Questions and Answers
What is Awaso Academy International ?
It is Father Paul Mensah’s dream of ending the cycle of poverty in his home village of Awaso, Ghana by establishing a private, independent, K-9 school that is open to all students regardless of their gender, ethnicity and faith. The school will help prepare Awaso children for higher education so they can ultimately compete for jobs within their chosen field.
Who is Fr. Paul?
Fr. Paul Mensah is an ordained priest, incardinated in the Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese of Ghana. Fr. Paul has a B.A. degree in Philosophy and Masters of Arts degrees in Divinity, Spirituality and Educational Administration. Fr. Paul understands the needs of the children and the school is open to all children who are motivated to learn regardless of background.
Where is Awaso Village?
It is a small village located in the western region of Ghana, West Africa.
Who is helping Father Paul realize his dream?
Three groups have been established to help raise money to build and maintain Awaso International Academy. The first is headquartered in Drayton Valley, AB, Canada (awasoacademy.ca) and the second in San Jose, CA. USA (awasohope.com/). The third group is the ACAFAAI Foundation in Ghana.
How can I donate?
Thank you for your interest! A cheque can be sent to:
Drayton Valley, Alberta T7A 1S3
We are Incorporated under the Societies Act, Access # 5016395328 Dated Nov 3, 2011.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, Our Charitable Foundation Number is: 83050-8354-RR0001
How much of the money I donate goes directly to the school?
The foundation is run by volunteers. 100% of your funds go directly to the school. Volunteers pay thru donation for their own transportation to Ghana and the vast majority of administration expenses are covered by separate offsetting donations.
Background: Fr. Paul
Father Paul Mensah came from the western region of Ghana. He was the youngest of seven children, the only one in his family to have gone on to college, receiving a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Philosophy and a Masters of Arts degree in Divinity. He was ordained and incardinated into the Sekondi-Takoradi diocese on July 28, 1990, in Ghana. Later he traveled to minister in Nova Scotia and Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada. He moved to San Jose, CA and continued his studies at Santa Clara University in California and received two more Masters of Arts degrees in Spirituality and Educational Administration. Father Paul had American citizenship after having lived and served as a priest in California for 10 years but moved back to Ghana to help his people in 2010.
Father Paul, was the visionary and anchor of this project, was born on January 15, 1961, in Awaso, Ghana and managed and oversaw the project until his death August 2021. He established a non-profit society in Ghana, ACAFAAI Foundation, complete with a board of directors and a constitution registered with the Government of Ghana, to partner with Awaso Canadian Academy Foundation for the development of the campus facilities and the operating costs of the school.
Awaso is a village of 6,000 people located in the western region of Ghana, West Africa. This is a community whose livelihood is provided mainly through sustenance farming. It also has a bauxite mining company. Those working in the mine are paid approximately $2.00 per day.
Awaso has no running water, but has a few community wells. Some families collect rain water from their roofs during the rainy season. However, during the dry season mine dust pollutes the water.
Most children attend local village schools through Junior High but do not continue on to High School because they lack adequate academic preparation and because the high schools are located far outside the community.
Awaso International Academy will prepare students for Higher Education so they can ultimately compete for jobs in their chosen fields.
The academy is being built in phases with the first phase completed July 2010 and classes for pre-school and kindergarten starting that September. Each year thereafter we added one grade level.
The academy is now full curriculum up to grade 9 with 324 students enrolled. Phase 2 included the principal’s house, a dining hall, outdoor cooking facility and a storage compartment made from the sea can we sent over school supplies in 2011. Phase 3 was a 2nd water well, vegetable garden, goat & sheep paddock and a poultry shelter for turkey and chickens. Phase 4 was a farmer’s residence, outdoor water closet with shower for farm workers, citrus orchard, plantain trees and 2 fish ponds for catfish or tilapia. Phase 5 was a junior high building with classrooms, science lab, home Economics room and staff room; road infrastructure and machine shelter for the equipment and 3 busses. Phase 6 was a commercial bakery building complete with equipment to bake sufficient bread each day for 350 people with extra to sell to the local community including washroom facilities for the bakers. The parent association built a gazebo on the perimeter fence where people can gather and purchase bakery goods. Phase 7 is being completed which is the teacher accommodations with 8 two bedroom units in 2 buildings sharing a common courtyard which will be completed in 2021.
AFAFAAI Foundation is the registered charity in Ghana that operates the school. It has a 15 member board consisting of parents of students, local bauxite mine employee, representative of local tribal chief, representative of local tribal queens, members of teaching staff, professional education advisor from Accra, and Father Paul Agyeman-Duah Mensah as chair.