Our Relationship with Dreamland School
Repton has held a relationship with the Dreamland School in Ghana since 2011 when we first supported the Dreamland School as our Lent Term Charity. Dreamland is located in the centre of Ghana in the region of Akumadan, and was founded by James Dugger, a Pastor who wanted to provide cheaper education for disadvantaged children and orphans. It initially sprang to life through some informal teaching under two trees before the school was established and progressed to house larger classes in a basic wooden structure. Recently the school has developed to be able to offer more students an education in substantial buildings with the help of Repton School, the Pass it On charity, and a donor from Jersey.
Edward, a student, writes in a letter to Repton that ‘education is the best tool to change the world’; certainly, at the age of 14, we have never witnessed a student so focused upon learning all he can. He has now left Dreamland to attend a local Senior High School, set on his mission to become a doctor.
Each year a number of pupils are chosen to travel out to Ghana for ten days. They spend several days at the school, becoming involved in various projects, leading and team teaching some lessons in English, and building relationships with Dreamland's students. They also become immersed in Ghanaian culture, and have the opportunity to visit places of historical importance such as Elmina Slave Castle. These chosen students also take a leading role in fundraising ahead of the trip, and they then choose how to spend this money themselves. The students paid for a building to be used as an internet café to provide internet for staff and students, and to gain a sustainable source of income for the school from the community. They also funded the Junior High School students’ first school trip to a local waterfall – it was a really special event to see Dreamland hold its first school excursion. We have also helped to construct and organise a library which the students are starting to use with more confidence.
After three years of fundraising, planning and building the Junior High School is now complete. This has been entirely funded by donations from Repton students, parents and friends and without the enthusiasm and passion for the project, this may never have become a reality. The building itself consists of six new classrooms, allowing the school to expand both in numbers and to reduce their huge class sizes. This will provide a better quality of teaching and learning and will help Dreamland to continue to produce aspirational and inspirational students.
Using some of the fundraising money from the students who went on last summer’s trip, we have been able to purchase bicycles for some of the students and staff who live furthest away from the school. Some of these students were walking over five miles each morning and evening, ensuring that they were in school for 7.30am! These bicycles will only temporarily solve problems but we are looking at purchasing more in the future.