Dolphin gives two iconic Accra schools facelift
Private Odartey Lamptey Memorial Junior High School, named after one of the casualties in the 28th February, 1948 crossroad shooting incident, and the 28th February KG and Primary School are located in the heart of Accra off the John Attah Mills High Street, few meters from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The schools, despite their iconic names and strategic location, have their buildings adorned in dirt, crying for a facelift. The schools, located on the same compound, could boast of a broken gate making it a thoroughfare for both squatters and unwelcome visitors alike.
It appeared no one cared about these particular schools especially about their appearance. But ETG Integrated Services (Dolphin), a global communications carrier and operator of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system in West Africa, saw the needs of the schools which it shares same vicinity with.
Although Dolphin has been in operation for barely three years, it was determined to make impact in the lives of people within the communities they operate in. The landing site of the ultramodern ACE cable is few meters away from the Private Odartey Lamptey and the 28th February Primary schools and without waiting for the school to make an SOS call, the Management of Dolphin last year opted to undertake an assessment of the school’s needs – which somehow seem enormous.
According to Doris Somuah Asante, Finance and Admin Manager at Dolphin, that assessment tour indicated that not only do the two schools have building structures cladded in dirt needing a facelift, the gates to the compound was broken and there were no immediate plans to fix it – obviously for lack of funds.
The schools located within the precincts of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly serve the needy community of James Town, Swalaba, Akoto Lante and other adjoining communities. Resources that flow from government coffers barely covers operational expenses thus leaving little to undertake such renovations.
Mr. Jojo Anaman, Assistant Headmaster of the Private Odartey Lamptey Memorial JHS pointed out although the school succeeded in establishing an agreement with the parents and guardians to pay a paltry levy to provide some funds to renovate some aspects of the school, the levies were not forthcoming leaving the school authorities distressed.
Fortunately for the school, its unfortunate outward appearance was enough to draw the attention of Dolphin which quickly move in to restore the school’s glory.
Mrs. Somuah Asante stated that the company did not just give the two schools school a facelift by painting the entire structures but also restored their connection to the national electricity grid which has been down for over three years.
The scope of work to be done on the school was so expanse that it had to be updated. For instance while works on the renovation were ongoing, it came out that a computer laboratory setup by the University of Ghana lacked furniture rendering it unusable.
Again, the Dolphin team elected to provide 24 chairs rather than the 12 chairs the school had requested for, a feat that the school’s Assistant Headmaster Mr. Anaman said demonstrated the commitment of the company to the school.
For Mr. Anaman and his pupils, who number about 600, they cannot hide their excitement of having to see their school given a new lease of life by Dolphin. To them, especially the kids, the company has provided an exciting and beautiful environment to learn and play.
Much as Dolphin’s gesture appeared to have made the greatest of impression on the school, Mrs. Somuah Asante insist that the company is still committed to reaching its goal of dedicating at least 2.5 percent of its yearly profits to corporate social responsibility.
She stated that the company’s CSR policy will largely focus on areas regarding education, community development and health within the catchment areas of its operations. And when that happens, more schools, communities and health facilities will be receiving their share of the Dolphin benevolence.