June 23, 2023

A delegation from Students Bridging the Information Gap (SBIG) joined by Ghanaian collaborators, visited Ghana from June 1-5, 2023, to provide ongoing support to four schools and orphanages in different parts of the country and celebrate SBIG’s 15th anniversary.

Founded in 2008 in Summit, New Jersey as a charitable organization, SBIG has as its primary focus to provide computer labs and related equipment for learning labs and age-appropriate reading materials for libraries which annually benefit over 2,000 students in Ghana. To date, SBIG has raised over $450,000 and provided 5 computer labs and libraries. Schools visited and donations were made this trip to Offin Children’s Center and Blessed Child School (Blessed Child) in Offinso District near Kumasi; New Life International Children’s Home and Orphanage (New Life) in Ansepatu near Cape Coast; In My Father’s House (IMFH) in Abor, Volta Region; and the Baptist School Complex and Orphanage (BASCO) in Trotor near Koforidua.

During the most recent visit, SBIG contributed $65,000 in computer equipment and related accessories.   The installation of this equipment and training was provided by the staff of TECHAiDE including FJ Cava, Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Eghan Ekuban, Content & Training Manager and Newton Obro, IT Manager https://techaide.global/.

The Ghanaian collaborators were led by Anthony Appiah who arranged on the ground logistics in Ghana for the trip along with introductions to academics at the University of Ghana to further develop local Ghanaian support for the ongoing needs of SBIG-supported schools and orphanages in Ghana.  The team was joined in the celebrations of the computer lab dedications by a number of dignitaries, including at In My Father’s House in Abor, Volta Region: Member of Parliament the Honorable Kwame Dzidzorli Gakpey and the MCE, the Honorable Emmanuel Gemegah; at Blessed Child School in Offinso District, Ashante Region: the MCE for Offinso Municipal, the Honorable Kingsley Owusu Appiah, the Offinso Director of the Ghana Education Service, Mrs. Gladys Kwakye, the Headmaster of Blessed Child School, Mr. F.K. Mensah and the School Founder, Madame Mary Hilda Osei.

Despite the successes noted, SBIG and the orphanages and schools it has supported face numerous challenges, including the economic impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and mobilizing resources to support ongoing operational costs.  The SBIG team had a particular emphasis on this trip on developing a more robust network of local individual and organizational collaborators and identifying potential local fundraising options.

In that regard, the SBIG team met with Professor Kobby Mensay, Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Ghana Business School.  He commented that “it is important that we [Ghanaians] start taking responsibilities of our own future, especially our own capital development if we want to ensure a sustained pattern of growth as required by the SDG 4. This requires active local corporate support in the direction of corporate responsibilities.  This is why the Students Bridging the Information Gap initiative must be supported by well-meaning local businesses, who have distinguished themselves as active corporate Citizens.”

At the conclusion of the trip SBIG founding Board member Mr. Richard Killian said, “It has been our privilege and joy to return to Ghana and visit the teachers, staff, students and residents of the organizations with whom we partner. It was particularly gratifying to see the demonstrations of computer skills by children at the different locations we visited. Looking to the future, we want to develop a stronger support network in Ghana and assist our local partners with strategies for self-sufficiency and sustainability.”

For more information on SBIG and how you can help or donate to SBIG, please visit our website at https://www.sbigonline.org or contact Richard Killian at richardkillianSBIG@gmail.com