreeth and Albert. Albert is there for three months to advise a lumberyard in Kumasi.

Albert is sent to the granite company again to lend a helping hand. Mr. ET Mensah tells about the huge problems in the poor district Old Tafo in Kumasi city. On Sundays he is a teacher at the Presbyterian church there. In Old Tafo there is no school. The children wander about on the streets. Albert and Margreeth visit the district Old Tafo and are awed by the misery which they encounter there. Minister Asihene from the Presbyterian church asks for help for all the children on the street.

Magreeth starts the workgroup ‘’Old Tafo’’ with Albert and two friends. Money is collected by selling Ghanaian art objects. The students of the Christian school in Rockanje organize a sponsor run. That money is doubled by the foundation ‘’Wilde Ganzen’’. With this money it’s possible to rebuild an old hangar at the grounds of the Presbyterian church into a kindergarten.
Because of some other important gifts and a house to house collection, the foundation is made for a primary school with 6 classes. The Christian school in Rockanje decides to save for this project. Mr. ET Mensah is appointed as project leader in Ghana.

The primary school is finished and Margreeth is sent by the PUM to start the school. On 15 September the school is opened festively and assigned to the Presbyterian church. Mrs. Mia vd Wijngaart, the treasurer, also attends the festivity. It is her first visit to Ghana. At this official event, the school is named: ‘’Rockanje Presbyterian Experimental School’’ (abbreviation: Rock. Pres. School.).
The Dutch Embassy in Ghana donates de school desks. The school will start with 2 nursery classes and 2 first classes at primary school. Mr. AS Sarkodie is going to be the first principal. A school board and a parents committee are founded.

In Holland the collection continues and information is given to the people of Westvoorne and in its vicinity. The school project becomes widely known. The Dutch Reformed Church in Rockanje makes friends with the Presbyterian Church of Old Tafo.
To also give the children of 12 years and older the opportunity to get an education, it is decided to build another floor on top of the elementary school, which is designated to the Junior Secondary School (JSS), comparable to a 3-year MAVO (Dutch education). The Nationale Commissie voor Duurzame samenwerking en Ontwikkeling (NCDO) doubles all raised funds.

On the 15th of September the school is opened in the presence of the entire work group. A container with educational tools and school supplies is shipped. The foundation "Gered Gereedschap" donates 10 crates of refurbished tools. The J.S.S. starts with 2 first classes and new teachers are appointed, including a computer teacher. The municipality Westvoorne decides to give the school an annual subsidy of 1000 guilders for the maintenance of the buildings. In Kumasi the Rock. Pres. school is now already known as one of the best schools. The school gets an own telephone connection.

At the start of 1999 the RockPres school receives the second prize in the competition that was held in 1998 between all schools of Kumasi. The school counts now has 650 students and there are 24 staff members. In Rockanje (Holland) the ''Rockanje school trust fund” is founded , with the purpose to support the poorest children with paying their school fees, so that they can stay at school (also see the homepage school trust fund for further information). The old nursery becomes too small and for the kindergarten classes there is also no more room in the primary school. The Union for Christian Education and the Christian school together want to help in the area to build a new kindergarten. The costs are estimated around 30.000 guilders. The foundation for this school is made. The workgroup Old Tafo is busy again to collect the money to build a Technical Youth Center (craft guild school) where the children from Rock Pres.school, and the youth of Old Tafo as well, can learn a profession. The NCDO provides supports again and doubles the funds. The Parent and Teachers Association of the school has saved money and is going to place a kitchen building where
the meals for the school children can be prepared. All of this now still happens outside underneath the almond tree.

The construction of the Technical Youth Center has some delay in the beginning. The foundation has to be moved because of a road that runs behind the school. This road should be preserved for the public. The costs for the construction of this center are estimated at 38.000 guilders. Half of the amount will be paid by the NCDO. The fund raising campaigns of the workgroup go very well and the rest of the amount is gathered. In July another container is shipped to Old Tafo. This time it is mainly technical goods for the furnishing of the Technical Youth Center. The transport company "De Rijke" in Spijkenisse donates many useful things, among which a workbench, and provides transport of the container to the harbour. With great interest the school receives the container in September.

Also in September, Albert and Margreeth are sent by the PUM again for this project. Albert provides technical advice on the completion and furnishing of the center. This time Margreeth is occupied with setting up a small school library and videotape library. They also have to unpack the items from the container and give them a place. In October the Technical Youth centre is officially opened. The two other members of the workgroup, the ladies M. v.d. Wijngaart (treasurer) and L. de Rijke (general assistant), went to Ghana for this purpose for two weeks. The center will get the official name: ‘’Oostvoorne Youth Technical Resource Centre". The principal, Mr. A.S. Sarkodie, will leave the school to study at the university of Kumasi. His function will be filled temporarily by the deputy-principal Mrs. Beatrice Akyiaa.

The prices in Ghana have risen considerably and the prices for the building materials as well. The budget of gl. 30.000,- for the construction of the new kindergarten has been exceeded because of this. Fortunately, the group received a significant private donation, which can be used to finance the expensive roof of the school. The Christian elementary school “Tintestein” in Tinte is launching a campaign for the school in Ghana and promises to adopt the new kindergarten with a nursery.
In May and June there will be an important campaign in Brielle. The goal is to raise money to build toilets for the pupils of the school in Ghana. The campaign, named "Hoge Nood", is an initiative of the “Chr. Jongerenwerk van de Hervormde Kerk” (Chr. Youth of the Reformed Church) in Brielle, directed by the Tolhoek family. On the 7th of June, this campaign ended with a charity run for children and a real auction. With several major donations, including the one from the Reformed Church in Brielle, we have reached the fine amount of gl.5000,- This amount will be doubled by the foundation “Wilde Ganzen” (Wild Geese). The construction of the toilet blocks has now been initiated.
On Wednesday, the 11th of July, the work Group Old Tafo received ten computers (still as good as new) as a gift
from Rabobank Westvoorne.
On the 15th of September, the new industrial building of the company "Tuinderij Vers" will be opened in a festive way in Brielle. The management has pledged that any donations will benefit this project for the Westvoorne schools and willl be spent entirely on the design of the new kitchen and the improvement of school meals for children. On the 26th of September they will hand over the great amount of gl.30.000,- to the work group.
On the 28th of September, Albert and Margreeth will be employed by the P.U.M. for two months to advise the school. Along on our travels came our treasurer Ms. Mia from the “Wijngaart”, and this year for the first time, Ms. Jolanda Tolhoek, teacher at the "Tintestein". As teacher she will represent her school at the official opening of the new school for toddlers in Old Tafo. On the 6th of October, this new building will be opened officially in an African way and will be named: "Tinte Presbyterian Nursery and Kindergarten". The presence of the new Chief of Old Tafo, with his followers, will add an extra festive and colorful touch to this opening ceremony. Besides the new place for the toddlers, the new kitchen building, which was built by the PTA, will be opened on that date. It will be named: "Kitchen Fresh", in gratitude to the management and relations of "Tuinderij Vers" in Brielle. On the 24th of November the new toilet blocks for the school will be opened. These toilets don’t need water, but work with a septic tank. For girls and boys there are five restrooms in each building. Due to the initiative of the youth in Brielle in collaboration with the Foundation "Wilde Ganzen", these toilets will be named the “Brielle Boys and Girls Corner”. On both sides of the toilet the logo of the "Wilde Ganzen” is painted.

After all the construction activities these past years, this becomes the year of peace. Much remains to be completed and finished. Also, the new headmaster needs to get the opportunity to master the details of the job. He will also follow a computer course this year. In January, the toilets and showers in the Technical youth area are tiled.
On the 19th of July the Rockanje school throws a farewell party for the first group of children from the Junior Secondary School, who passed and will leave the school. Some children will continue their studies at the Senior Secondary School (similar to Dutch HAVO) in the city. Children who, for whatever reason, cannot continue their studies, can still learn a profession at the technical Oostvoorne Youth Centre. All children who passed receive a certificate of Rockanje school as a token. The graduates will also receive a gift from the Netherlands.
On the 1st of August, the name of our "Werkgroep Old Tafo" (workgroup Old Tafo) changed into "Stichting Old Tafo" Ghana school project. We made this decision, not only for fiscal reasons, but also to guarantee the progress of this school project for the future. The foundation "Old Tafo" school project Ghana is registered under number 24337710 at the Chamber of Commerce in Rotterdam

The construction of the second floor on the "Oostvoorne" Technical Youth Centre is progressing well. They hope to finish this construction in February. Of course, finishing and furnishing the classrooms will take some more time. Two of the classrooms will be utilized for the computer courses, which the youth of Old Tafo can also join. Here the ten computers will be used that were donated to the Rockanje school by the Rabobank. On the whole everything is funded by the foundation "Oikonomos”.
Another pleasant announcement; the foundation "Tien procent" in Rockanje has decided to fund the installation of the water pump for the school. A water pump will cut down expenses for the school. Water is expensive in Ghana and the water supply company recently doubled the rates. The pump comes with a tank and will be installed near the kitchen. The groundwater has been studied and is suitable for drinking. Altogether it will cost about 2000 Euros.
On the 20th of November, the computers of the Rabobank were officially handed over to the school committee, and at the same time the library and the kindergarten playground were opened. Again a festive event with important educational administrators, parents, teachers, students, television and press who were all present.

The new classes of the kindergarten, the waterpump and the computer center are officially opened. Ab and Margreeth make preparations to furnish a school clinic and provide information about the disease malaria. We start with tiling the school ground. The family Varekamp finances everything.
In the Netherlands a capital gain campaign starts with the Wild Geese Foundation to raise money for the purchase of 1200 mosquito nets, medicines, and medical equipment.
Ab and Margreeth both receive a royal honor.
The capital gain campaign becomes a great success.
Visiting the school: Ab and Margreeth will travel with their son Frank and committee members Mrs. van de Wijngaart and Mrs. de Rijke. At the same time Fritz Los also goes to Ghana to volunteer at the Rockanjeschool. Frank Engels reorganizes the computer center and the school is connected to the Internet and provides information to the teachers how to deal with it. He also installs a webcam.
The Manzana school clinic is officially opened.
A beginning is made with setting up a school store.
For a few very talented, but poor children, who aren’t able to continue learning, the scholarship fund is created.
The mosquito nets are distributed to all students and teachers. All medicines and medical equipment have arrived safely. Frits Los provides the playground of lines in order to do all kinds of ball games. He also buys more game material and new table tennis tables on his own expenses.

First of all I want to tell you that we haven’t experienced any serious illnesses or deaths among the students this year. This is mainly because all the students now sleep under a mosquito net at night and also the school clinic plays an important role in the improved health condition of the children.
The campaign “A net for each bed”, which we held in 2004 with the Wilde Ganzen to fight malaria, has become a great success partly due to your financial support.
At school, mosquito nets are now being sold to new students, but also to the local population of the district Old Tafo. Malaria is still a disease that claims 3000 lives every day. Ninety percent of all malaria cases occur in Africa. A quarter of this consists of mainly children younger than five years. Malaria claims over one million lives each year. Malaria causes more deaths than AIDS.
At the Rockanje school we continue providing information and selling mosquito nets (± €4.00 a piece). At least it is a start and we hope that other schools in Kumasi will follow the example of the Rockanje school.

The year 2006 was all about the 10th anniversary of the Rockanje School.
On 17th September a group of 15 persons, consisting of board members, sponsors and interested people from the Netherlands and even Australia and America, travelled to Ghana to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the school. They brought a wonderful gift with them, namely the school bus. This second-hand Mercedes Benz bus accommodates 38 people and is in very good condition. The bus was purchased in Ghana with the money from our foundation "Old Tafo”. The money was collected in 2005 and 2006 in the municipality Westvoorne and in the vicinity in collaboration with the foundation "Wilde Ganzen" who added a premium value to it.

The bus is very important for the many children who live far away and have to walk hours in the hot sun before they are at school. This problem is now solved. At the anniversary party were, besides the parents, also students, interested people, and other important people such as the Minister of Social Affairs and a representative of the Ministry of Education, a substitute for the Ashanti king, the mayor of Kumasi, a delegate from the Dutch Embassy, the Chief of Old Tafo and the board and church leaders of the Presbyterian Church. A highlight was also that the group of party-goers were invited to the palace of King Atumfuo Osei Tutu the second, and the king of the Ashanti tribe.

The king, according to the protocol, doesn’t speak to the people very often. but now he even took the floor for himself and praised the initiative of our foundation. He thought that the Rockanje School was a model for other schools in his district.
But more things happened this year. The construction of six new classes, on top of the existing "Tinte" kindergarten, went well thanks to a large financial gift from one of our sponsors. The school, which is built in a "U" shape, now has two floors.

This year our board was expanded with three persons, namely Mr and Mrs Jaap en Truus Varekamp from Brielle, who will now take the responsibility of the fundraising. Frank Engels from Hellevoetsluis also joined, who will have several tasks, among which being "webmaster" and arranging the public relations of the school. The board now consists of seven persons.

This year had a very special start, because the government of Ghana has chosen a new structure of education. It’s quite a radical change for all schools in Ghana. The change means that primary school now begins with two years of nursery school and six years of primary school. Afterwards, the students can go to the 3-year Junior High School (formerly Junior Secondary School). This 3-year education will also be taught at the Rockanje school. When the children want to continue studying, they can go to the Senior High School (formerly Senior Secondary School), which has four grades now. Usually these are boarding schools. Most of these S.H. Schools in Kumasi city are overcrowded and only accept gifted students with high final grades. Children with less capacities are placed in villages around the city or even sent to distant places in the country. At the end of the primary school the students not only have to gain knowledge in the subjects reading, language and math, but they also have to learn technical and vocational skills. That is because there are quite a lot of children who may not or cannot continue their studies after primary school.

10 new Pentium 4 computers with matching TFT screens and accessories arrived safely at school in the first week of August and were connected by Reinier Plum.
On 01/10/2007 our founder and chairman of Foundation "Old Tafo", Mr. A. D. Engels, suddenly passed away. It was a huge shock to family, friends and acquaintances. Albert Engels was 77 years old.

This year the school received a second water pump through the efforts of Elizabeth Lergner, one of the volunteers. A second waterpump was also donated by the foundation 10% in Rockanje. The second floor on top of the kindergarten was finished. A "Safety man" was appointed to make sure the children are safe at the school and also when they are crossing the busy traffic road.
All students of Junior High School Rockanje passed this year. Most of them will continue the study in September 2008 at the Senior High School.

The new sponsor coordinator, Mr. Alex Ofosu, was hired to improve the contact with the school.
The primary school and Junior High School currently have 1423 students in total. Due to this large number of students the government has decided to hire a second principal.
Thus, Mrs. Evelyn Abunyewa Siaw entered the school on 16 September. Henceforth she will be in charge of the nursery, the kindergarten, and the elementary school.

In the past few months our foundation received some important donations from businesses in the region and we decided to use this money to tile the floors of the classrooms.
The cement of the floors had become so worn over the years, that in some classrooms large holes appeared in the floor. Very dangerous of course for teachers and students. By tiling the floors now, they will last for another long while.
In the holiday they finished painting the school. Tiling the classrooms is also, besides a few offices, completely done now. It's a great improvement. The classrooms are not as stuffy as they used to be and easier to clean. So it’s much more hygienic. Many children from Old Tafo suffer from asthma and the dusty classrooms did them no good. So we hope that these students will benefit from this.
On Sunday, 7 December 2008, there were new presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana. Current President John Kufuor was no longer eligible after two terms of office. Everything went very peacefully and Ghana showed yet again to be the most stable country in Africa . The declaration of the polls on 7 December left us with no clear winner, which made a second round necessary on 27 December. Eventually, Mr. Atta Mills won the presidency.

With already a few weeks of economic recession behind us, our foundation Old Tafo has fortunately not suffered that much from the crisis yet. Only a few people were forced to withdraw their sponsorship, but also new sponsors have already registered who want to take over the care of these children.
Since the cost of living in Ghana has become more expensive lately, the kitchen also needs more money to afford the ingredients. Recently, the parents have been asked to pay a little bit more for the meal, namely 15 cedis. This has caused quite a lot of protests from parents who have multiple children at the school. The agreement is now that they must pay 15 cedis a day for the first child and 10 cedis a day for the other children in the family. The Parent Council agreed with this.
March 2009, The Rockanje school exists 12 and a half years this month!!

At the “Bos and Burchtfair” in Oostvoorne of Saturday 29th of May 2009, different farmers and gardeners from Voorne-Putten have once again made a special effort for the Rockanje school in Ghana. They didn’t only deliver free flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables for this charity, but the P.R. commission and their sales team even helped to sell all of this. Consequently, the result at the end of the day was fantastic! The profit of their sales was a good €2811,40! The money will partly be used to repair the roof of the school.

This year the school is already 14 years old and the building has a lot to endure under the hot tropical sun. The repair has already been started so the children in the classrooms will stay dry before the heavy showers of this season are coming.
In March, the students of the highest class of the Junior High school have been busy taking their final exams. The official results and grading lists will probably be announced in January or February, when the Board of Examiners has finished reviewing the exams for all of English speaking West Africa.

We are very grateful that at the end of 2009 there will be 119 sponsors who altogether support 195 children of the Rockanjeschool. The number of children who have registered is now officially 1420. Of course there are still children around who we do teach, but who have not officially registered yet because of financial problems of their parents or the people that take care of them. These children can also not participate in school activities and will be sent home in case the inspection drops by. So we will continue to look for sponsors for these poorest children.



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