Ishmael Abraham Armah
The Changemaker Stories are a set of interviews that look to redirect the spotlight from the “project impact and outcomes” of our regular work to the humans behind the projects – those who choose to go above and beyond. We hope it will inspire others to do the same and serve as testimony that however big or small your idea is, it is possible to bring positive social change to your community. These are the everyday heroes in the Dream Building Fund powered by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD).
Striving for equal, quality and integral education for children and keeping them in school is one of the greatest motivations for Ishmael Abraham Armah, who is head of NK Foundation and carrying out EduDrive Table Tennis in partnership with Asoba Foundation as part of a project leader team. With his work as a teacher in the Kweikuma community, he realised that especially the students from impoverished areas have a poorer performance in literacy and numeracy than those who are more fortunate.
The role of table tennis in literacy and maths classes
Armah thinks that table tennis is the perfect sport to help schoolchildren.
Children get to know the concept of numbers on the table as they also learn the skills required to play table tennis, including teamwork and becoming obedient and respectful as the game is governed by rules. The kids also learn to focus on which element is needed for their school lesson. – Ishmael Abraham Armah, EduDrive project leader.
It is important for him that children reach their full potential in a safe and fun environment and the school is a perfect place for them – giving hope to children in his locality inspired him to apply for the Dream Building Fund 2020
The children who have been selected to join the project, were about to drop out of school, are from vulnerable social backgrounds and have concentration issues which ultimately jeopardises them to focus on school. Through Armah’s vision, EduDrive participants receive professional tutoring in English, Maths and Science.
Since its launch in 2021, EduDrive’s work and Armah’s effort have shown a positive impact on children.
Through EduDrive sessions I have understood how to organize my points to write an essay. The EduDrive English extra tuition really took each section and the teacher explained it well to us. I am very happy for being a beneficiary of the programme. – Emmanuel Boateng, project participant.
In the beginning, I noticed some of the kids having difficulties in pronouncing words and therefore having difficulties to read fluently. Through EduDrive I have been able to use the concept of Jolly Phonics and its related activities to assist these kids to improve. I believe, if this programme continues, it will further enhance the kids’ reading and writing skills. – Mrs Comfort Arthur, teacher at one of the schools involved in EduDrive.
Despite fostering additional educational support, EduDrive plans to provide children with free national health insurance cards and feminine hygiene products. Currently, they receive uniforms, books, pens and other school stationery in addition to training them in table tennis. More essential: Snacks – for some children it is the only food they have all day.
This has been an identified factor that drives the children to attend EduDrive sessions. – Ishmael Abraham Armah, EduDrive project leader.
Armah is thankful for all the support by schools, facilitators and teachers to the Dream Building Fund project.
The biggest challenge has to do with remuneration for facilitators and coaches.
His dream is big, but Armah is motivated. He hopes to make the project sustainable after the funding period and being replicated in other communities.
I also want to see many of the children in my community in the future being beneficiaries of the project and improved in academics through attending EduDrive sessions.
The impact goes beyond our own boundaries
The teacher from Ghana knows that there are people like him trying to make a positive impact in their communities and urges them to not stop believing in their dream because it will change their life.
I would encourage them to continue to do such a project. The impact of it goes beyond the boundaries we set for ourselves, and many kids begin to feel special and never wish to leave each session.
Discover more about the EduDrive Table Tennis project in Ofankor and Kweikuma Communities, Ghana.
Sign up for our newsletter to read more stories of the changemakers behind our Dream Building Fund projects.