It is with great regret that the Trustees of Friends of Wechiau are announcing the closure of the Friends of Wechiau Group charity later in 2021. This is a consequence of the trustees age profile, our inability to recruit new members or trustees and the lack of a similar charity in the UK to replace us.
We are, however, extremely pleased that Calgary Zoo Foundation (CZF) will be continuing the education programme at the Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary and we have signed an agreement with CZF to facilitate a transition to them managing the programme. We have also issued a joint statement to the Wechiau Community Hippo sanctuary and the scholarship students to explain how we will be working together over the next few months.
The joint statement between FoW and CZF explains how FoW will transfer the management of the education programme to CZF, including the balance of our remaining funds. These funds will be used specifically for the purposes defined by the FoW charitable objects until the balance is spent. This will ensure that any funds previously donated will go towards their original purposes.
FoW have ensured there is sufficient funds in the balance to be transferred for existing Senior High School scholarship students to receive their annual scholarships until they complete their three-year Senior High School education.
We are proud of the work we have done to provide educational scholarships and school supplies to the community at the Wechiau Community Resource Management Area (CREMA), and we thank all the donors to Friends of Wechiau for their contribution over the last 17 years in making this happen. We know this has contributed to making a real difference to the lives of individual people, the community and conservation.
Until we close, we still have responsibility for the education programme for the current academic year. Unfortunately, this has been disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the schools in Ghana being closed from March 2020 until January 2021. We delayed providing the funding for the current academic year until the schools reopened and made our final financial transfers in February and March 2021 for this year’s programme of scholarships and primary school supplies.
We will provide a final report on the work of FoW to our members and supporters once all our funds have been disbursed.
We will not be taking any further donations to Friends of Wechiau from 31st March 2021. We hope to provide information later on how people can continue to support the education programme at the Wechiau CREMA via Calgary Zoo.
We thank everyone who has supported us over the years
On behalf of the Friends of Wechiau Trustees.