CURRENT WORLD MEDIA MEET : FIONA KAMAU FROM THE MULTIKIDS ACADEMY IN GHANA


CURRENT WORLD MEDIA MEET : FIONA KAMAU FROM THE MULTIKIDS ACADEMY IN GHANA.

FIONA KAMAU

FIONA KAMAU

In life everybody gets a calling to do something or go somewhere sometimes it’s by design and sometimes it’s just something you stumble on. Whatever the impulse it is important that you answer!! as these unanswered impulses are normally suppressed into long winded stories of how once you was going to do…… but never got round to it. My long time friend Mrs Fiona Kamau however did not hang around when her impulse nudged her have a read about her amazing journey!!

CWM

First of all can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey

F.K

My name is Fiona Kamau, a Brit-Ghanaian, who has returned to her home country of Ghana to live, work, and love her husband.

I was born in Wembley, North West London, and after my A-levels, I went to pursue my undergraduate and Masters programs at Liverpool John Moores. It was at my time in university, and shortly after graduation that I realised that I loved working with students who happen to have special needs. They were brilliant but needed a little help to capture their ideas. After a few years, I decided that I needed to go back to my country of origin, Ghana, where I got a bit distracted and worked in the corporate world for a few years.

FIONA KAMAU

FIONA KAMAU

I have a personal connection with young people with special needs as my beautiful niece suffers from Autism and I also wanted to gain more of an understanding of this complex condition, so I left my job to volunteer at AACT (Autism Awareness Center and Training) and it all started from there.

CWM

How long have you been involved at MKA and what inspired you to get involved? And what is your role?

F.K

I have been working at Multikids Academy (MKA) as the School Administrator for over two and a half years now. This role is tasked with handling the admissions, internal and external communications with all our stakeholders and all the PR for the school. That said, you never really have a job description in the school, children don’t care about your job title, you have to meet their needs when they come to you.

I was inspired to work with MKA as it is the only inclusive school in Ghana, which seeks to accommodate all children regardless of their physical, social, intellectual, and emotional needs to mention a few. In this unique environment guided by the philosophy of ‘every child matters’ students from various backgrounds get to explore their talents and ambitions.

CWM

How, who and when did MKA start and does the government help in terms of funding?

F.K

MKA was founded by two incredible and dedicated women, Mandy Budge and Sigrid Koostra in 2010. At the time there was  (and still is) a clear need for a school that catered to children with special needs and behavioural challenges as well as mainstream students who thrive working in small class sizes. The mainstream schools around at the time did not know how to support such students as well as support the needs of their parents/ guardians. Interestingly one of the Co-Founder’s daughter was the first to enrol as she suffers from Dyslexia. This amazing young lady is now pursuing a science degree in the Netherlands.

The school does not receive any support from the Ghanaian Government. MKA is privately funded through the parental contributions paid (by parents / guardians  of students currently enrolled) to the school every school term.

CWM

How many students attend MKA? And what happens when a student completes their education at 18 ?

F.K

MKA currently has 57 students. 12 are in the Lower primary and 45 are at the upper primary and secondary department. In our short existence, the school has and continues to grow.

To ensure that students transition into independent life successfully, MKA has incorporated experiential learning into the curriculum. Students are afforded the opportunity to intern with various companies in various fields. This is a crucial part of the students development as it encourages them to engage with different people, have a purpose and most importantly be independent. Work placements include The Olam Biscuit Factory (famous for their Obama biscuits) and Freedom Country (Digital Animation and Fashion Design company). We have a number of work placement lined up in the Health and Beauty and Corporate sectors also.

It is very encouraging to see a number of students attending universities and colleges in South Africa, Europe, North and South America.

CWM

How did MKA go about finding the right members of staff to deliver the curriculum ? And how many members of staff are there?

F.K

MKA go about finding the right members of staff to deliver the curriculum by word of mouth, advertising on our website, seeking out specialists that we need, especially therapists. We currently have 43 members of staff, this includes both full time and part time teachers as well therapists and counsellors.

CWM

I’ve heard MKA also has an outreach program what does that involve and who delivers it?

F.K

As per the BBC Documentaries you can find on our website about determination (www.multikidsgh.com) , we have had a boy from the Accra Psychiatric Hospital (APH) coming for therapy on a weekly basis; we part fund a Drama Therapist from the UK experienced with working with Students who have Autism, to spend two days a week in the APH. Our students also produced an ART project there with the students special school (CAROSS) and hospital ward.

Caross Outreach Programme

Caross Outreach Programme

A number of our students visited Tornu in the Eastern Region, where our teachers trained local teachers . Out students also exchanged their experiences with children at the local school as well as learn about rural life.

CWM

Given the vital work MKA are providing is there any plans to expand nationwide ? If so how long will it take to make the transition ?

F.K

The initial plans were to go nationwide but it is taking all of our focus to consolidate the model for Inclusion in Ghana. If another region was to request that set up a similar school, we would find a way to assist. MKA also has a subsidy of a limited number of places, which has proven to be a lifeline to a number of students who attend the school.

CWM

You have Cambridge courses which has been acknowledged by the British Council is MKA in partnership with Cambridge or anybody else?

F.K

MKA is accredited by the Ghana Educational System (GES), ASDAN, which is a pioneering curriculum that helps students to grow skills for learning, employment and for life. We are also currently seeking accreditation with African International Schools Association (AIS).

CWM

#Whatsonyourmindnow?

F.K

That dreaded Accra traffic!

For more information about The MKA click on this link >> The MultiKids Academy

>>WATCH : A SCHOOL WITH DIFFERENCE HERE<<

>>WATCH : A PLACE FOR KOFI<<

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@JoeSpesh

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