Former students of Ebenezer Secondary School in Accra, fondly known as PADUA, are working to raise £1 million as part of a two-year fundraising campaign to renovate the school.
The Padua Regeneration Programme was kickstarted by Padua alumni, under the Padua Innovators Affiliates Club, and aims to revamp the science block, laboratory, the visual arts block, the library as well as creating driveways, a boulevard and car parks.
Since the fundraising campaign was launched in 2020, the school has generated £24,000 via a GoFundMe page. Renovation work has begun to clear overgrown vegetation on the campus, as well as repainting of classroom blocks, installing new signage at the school gates and supplying the school children with new computers, tennis table boards and textbooks.
Donations are being collected by three team fundraisers: Dr William Simmons based in the UK, Lloyd Evans in Ghana and Joe Hammond in the USA. Fundraising is earmarked to end in 2022.
Consultant haematologist Dr Simmons said, on the official Ebenezer Old Student Association Instagram page: “We are determined to persevere until the end, redefining the image of the school, bringing pride to not only the young people but to ourselves and promoting the school beyond the bounds of Accra, Ghana to reach out to the world as a whole.”
Ebenezer Senior High School was founded in 1941 by Robert Teiko Aryee, who was born in 1902 in Accra to Mr Charles Ayi Aryee, a fisherman and Naomi Quarcoo, a trader, according to details on the School's website.
In those days there was no reason to encourage schooling as the people had no role models or money to send their children to school. Mr Aryee decided to change all this by empowering his local community. He started a private school, night school, in a small rented room in the timber market area, on Charles Lane Street, Ayalolo, Accra, with just four students.
By 1947, four out of six students had written the Cambridge School Certificate Examination as private students. Mr Aryee had help from the following pioneering teachers: Mr. E.K.A. Otoo, Joseph Tetteh Taye, Miss Joyce Quartey, Enoch Amui Amoo, Emmanuel Oblitey Amoo, E.M. Oku, Emmanuel Nii Addy and Miss Margaret Ahulu.