12-05-2014 - BBSCF: Start the Cycle of Success in Ghana
Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children's Foundation Start the Cycle of Success in Ghana
Welcome to the Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children's Foundation (BBSCF), a nonprofit organization with operations in the cities of Accra and Ada in Ghana, West Africa. Our mission is to create tomorrow's leaders through education and music. Since our start in 2011, we have built a 5 acre youth center called the Musical Village and currently provide 30 students ages 5 - 15 with a high quality education and music program.
When we talk about our work, we do not talk about ending the cycle of poverty, Instead, we talk about starting the cycle of success. Our goal for 2015 is to start the cycle of success for 10 more students, and we need your help.
Who We Are
BBSCF has two core beliefs that drive everything we do:
1. We believe that education is the path to a productive, fulfilling life
2. Music has the power to connect, inspire and heal
The life experiences of our founders, Brigitte Poublon and Bobby Sherman, truly demonstrate these beliefs. Brigitte used education to lift herself out of poverty and embark on a successful career. Bobby, a popular recording artist in the 1960s and 1970s, personally witnessed the power of music to transform his life and that of his fans.
But why Ghana? Ghana has vast natural resources and a rich cultural heritage, particularly in music. But almost one-third of its citizens live below the international poverty line. Education beyond primary school is not attainable for over 60% of its children.
In Ghana we have found partners who share our vision, ranging from national ministries and local authorities, to tribal chiefs and parents. There are many motivated but underprivileged students with a passion for learning and a will to succeed.
The Musical Village
The heart of our program in Ghana is our youth center, the Musical Village. It is located in Ada, a seaside town about 70 miles from Accra, the capital of Ghana. The Musical Village has 5 buildings: a classroom, dormitory, kitchen, administration building and a pavilion where we hold events and performances. It opened in July 2013 and was constructed with funds from donors in the United States. It is the site of after school tutoring and music lessons for 25 students. We also hold overnight and holiday camps for our students at the Musical Village.
Making an Impact
We consistently measure our students' academic progress in our program and at their schools, and their grades are improving. For example, over the 2013 - 2014 school year, the number of students with "A" or "B" averages increased from 11 students to 14 students.
Also, our students have embraced music and dancing as a form of positive self-expression (and a break from the books!). They regularly perform traditional West African drumming and dancing at BBSCF events in Ghana. We recently hired another music teacher, and they are now learning piano and guitar.
Most importantly, our students' confidence is increasing and their natural curiosity has been ignited. They want to be the first in their families to attend college and become leaders in their communities.
Our Next Phase
Thanks to three years of continued success, we have created a meaningful and inspirational program with a team who can superbly execute it. With the completion of the Musical Village and our enrollment at 30 students, we are ready to expand.
We will begin the process of recruiting 10 new students in April 2015. Prospective new students and their parents will complete an application, provide report cards, and submit reference letters. They will meet with BBSCF teachers and tour the Musical Village. Admission decisions will be finalized by July 2015, and students will begin attending tutoring and music lessons at the Musical Village in August 2015.
The new students will join our current students at the local private school in Ada, at the Asi-Daahey School. We selected the Asi-Daahey School because of its excellent reputation and success at preparing students for secondary school. The cost of tuition for the 2015 - 2016 school year for 10 students is $6,000, or $600 per student.
This is where we need your help!
Any excess funds raised will be used to pay for an additional teacher at the Musical Village. The annual cost of the teacher is $2,300.
Falling short of our goal is not an option. Our team is actively approaching potential supporters in both the U.S. and Ghana to raise the funds needed. We are committed to our students and our team in Ghana, and we will do what it takes to reach this exciting goal!
How You Can Help
Be a part of the cycle of success! Here's what you can do!
Share, tweet and repost this link;
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter;
Sign up for our newsletter on our website;
Make a donation to fund the future of a deserving student and of a nation.
Medaase! Thank You!
Brigitte Poublon - Class of 1975
Terrence Poublon - Class of 1981