“When you catch them young, you catch them for a lifetime.”
— Dagomba Proverb
In 2006, Andrew Garza did a college internship in Dalun, Ghana with a microfinance institution. During this period, he got to know Manzah Iddi Habib and Abukari Abdul-Fatawu, young community leaders who were passionate about finding ways to strengthen their village. They discussed various development needs in the community, and Fatawu told Andrew about an informal study the educational radio station he worked for had recently completed that showed the effects of early education on secondary school students. Children in the nearest town with a high-quality kindergarten who had attended kindergarten performed better in secondary school than students who had received no early education. Habib, Fatawu, and Andrew were troubled by how the lack of local early education was hindering students’ performance in later grades and by the fact that teenage girls frequently had to stay home from school to watch their younger siblings. Additional research revealed that $1 invested in early education could yield $17 in social benefits to a community, since self-confidence, strong language skills, and successful habits at a young age beget further success.
They observed that there were no high-quality early educational facilities within half an hour of Dalun, Ghana, and they decided to start such an institution themselves. In 2009, we opened our first pre-school for 50 students. As the Government of Ghana launched an ambitious plan to open kindergartens at every primary school in Ghana, our focus shifted to increasing the quality of existing kindergartens in northern Ghana, the economically-poorest part of the country. From our humble beginning, we now have four high-performing pre-schools and kindergartens and a teacher-training program that trains educators in interactive teaching methods.We’re supported by a team of more than 20 local staff members, a local and international board, and a network of dedicated volunteers, partners, and advisors.
We chose the name “Titagya,” since it represented our mission of transforming lives through formal education. In Dagbani, the largest language in northern Ghana, Titagya means “we have changed” or “we have grown.” We hope that you will become a part of our story and help us to transform children’s lives in Ghana and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa!