Accra, Nov. 28, GNA – St Nicholas Preparatory School project, that takes care of underprivileged children in the sprawling Tema Manhean fishing community will celebrate St Nicholas Day on Sunday, December 1.
St Nicholas’s Day is observed globally as the origin of Europe on December 6. St Nicholas was a bishop in the 4th century in Greece, who developed a reputation for giving gifts.
Among the Greeks and the Orthodox Church, he was considered to be the patron saint of sailors, fishermen, ships and the sea.
The school project was initiated in February 2012 through the Maria Tsakos Foundation in Ghana with the motto: “Every child has a right to education.”
Beginning with 28 children from four to six years in one class, it now has 60 children in four classes, with seven permanent teaching staff.
Currently there are two volunteer teachers, Mrs Susan Lyddard, and Mrs Vivienne King, a founding sponsor, who has come from the UK to stay for one month.
The next stage of the school’s development programme, which will cost 0,000, will provide class rooms for the pupils to move to primary, junior high and senior high education.
There are also long term plans for a vocational college to be constructed to teach skills such as information technology, and tourism.
The school hosts the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral of Accra.
Madam Deborah Eleazar of the Tsakos Group said the church is organising the event with the participation of Bishop Savvas and the support of Osongaa Nii Adjei Kraku II, Tema Paramount Chief.
She said the chief and his elders of the Traditional Council continue to help the project with the necessary permits and licenses “to take us to the next stage”.
“We are indebted to The Education and Book Appeal Ghana (Teabag) who has assisted us to turn our vision into reality. We have also benefitted from the continuing donations of the crew of the Mt “Nippon Princess”, currently at anchor off Tema and the MT “Salamina”, two vessels belonging to the Tsakos Group.
“Our friends in the UK have continued to offer support through fund raising initiatives including sponsored dinners and shooting parties, and we would like to express the gratitude of all those involved in the school for this ongoing and invaluable help, Madam Eleazar said.
She said Captain Alkiviades Kappas, one of the founders of the school has donated a bus, and its running costs to the school.
Mr Andreas Bisbas, a UK based sponsor, has also donated a generator, while Atlas Copco has given food items covering a six- month period to the school.
To mark St Nicholas Day, the children will treat the audience to cultural display and poetry recitals.
“Our goal is an ambitious one and fundraising is already under way. It is particularly important for us to stress to potential sponsors that every donation, in its entirety, goes to the project and there are no deductions for administration costs,” Madam Eleazar said.
She said: “In keeping with its commitment to the education of the local children, and through the generosity of Mrs Vivienne King, St Nicholas’s Preparatory School will donate a photocopier to The Winners Basic School. In addition, the Maria Tsakos Foundation will make a cash donation of GH¢2000 to the Education Fund of the Tema Traditional Council.