As an umbrella organisation we represent 5 subsidiary partners.
School for Life (SfL) started in 1995, springing from cooperation on rural development between the Northern region-based civil society organization; Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) and a Danish NGO, Ghana Friends (GV). The partners saw education as a pillar of development and at the same time realized that there were serious challenges to education performance in deprived parts of Ghana.
School for Life works to strengthen civil society’s role in improving access to relevant quality basic education by functioning as a lead organization in delivery, demonstrating and advocating for mother tongue based complementary basic education in underserved areas of Ghana. The approach comprises organising community-based functional literacy classes for out-of-school children between the ages of 8 and 14 years, and having instructions for them in the learners' first language for nine months. Other features of the approach include flexible learning hours, learner-centred approach, community-driven management and curriculum based on the learners' environment. After nine months of instruction, grandaunts are able to enrol in Primary 4 in the formal school. School for Life turns out well over10,000 learners on average per year. In the 18 years life of School for Life, nearly 200,000 children have learned to read and write. More than 80% of these have enrolled into the formal, which otherwise would not have been the case.
Based on the documentation of best practices, the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Alliance has influenced the Ministry of Education to adopt and develop Complementary Basic Education Policy. With the support of DfID and other partners, GES started a nationwide rollout of the CBE policy implementation in 2015. The School for Life model of Complementary Basic Education (CBE) can support to improve access to quality education at primary level. The program is aimed at giving out of school children beyond school starting age an opportunity to attain basic literacy and numeracy in their mother tongue. School for Life has stepped up its role of service delivery to include advocacy for changes in educational policy to ensure that access to relevant quality basic education is improved in Northern Ghana.
Changing Lives in Innovative Partnerships (CLIP)
The Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), legally registered with the Registrar General Department of Ghana in Accra since August, 1997 with registration number CG063852016 (old RGD number G.2382). It is one of the subsidiary organizations of the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA). However, it operates as an independent registered organization with its own management and staff and a governing board of directors with defined governance roles.
The organization envisions “a society free of hunger, with access to potable water and sanitation in a sustainable environment”. As part of its experience in community development and empowerment, it works to enhance the livelihoods of vulnerable rural communities in Northern Ghana, through provision of potable water, hygiene and sanitation, food security and sustainable environmental management interventions for development.
The organization has and maintains a seven member board of directors known as the Technical Committee with defined governance practices. The Technical Committee oversees the policies, programmes, and organizational operations, including review of achievement of strategic goals, financial status, and management performance. The organization is accomplished at recruiting, developing, and retaining capable staff and technical resources.
CLIP currently operates within two thematic areas thus, and then promotion, that demonstrates tangible outcomes that are commensurate with resources invested.The organization utilizes programme evaluation results to inform its strategic goals.It also has formal mechanisms for assessing internal and external factors that affect achievement of goals.The organization is well acknowledged by its stakeholders as an active participant and organizer in the districts and especially at the community level where it maintains strong connections with its constituents.It participates in strategic alliances and partnerships (WASH Net, Ghana WASH Alliance, CONIWAS, RICCS, Ghana CAN, and FOODSPAN) that significantly advance its goals and expand its influence.
Community Based Organization - Local Organization and Mobilization (CBO-LOM)
The Community Based Organization - Local Organization and Mobilization (CBO-LOM) Unit evolved in GDCA Secretariat in 2004 as part of a restructuring process dubbed “Organisational Development” (OD), undertaken by GDCA and its Danish counterpart; the Ghana Friends (GV) in 2000. The CBO Network, which is a mass organization for GDCA was initiated as a Network of CBOs and established in 2004. The Network of CBOs, involving CBOs associated with GDCA programmes as well as those of other programmes, forms the mass organisation for GDCA and at the same time, work to ensure the continued delivery of development services in an integrated manner in the communities.
The Unit works with the objective of improving the capacities of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Local Non-Governmental Organizations (LNGOs) as well as women and youth groups, to hold public office holders accountable and to lead in the development of their communities. The overall strategy is local organization of the CBO Networks at the Community, Area, District and Regional levels through capacity building of these networks to become more conscious of the rights associated with policies and issues that affect community development. The Networks are expected to use the increased awareness to act through advocacy and engagement with duty bearers for improved living conditions in their communities. The unit is also engrossed in conflict prevention and peace promotion.
The Unit started with the implementation of the CBO Network project in 2004. In July 2006, the CBO Network Project became known as the CBO Empowerment Project and by January 2010, the project was transformed into the Local Organization and Mobilization (LOM) Subcomponent under the Empowerment for Life (E4L) Programme Phase I. The CBO-LOM Unit has presence in a total of fourteen (19) Districts in Northern region of Ghana in two corridors namely; Eastern and Western corridors.
Dalun Simli Centre
The Centre is a community-based rural training centre located 30 km outside Tamale in the Kumbungu District. The Centre provides facilities for vocational and skills training in carpentry, masonry, dress-making, metal work and agro-processing.
It is also suitable to be used as a venue for training of community development workers, young people, farmers and women groups. It is a convenient venue for company retreats because of the serene and quiet environment. It is also a good destination for holiday and study tours, with opportunities to visit places and installations such as the White Volta, the water intake point and Head works for the Tamale water supply system, and the Bontanga Irrigation facility.
The Centre provides opportunity for direct contact with local people, artisanal works and cultural practices and festivals.
Simli Radio is the first community radio station to be established in Northern Ghana since 1995. The station enjoys a high level of listenership as a result of adopting participatory programme production and broadcast, and focusing on real local issues.
It provides a platform community voices to be heard as they contribute to debate on national issues. The station produces and broadcasts approximately 2,000 programmes a year. Priority areas are Agriculture and Climate Change, Education, Health, Governance, Gender, Civic awareness and indigenous knowledge, practice and skills.