The Friends of Wechiau Group is deregistered as a charity and is no longer taking donations or providing an education programme. The scholarship programme however will continue, and will be managed by the Calgary Zoo Foundation.

Closure of Friends of Wechiau

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

Ann Bannister

On behalf of the Friends of Wechiau Trustees.

Past FoW Scholarship Student Graduates with Masters Degree

Friends of Wechiau are extremely proud of Hassan Vampere, who recently graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University as a Master of Philosophy in Disability, Rehabilitation and Development. Hassan received a scholarship from Friends of Wechiau to study at Senior High School, followed by a scholarship to study for his first degree. Hassan continued his studies to obtain a Masters degree with the support of the Business Council for Africa (West Africa Branch).

Schools go back in Ghana

It is good news that young people returned to kindergarten, primary, junior and senior high schools last week after a break for most students since March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Friends of Wechaiu are pleased that the 4 students that were newly selected to receive Senior High Schools scholarships last March, received their money last week.

A sudden death of WCHS beloved uncle Meteu Naa

A Big Tree Has Fallen.

On behalf of the Wechiau Naa, Patrons of the WCHS, CREMA Executive Committee WCHS, Staff, all people of the Sanctuary Area wish to officially inform you on the sudden death of our beloved Chief, Father, Uncle, Husband, Grand father, Mentor, Former Treasurer of the WCHS, Life Patron of the WCHS, He was a father to all, great leader, Mentor to all and a community giant who stood in to help solve many of our problems. He passed on yesterday at around 11:00am. May His Soul Rest in Perfect Peace.
Funeral Arrangement
1. Burial was done yesterday 14/07/2019
2. Community gathering to Arrange the funeral 15/07/20193. 3rd day funeral Rites 17/07/20194. 7th day funeral Rites 21/07/20195. 12th day funeral Rites 26/07/20196. 40 days funeral Rites will be in August, 2019 which is the Biggest event, the date and day will be communicated to you all.
Thanks to you all and best wishes, please let us spread this unfortunate news to any one whom you think is not on the like but related to the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary and the Late Meteu Naa one way or the other.
R Y Abudulai IssahakuManager, WCHS

Lord Paul Boateng endorses Friends of Wechiau Annual Report

We have recently had a wonderful endorsement to our Annual report for 2018/19 from The Rt Hon the Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley, formerly Chief Secretary of Her Majesty’s Treasury and High Commissioner to South Africa, see below …..
“Small locally based charities with a focus on community to community support have a continuing and important role to play in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.  Significantly they also build global solidarity from the grass roots.  Governments come and go but peoples and their relationships remain.  Growing up in Ghana and having lived and worked in both the U.K. and Africa I know just how much the shared bonds of common humanity between peoples matters in transforming the lives of donors and beneficiaries alike.  Friends of Wechiau is a small charity that punches above its weight with a welcome focus on outcomes and impact. The needs it meets are real and ongoing and its work deserves to flourish.  I wish Friends of Wechiau continuing success.”
Read the Annual Report for yourself and see the achievements of Friends of Wechiau and a summary of the results of a recent evaluation of the scholarship programme undertaken by students at Vancouver Island University.

Great News -some fantastic new donations!

A big thank you to the Royal Over-Seas League Taunton who adopted Friends of Wechiau to be the beneficiary for their fund-raising efforts  last year. They raised the huge sum of £1,220 which will go towards providing more educational scholarships and school supplies for young people living at the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary.

Six new scholarship students selected

This year there was considerable competition for the Friends of Wechiau Senior High School scholarships, with 30 applicants from 8 different primary schools.

It is good to see how primary education in the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary has expanded over the years, with more young people coming forward to extend their education.  This year six students were selected to receive scholarships which will assist them in their studies away from their home.  Although the Ghanaian Government now pays the school fees for senior high school there are still additional costs and the scholarship are important to enable these young people to concentrate on their studies. Only one young women out of the six, this year, achieved high enough grades to be considered for a scholarship which demonstrates there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality. But we will continue to promote more women to succeed in their studies.

Wechiau Girls Model School presented with educational materials

In Apiril 2019, much needed schools supplies were presented to the students of Wechiau Girls Model School at a Parents and Teachers Association meeting. Each year Friends of Wechiau send money to buy some educational materials for one primary school chosen by the Wechiau CREMA Executive Board. You can see the presentation watch by students, parents and teachers in these photographs.

school supplies April 19


Seasons Greetings from Friends of Wechiau

The trustees of Friends of Wechiau wish everyone  well over the festive season and for the forthcoming year.
We have had a good year with very positive results from the evaluation of the scholarship programme by a student from Vancouver Island  University, Canada. Also a big thank you to the Taunton Branch of the Royal Over-Seas League who adopted Friends of Wechiau for their charity fundraising for the year.  You can read more about the evaluation and our ongoing work in our latest newsletter (click the link)
If you would like to donate to Friends of Wechiau follow the link  Donate