Monday, 9 October 2017

Protecting Man's Best Friend

Inspired by World Rabies Day on September 28, 2017, Golden Star launched a campaign in early October 2017 with the primary aims of offering free vaccinations against rabies for local cats and dogs and educating local people about the risks presented by the disease.

Local people from the Bogoso/Prestea mine's host communities
attend a pet vaccination day

What is rabies?

Rabies is a rare but serious infection of the brain and nerves.  It is usually caught from a bite or scratch of an infected animal, most often a dog.  Rabies is found throughout the world and it is endemic in Ghana.  Pets are not routinely vaccinated in Ghana and stray animals also roam freely.

How serious is the risk in Ghana?

Studies by the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi in central Ghana show that over a 10 year period over 18,000 people were exposed to rabies in Ghana.  Over the same period, over 1 million animals were examined and all but 14 were found to be rabid.  

Not everyone who is bitten by a rabid animal contracts rabies, however once rabies is contracted, survival rates are low unless the person receives timely treatment. The dry season is the time of the highest risk, coinciding with the breeding season of dogs, who are the primary carriers.

The plant site at Golden Star’s Bogoso/Prestea operations and the residential areas are all unfenced, meaning that the risk to Golden Star’s employees and their family members of being bitten by a freely roaming animal is high.

Working in partnership

One of the cornerstones of Golden Star’s approach to corporate responsibility is working in partnership with other organizations to achieve its goals.  This project was no different: Golden Star teamed up with the veterinary services of the Prestea Huni Valley District of Western Region of Ghana, community leaders and pet owners to offer vaccinations in the Brakwaline, Sekunde, Ebienne, Chujah, Kroboline, Prestea, Bondaye, and Himan communities, which form part of the Bogoso/Prestea mine’s catchment area.



The objectives of the project were to vaccinate all of the dogs and cats in the target catchment settlements, manage the dog and cat population through castration and increase public awareness of the requirements of socially responsible dog and cat ownership.

What was the result?

By the end of the project, 412 pets (comprising 320 dogs, 91 cats and 1 monkey!) were  vaccinated against rabies.  The clinics were held in three different locations over three days within the Bogoso/Prestea mine’s catchment area.  All of the pet owners said that they appreciated the initiative.  Some of the pet owners commented that their villages are remote and it was difficult to travel with the pets to the existing veterinary services office for vaccination. Therefore by offering vaccinations in community centres and parks, Golden Star and its partners had remedied that problem.  

Once a pet was vaccinated, their owner received a vaccination certificate and a pet collar with name tag as well as information about how to look after their pet in a responsible way. 

A vet gives a rabies vaccination to a pet dog

Golden Star and its partners will continue to offer yearly vaccinations against rabies to all dog and cat owners in its host communities to ensure a lower risk environment for all of its employees, their family and local communities.

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A Helping Hand

Golden Star is working with its host communities to provide practical, employment-orientated work experience for young people to give them a helping hand in beginning their careers. 

Providing for Future Generations

Since 2010 we have supported more than 1,900 young people to undertake programs to build their capacity, experience and qualifications. These programs, combined with our array of alternative livelihood initiatives including the Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation, direct mine employment, and provision of goods and services, provide livelihoods for thousands of people and their families. 

In fact, as at the end of 2016:
99% of the workforce of Golden Star is Ghanaian, 
51% of the workforce hails directly from host communities, 
Two of our Board members are Ghanaian, and
Over 84% of goods and services value was provided by Ghanaian companies!

Mrs. Fidelia Kwapong Arthur and her local company,
Passionate Community Services, provide waste management
services for the Golden Star's Prestea operations

Attachment Program


In Ghana, students studying for their undergraduate and diploma degrees are eligible to apply for a 1 to 3 month placement at the conclusion of each year of university or polytechnic. Typically within Golden Star positions are allocated to those that have completed their second or third years of studies. 

Since 2010, Golden Star has hosted over 592 university and polytechnic students with attachment program placements within the company. 

It remains our target to place as many eligible young people as possible, for example in both 2014 and 2015 at our Wassa operations all eligible catchment community applicants were provided with attachment positions, and at Prestea, 89% of available positions were allocated to catchment community members.
This commitment remains strong and in 2016, 100% of available positions were allocated to eligible host community applicants studying applicable disciplines. Meanwhile, at Bogoso/Prestea in 2016 and 2017, 81% of all available positions were allocated to members of our host communities.

Ghana National Service

At the conclusion of a degree or diploma program, a tertiary school leaver is required to complete a year of mandatory National Service under the employment of the National Service Secretariat of Ghana. The graduates are allocated to government agencies and private businesses throughout Ghana to gain practical employment skills before entering the labour market.

In the last six years, Golden Star has provided practical workplace-based employment skills to 481 National Service personnel allocated to our operations by the National Service Secretariat.

National Service personnel at Wassa, assisting
with breast cancer awareness program

Not only have these young people benefitted from the practical exposure to a real workplace situation, but Golden Star has also benefitted from their vitality, innovation and fresh ideas!


Apprenticeships and Graduate Traineeships

Golden Star also periodically operates apprenticeships for trade orientated young people and graduate traineeships to strengthen access to highly specialized skill sets amongst youth.

Since 2010, Golden Star has supported 74 apprentices in employment and a further 127 young people through employment under graduate traineeship programs.

Gifty Gandhi (second from left), Prestea Underground Shift Boss,
joined Golden Star through our graduate traineeship program

In fact, within Golden Star today, a number of our employees in highly skilled roles, such as mine ventilation and mining engineering, commenced employment with Golden Star through graduate traineeship opportunities.

Golden Star Skills Training and Employability Program (GSSTEP)

Golden Star does not have control over the Ghana Government attachment and National Service program, so specifically for our catchment communities we operate the Golden Star Skills Training and Employable Program (GSSTEP). 

Inaugurated in 2009, GSSTEP seeks to provide employable skills to youth, diversify and expand employment opportunities, and provide viable alternatives to reduce reliance on unauthorized activities, such as galamsey. Since its inception, GSSTEP has provided skills and training to 84 masonry, 102 commercial cookery, 54 carpentry, 43 mobile phone repairs, 38 building electrical, 57 beads and jewelry making, 29 hair dressing, 22 local fabric bags and sandal making, and 54 other trainees.

Young women learning commercial
cookery skills through GSSTEP

Developing Our People

Golden Star also supports the further professional development of our employees. Since 2010, 134 of our employees undertook programmes sponsored by Golden Star to obtain recognised qualifications - Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Masters level studies. 

What has been the Impact?

The GSSTEP program is targeted specifically at youth from the Golden Star host communities, and although allocation of students to attachment and National Service are outside of Golden Star’s control, these also frequently support skills development for local youth to Golden Star’s operations. As a result, many of the young people in programs of this type come directly from the Golden Star host communities, further enhancing development and employment opportunities for local people.

Let’s hear what some of the program participants have to say about the value of these programs to their development:

Juliet Adobea Awuku-Mensah – National Service (Prestea)
“It is a great opportunity for me to be part of the Golden Star family. There has been so much to learn and to be used as a stepping stone in my future endeavor, especially meeting up with great women who are serving as mentors in my life. I am grateful to the entire team for their support, love and knowledge sharing.  Long live Golden Star.”




Daniel Akyea Twum – Attachment (Akyempim)
“It’s my second internship in the mine and I had no headache applying. I am exposed to many practical aspects of what I have studied in school and it has really helped me a lot in my academic studies. Thanks to Golden Star for everything. “






Wendy Harley Pobee – National Service (Takoradi)
“I am not from the catchment area but it is a great honor for Golden Star to support us. It is a great privilege and a wonderful experience to have my national service with Golden Star. I have made contact with wonderful people and I thank the management for all that they have done to equip me in my training, especially with the four months additional contract for me to learn more from the department.”



Alhassan Mustapha – Attachment (Prestea)
“It is a huge opportunity to have my internship with Golden Star Resources. I get the opportunity to have the experience and acquire more knowledge about the industry. I say thank you to the management team for supporting us with the industrial training.” 




Elsie Esi Hagan – Attachment (Bogoso)
“I have had no difficulty in applying for my internship with Golden Star and it has been a nice experience that I have gained during my stay here. I have acquired enough practical experience to assist me in understanding the theory aspects of my program and I want to use this opportunity to thank the management of Golden Star for their massive support. Ayekoo to Golden Star Resources!”




Alberta Nkrumah – National Service (Bawdie)
“I am happy to have my national service training with Golden Star Resources and I have learnt much within my period of service.  My sincere gratitude to all the management team of GSR especially the Communities Department for their great support towards my Service. God bless them abundantly.” 




Rebecca Appiah, Community Relations Officer and former National Service personnel
“In spite of the difficult times for industry, Golden Star continues to provide employment to its catchment and local communities. I am a native from one of the communities and am currently working in the Community Relations and Social Responsibility Department. Golden Star recruits people from its catchment communities and that includes Akyempim, Kubekro, Nsadweso, Togbekrom, Akosombo, Old Subri, Accra Town, Juabeng, Ateiku, Odumase, Esumenamu, Mpohor and Prestea. In fact, 30% of the workforce for the new Wassa Underground mine hail directly from the catchment communities! Locals continue to be employed in all other parts of the operations. Ayekoo to Golden Star for their intensive support to its catchment communities! Long live Golden Star.”


If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.
  

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Our Greatest Asset

At Golden Star we know that our people are our greatest asset. Our people bring their talents to our operations and as a team, we commit to engaging with mutual respect, honesty, and transparency. A key role our leaders play is in the development of their teams, both professionally and behaviourally. Training, education, and professional development, lead to enhanced competency, and ultimately productivity, pride and ownership.



    
Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Partnership

In early 2016 through a partnership between the Government of Ghana and Global Affairs Canada, Master trainers from Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sakpolytech) undertook a program to assess technical and vocational training needs throughout Ghana. 

This program led to the development of an industry supported project to assist in the upgrading of trades skills and in November 2016, Golden Star indicated its support for the initiative.


Golden Star team members
during a training session

Following the formation of the partnership group, further local facilitation occurred through the support of an NGO called Western Regional Coastal Foundation. Combined Government, industry and TVET expert-led teams then critically assessed available training facilities in the country to determine suitability for use.


Preparing an oxy acetylene cylinder for
a practical session on welding

Upgrading Capacity and Skills

In July 2017, the first of the pilot programs commenced and the initiative included programs for welders with beginner and intermediate-level skills.
Four technical trainers were present, including the Master trainer from Sakpolytech. A key element of the pilot program was the ‘train-the-trainer’ concept, which is a priority for the Government of Ghana as they strive to further enhance technical trade skill delivery. TVET instructors from Kikam Technical Institute also participated to enable them to run similar programs in the future.

Nine Golden Star employees participated in this first program. As the program is competency based, it requires participants to demonstrate a sound understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of each stage, before they progress to the next session. Ultimately successful participants will obtain nationally recognized certification for their new skills and capacity.


Master Trainer Ron Nickel shows members of
Golden Star's engineering team new techniques

What Has Been The Impact?

Who better to ask than the Golden Star team members who participated?

Akwasi Bannor, Blastman at Prestea Gold Mine
“I want to thank the company for such an opportunity for us to en
lighten our knowledge and skills. In fact we thought we were welders but having gone through this training, I have deduced that there were so many things that I was lacking. Both the theory and practical aspect of the training has given me so much and I believe with this, it will increase our productivity towards work especially with underground works. I am happy to have more knowledge on the type of electrode to be used for the right type of job. I once again say a big thank you to the management and I assure them of my best support to the betterment of the company”. 



Amos Ghunney, Prestea Shaft welder at Prestea Gold Mine
“I thank my leaders for selecting me to enrich myself with more knowledge and skills. I have been a welder for so many years but following the training, I have noticed that there was more to learn. I have also been exposed to the modern way of welding for which I am very happy. We used to weld things the old way that we were taught, but now I know how to weld to prevent early leakages and welding to ensure that materials last longer.” 




Emmanuel Mensah, Welder/Fabricator at Prestea Gold Mine
“The training is educational and I have really benefited so much from it. There were many things I wasn’t aware of but now I am privileged to have them at my fingertips because I will be able to weld anywhere around the world. I am grateful and appreciate management for such intentions and I encourage them to do more of this kind of program to make us very familiar with the modern way of doing things”. 



William Davis, Welder (Civil) at Bogoso processing plant
“I am happy about Golden Star’s intention of training its employees to get an increased level of knowledge and skills about their work. I appreciate and thank management for the great impact they are making in our lives because the old way of welding wasn’t helping us as individuals and the company as well. We wasted time doing things but with the new exposure, I am able to weld safely, fast and independently. This training has enhanced my knowledge and skills as a person and I hope it will have a great positive impact on the company at large.” 



Why is this important to Golden Star?

Morgan Lekstrom, Electrical Superintendent, Prestea Gold Mine
“The main idea behind the project is a rapid up-skilling of our current engineering and trades workforce. We realize that we are only as good as our people who perform the work, and at the same time, many of our team has not had the opportunity to update their skills for many years. As a result there were skill gaps as people had not had to use certain skills or had never been officially trained in certain aspects of the work. We believe that investing in our people, and in the people that will train our personnel, will create a distinct advantage, not only for our team but for the industry more broadly. 

Eric Ebo Yankson, Training and Development Coordinator
“I am glad that the trainees will  have additional exposure to the safety aspects of the program for their work, in addition to their new skills. For Golden Star this is critical, we need our teams to be safe and at the same time, produce high quality work that ensures our mine shafts and facilities will last for a long time.
Ghana will also be benefiting, as there will be a time when the employees we have trained will be able to share their knowledge and skills with others and the Technical Institutes will be able to run these programs fully in-house.

"I want to thank Golden Star for their commitment in ensuring the success of this program and to the trainees I say that, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected from him’ and so I encourage them to commit themselves to apply the acquired knowledge and skills in their day to day activities because success will come to you as an individual, the company and Ghana at large.”

A Step Further in Golden Star’s Employee Development Agenda

Frank Odei Akuffo, Group Talent Management Coordinator
“Golden Star believes that organizations “compete through people” and the commitment and visibility management gives to the development of its teams is evidence of this. Management’s commitment to this training initiative goes beyond the immediate benefits to the company of enhanced performance leading to improved productivity. It also demonstrates GSR’s support and contribution towards the WRCF’s initiative on technical and vocational skills development for the extractive industries in the Region and Ghana as a whole. 

"The trainees are very grateful to Management for this commitment towards their career development - during the debriefing session trainees recounted to me how much they had learned and their commitment to ensuring their development will bring an outcome that all will be proud of.”

The Future

Further sessions of welding training are already scheduled for later this year. Following the success of the welding upgrade sessions, our minds have already turned to the advancement of a similar program for electrical trades.  Watch this space to hear more in the future!

Emmanuel Asare, Welder and Fabricator, Bogoso processing plant
“I am scheduled to go for training in October and November but from my past experience, it will be excellent to have the additional knowledge.  We are most grateful to the company for the training and I know our new exposure will help us to be productive and contribute to the success of the company.”






If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Connecting People To Nature

In June, Golden Star celebrated World Environment Day throughout our operations and host communities. The theme of 2017 World Environment Day is ‘Connecting People to Nature’ – a plea to us all to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. 

Children proudly show the tree they planted
at the Bogoso camp area

In translating the meaning of this theme, Mr. Emmanuel Koomson, an Environmental Superintendent with Golden Star shared this:

“The World Environment Day is celebrated to educate, protect and create awareness about the need to protect the environment for good health, long life, biodiversity, balance in the entire ecosystem and for prosperity. We must be passionate about the environment especially towards things that degrade it. Trees support our existence on the earth by giving us oxygen hence we should avoid indiscriminate felling of trees and rather plant more trees to support life. As a business entity, Golden Star takes this opportunity to refocus us all on the ongoing need to protect the environment, enhance its quality and ensure good housekeeping at all times.”


Tree planting at one of Golden Star's mine sites

Connecting People to Nature at Our Operations

At the Golden Star operations our leaders held programs with the workforce to discuss our role in the protection of the environment and to launch clean-up programs and tree planting activities. 


Shaddrack A. Sowah, Acting General Manager (Wassa)
“I appreciate the important balance between the sea and the land due to my upbringing along the coastal belt of Ghana. To stay connected to nature I encourage all to work towards protecting the local environment and together we can protect the world. At Golden Star today we acknowledged that the preservation and protection of the environment is not just the responsibility of an individual, the Government or an organization, but it is the collective responsibility of us all.” 



Nyanzu Agyabu, Environmental Services/Safety Manager
“It is very important as humans to be reminded of our obligation to come closer to nature and maintain it for generations unborn. As the saying goes, when the last tree dies the last person also dies. Therefore we need to protect the environment to ensure that we live in close harmony with what God has given us and protect it to the best of his or her ability.”
Prestea mine's General Manager, Jerry Agala, addressing
the Prestea workforce on World Environment Day

Supporting Community Celebrations of the Environment


With our host communities, we supported the Prestea Huni-Valley District Assembly to recognize this important international celebration with a launch event and a tree planting program.


World Environment Day launch at
Prestea Huni-Valley District Assembly

Mozark Kweku Owusu, District Chief Executive, Prestea Huni-Valley District Assembly
“With my personal crusade concerning environmental protection and waste management, I am glad about Golden Star’s positive approach towards the protection of the environment. We need the environment to survive. All should therefore instill the protection of the environment, especially afforestation, in their lives.” 




Yaw Asamoah, District Coordinating Director, Prestea Huni-Valley District Assembly
“I am happy that Golden Star and the District Assembly are working together for the celebration of the 2017 World Environment Day.  As the adage goes, when the last tree dies, the last person also dies. Hence, I wish to advise the whole community to assist the Assembly to educate ourselves on the need to protect the environment through good sanitation practices.” 



Golden Star team members assist the
District Coordinating Director with tree planting

The Next Generation and the Environment

Our children are our future and they will bear the brunt of how we treat our world. At schools within our host communities World Environment Day activities included environmental inspections of schools, environmental quizzes and tree planting. In a very close finish at the schools in the Wassa area, Akyempim School B clinched the title for the schools’ environmental protection quiz, and Nsadweso D/A Basic School secured first place in the schools’ environmental inspection. Congratulations to all participants!


Golden Star team members and traditional leaders
join school quiz participants to celebrate

Julius Asamoah from Akyempim School B
“The Golden Star program helped me to understand and appreciate the fact that we really need to protect our environment. I was privileged to see measures used to protect the environment and reclaim mined lands. I am happy about the effort my school is giving to protect the environment by ensuring that we help to keep our environment clean and to preserve the trees.” 

Benjamin Atta Akomeah – Student at Akyempim School B
“Congratulations to Golden Star for their environmental protection program and for enlightening us more on the protection of the environment. I believe we will live long if we protect the environment therefore I encourage everyone to help protect nature.” 

Esther Padi, Headmistress of Nsadweso D/A Basic School
“Our aim is to protect the environment for generations to come and we are grateful for Golden Star’s award as the neatest school in its catchment area. The children are inspired and I believe the message will be shared with their families. I urge everyone to support the campaign for the protection of the environment!”

Celestina Atsiagli, Golden Star Environmental Officer
“By connecting people to nature, especially school children, we help them to understand the need to protect the environment and for them to communicate the knowledge at home as well. I encourage everyone to support us in the protection of the environment and leave the environment better than we found it for future use.” 

When We Mine, We Mend

In the month of June, Golden Star also commenced revegetation of its largest tailings storage facility at our Bogoso operations. Planted with more than 1,500 oil palms so far, the area will in the future be incorporated into the Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation

Oil palm seedlings being planted at the
Bogoso tailings storage facility

Did you know that Golden Star has nurseries at each of our mine sites that grow native endemic trees for mine site reclamation? In the last five years alone we propagated over 100,000 indigenous plant seedlings, many of which are recognized as having special conservation value, for re-planting in our formerly mined areas. This was complemented by replacement of topsoil and planting of over 16,000 kg of plant seeds.


Samuel Cudjoe at one of the Golden Star
native plant nurseries

Samuel E. Cudjoe, Golden Star Field Rehabilitation Coordinator
“Globally, we celebrate World Environment Day to create environmental awareness, positive action and instill in individuals the notion of good environmental stewardship. We survive in only one earth and our actions have direct effect on us and generations to come.” 

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Giving Blood, Saving Lives

To celebrate Mother’s Day, the Wassa Gold Mine branch of the Golden Star Ladies Club hosted a program to recognize widows and single mothers who had taken their children through higher education, and combined it with a blood donation program in aid of the Tarkwa Government Hospital.


The launch of Golden Star Ladies Club's march and
blood donation program

Happy Mother’s Day!

Twenty widows and single mothers from Wassa’s catchment communities were recognized for having defied all sorts of difficulties to educate their children in order to allow them to achieve their academic potential. The women were honoured with gift hampers in recognition of their commitment. 

Margaret Acquah receives her award from the
Hon. James Nkrumah, Akyempim Assemblyman

These are just a few of the inspirational, award-winning mothers celebrated by the Golden Star Ladies Club. Read on for the stories of these women and the impact of the award on their lives…


Adelaide Koranteng
“As a mother there have been times when it has not been easy. I have had to make great sacrifices to be able to cater for my children’s needs and education. I am excited and grateful for my award from the Golden Star Ladies Club, and urge all parents to have trust and patience with their wards and to work hard towards nurturing and educating them.” 

Rebecca Ametepe
“The dream of every mother is to see to the comfort of her children. The award given to me by Golden Star has boosted my energy and I encourage all parents to invest in their children’s education so they become great people in the future.” 

Emelia Hemeng
“Things have not been easy for me since my husband died. I am doing my best for my children and I know they are grateful for the motherly love I have for them. The Golden Star Ladies Club has made me stronger and I am so grateful to them as they have made me realize that I am recognized as a hardworking, responsible and great mum to my children.” 

Juliana Owusu
“I am one of many widows in the community and I thank the Golden Star Ladies for the award and honor. It’s been eight years since my husband passed. In my own childhood my father died very early and we struggled without education. I work hard for my four children as I don’t want them to have the same experience. It’s my prayer that the mine will grow from grace to grace and that my colleagues also strive hard to get their children educated.” 

Grace Amoh
“I am thankful and ask for God’s blessings for the Golden Star Ladies Club and the company for their recognition and honor. My sister and her husband died leaving their son behind and I have taken the responsibility to invest in his education. With this award from Golden Star, I encourage every mother to look after their wards.” 
  
Grace Amoh accepts her award from
Nana Ankonful Nuamah I, former Chief of Akyempim village

Donating Blood to Save Lives

The Golden Star Ladies Club also utilized the occasion to launch a blood donation program in support of the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital. According to the National Blood Service, only 44% of donated blood in Ghana comes from non-remunerated blood donors, with the remainder from family or replacement blood donors, making initiatives such as this critical is to saving the lives of women, babies and others.

During the program, 117 people volunteered to donate blood. Of those, screening found that 65 were able to donate, making the exercise very worthwhile. All donors were rewarded by the Golden Star Ladies Club with a hamper to recognize their important, life-saving contribution. The program also enabled volunteers to know their health status and seek treatment if issues were identified.

Golden Star employees make life saving blood donations

Here is what the donors had to say about the program:

Janet Takyi
“My sister died because my parents did not have money to buy blood when it was needed. I donated to save the lives of others. This is a first in our community and I ask God to bless the Golden Star Ladies Club for helping us save lives as well. I urge everyone to help in the donation of blood since someone will be able to live because you donated.” 

Felix Boakye Mensah
“I thank and bless the Golden Star Ladies Club for the great impact they have made in the community. I am glad to overcome the fear I had about blood donation in order to save lives. I urge everyone to help in saving the lives of others for you don’t know who will help you in the future.” 

Rebeccca Quansah
“I have lived in the community for 22 years and it’s the first time a blood donation program has been organized. It feels good volunteering to save the lives of people. God bless the Golden Star Ladies for such a great program and giving hope for people to be able to live again.” 

Bismark Fosu
“Blood is life and people out there are in need of my blood and so I have donated to save someone from dying. I encourage everyone to donate blood and to know their own blood status. Thank you to Golden Star Ladies Club for this opportunity.” 

Afia Dufie-Nkansa
“As a member of the Golden Star Ladies Club, I love being able to support the saving of lives, especially pregnant women. I urge everyone to participate in the donation of blood.” 

Seth Tawiah
“It’s my pleasure as a worker to support the ladies in the blood donation program to save lives and also get to know my blood status as well. God bless the Golden Star Ladies Club for such a great initiative.” 

What Is the Impact of Blood Donation?

Tarkwa Municipal Hospital team with George Amankwah-Kumi,
Golden Star's Group and Community Health Coordinator

Read on to find out what the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital team had to say about the impact of the program...

Emmanuel Osei, Senior Biomedical Scientist
“I am very excited about the blood donation program organized by the Golden Star Ladies Club. The entire medical team is grateful for the blood collected, which can potentially save 30-40 lives. We encourage everyone to put away fears and get involved in this kind of program because nothing will harm them in giving out blood to save a brother.”

Lydia Quaicoe, Midwife
“Congratulations to the Golden Star Ladies Club for such a marvelous program for its communities. We show our appreciation for the donors by giving them a donor card to assist them when they may need blood to survive. I encourage everyone to help in saving lives – through blood donation you can have your blood screened and detect any diseases early. GIVE BLOOD, SAVE LIVES!” 

Dr. Fredrick Sarpong, Medical Superintendent
“We show our gratitude and give thanks to the Golden Star Ladies for this program. We really need the blood now to save lives. We thank the team as well as the donors and may God bless them all. Blood is expensive and so I encourage everyone to participate to save the lives of people, especially our mothers and wives. who are in labor and about to deliver.” 

The Golden Star Ladies Club and Women of Wassa (WOW)!

As a testimony to the dedication of the Golden Star Ladies Club, let’s hand over to the Club Executive team to conclude… 


Gifty Bilson, Chairperson
“We gave the Golden Star Ladies Club a boost by championing girl child education, helping save lives by organizing a blood donation program, and awarding parents showing great leadership in their children’s education. We intend to mentor, inspire and motivate children, especially the girls, to stop involvement in galamsey (illegal mining) and to make education their priority. 

"The influence of a mother on a child’s life is very profound and with the award, we are encouraging mothers to keep making every contribution towards their children especially with education. We hear of people, especially pregnant women, dying in surgery and delivery due to lack of blood, hence the idea of blood donation program to help save lives. We thank everyone who supported the program and may the good God bless us all.”

Dorcas Osae, Vice Chairperson
“As a young girl I saw the hardships my mum went through for us. I am now a widow and a single mother, therefore the decision to focus on single mothers and widows this Mother’s Day was such a joy to me. I can identify with their plight, the silent tears, heartaches, and scarcity, to raise our children well. It was an opportunity to speak words of endearment, appreciation and pride to honor mothers. Instead of dwelling on the loss of my mum, I choose to celebrate her philosophy of living.

"Maya Angelou once said “I've learned that people will forget what you said, and what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Indeed we set aside our work to make the mothers in the local communities feel ‘special’. We want mothers to know we care about them; that they should not lose hope; and that they are heroes!

"For the young and upcoming girls in our catchment area, it is our desire to mentor them to aspire to become independent and responsible women in society.  I would like to thank the long list of supporters to our program – you made it a success. Bravo to the women of Wassa for demonstrating that indeed “mbaa, som bo!” 

Dorcas Osae, Vice Chairperson of the Golden Star Ladies Club,
shares a moment with Mrs Ahoalo, one of the award winners

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

'Star' Pupils

Students at a school built by Golden Star
The Ghana Living Standards Survey continues to show that there is a strong, positive relationship between the education level of the population and the reduction of the poverty burden.

Golden Star helps to provide access for children to participate and stay in school, primarily through the provision of schools, accommodation, scholarships and transport.

We are committed to contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) within our areas of influence and we support the achievement of SDG number 4 for quality education by helping children and families to be able to access and stay in school.

Read on to see more about these contributions and the direct impact they have had on the lives of children and families in our host communities…

Schools and Classrooms

Since 2006 Golden Star and the Golden Star Development Foundation have built numerous schools and supported the construction of others:

Adamanso - 3 unit classroom block and toilet facilities
Akymepim A – 3 unit classroom block and extension of electricity to the school
Akymepim B – 6 unit classroom block, library, and extension of electricity to the school
Ateiku - 3 classroom blocks and teachers accommodation (New Togbekrom resettlement)
Daboase – student dormitories
Juabeng – 6 unit classroom block, toilet facilities, and a school field
Kwame Niampa – classroom block
Mamponso – roofing of a three unit classroom block
Mbease Nsuta – day care centre
New Togbekrom – kindergarten and community library (New Togbekrom resettlement)
Ningo and Subriso – 6 unit primary school with teachers quarters and toilet facilities
Nsadweso – renovation of community kindergarten
Old Subri – classroom block and extension of electricity to the school
Prestea – 8 unit classroom block

Here are some stories from local teachers, students, parents and others involved with the schools:





Abraham Gyapaah, Headmaster of Akyempim School B
“At Akyempim School students results were poor, classrooms were crowded, and brilliant students did not have the financial support to advance to secondary school. Golden Star has had a great impact by building a new school block, providing scholarships, and supporting mock exams. We can now boast winning 15 trophies last year, having enough classrooms, and high student motivation. I really appreciate and thank the company. God bless Golden Star.” 

James Nkrumah, Assembly Man from Akyempim
“Education is the key to success and I was saddened when students had to use lanterns to study at night, or were late for school after fetching water. Golden Star has created a new world for us by providing access to electricity, a good source of drinking water, solar lamps for power outages, classrooms and bussing. I am grateful to Golden Star for all that they have done for the community.”

Diasa Franklin, Teacher at Kwame Niampa 
“Parents used to send their children away for school but with the classrooms built by Golden Star teachers are willing to stay. I am happy to see the positive impact on the children, and encourage them to use the opportunity given to them by Golden Star to learn for a better future.” 

Francis Donkor, student
“I am achieving good results because I can now learn in a classroom where I am not disturbed by animals and rain. I thank Golden Star for this.”

Isaac Frimpong, parent
“We used to send our children to other towns because the school building was poor and teachers would not stay. We appreciate Golden Star’s assistance in our children’s education.”

Daniel Dadzie, resident of the Ningo community
“Our community had problems with school enrollment. The school was in a bad state - teachers would not stay and children were discouraged. With the help of Golden Star a new classroom block was built and the education of the children has been improved tremendously. I say a big thank you to Golden Star for the great transformation and impact they have created on our lives!”

Bernard Cudjoe, Headmaster at Old Subiri
“I am excited to say that Golden Star has made a great contribution towards education as we now have a junior school classroom block and children don’t have to travel away for school. Brilliant students are supported with scholarships and parents do not have to pay levies for sporting activities. Our school can now boast an increase in enrollment and the scholarships have motivated children to learn. Long live Golden Star.” 

Ricky J. K. Addor, Assistant Headmaster Academics, Prestea Secondary School
“Our school had a great challenge before Golden Star’s assistance with poor accessibility and enrollment, and classrooms over-crowded. We are grateful to Golden Star for the support and can now boast of an increase of students transferring to the tertiary sector. Ayekoo to Golden Star and we appreciate their continued good works.” 

Eric Tawiah Esson, student, Prestea Secondary School
“I am grateful to Golden Star for the classroom blocks they have built. Teaching and learning has become so effective. Education is necessary to gain knowledge and skills, to have a good impact on life and on society for generations to come.”

Improving School Accessibility

In a number of our host communities, in the past children had to walk for over two hours to access the nearest school. To improve access to education for these children, Golden Star provides school bus services for 7 communities, enabling some 293 school children to access and remain enrolled in school. 

James Kyei, scholarship recipient
“Education is the key to success and I thank Golden Star for supporting my education. I experienced hard times before the Golden Star scholarship and school bussing. Sometimes I had to sleep in another village to go for exams. God bless Golden Star and I urge all students to learn hard and come out with flying colors.”

Robert Gyamfi, Community Relations and Social Responsibility Manager for Golden Star
“I see education to be the single most liberating equal opportunity intervention that is not sensitive to race, tribe or gender. Education enhances the potential of all to improve on their lives and broaden their opportunities. Golden Star supports education in many ways: one of our nearest communities is several kilometers away from a school, and without the provision of school bussing children would be unable to access good education to progress to secondary institutions.”

Enhancing Education Quality

In support of enhanced educational delivery, Golden Star has provided school supplies to schools and students, paid allowances to teachers, including financial bursaries to early childhood educators in our most remote catchment communities, and supported numerous sports, carnival and inter-school programs. 

Children enjoying a library provided by the
Golden Star Development Foundation

Abigail Madzigbe, Winner of the 2016 Inter – Mines First Aid and Safety Essay Competition
“I have grown to learn that with education I can go far in life and be prosperous - I have taken up the challenge to be successful. Golden Star has been supportive to us, the children in the community. The essay writing competition equipped me to learn, and I came 1st in the competition, which has given me the motivation to learn more and pursue my aims in life.”

Vincent Otoo, scholarship recipient and 2016 Best BECE Student in the District
“I am so thankful to Golden Star for the impact they have had on my education, which has changed my life in many ways. I am a role model to my community and I am proud to have received awards including one from the President of the Republic of Ghana. To everyone out there, we can overcome the challenges of life only through education.”

Ebenezer Otoo Wettey, parent of Vincent Otoo
“I am proud of my son for being awarded Best BECE Student (2016) in the District and winning a presidential award for been Best in English Language in the Western Region (2016). To Golden Star I say a very big thank you for giving my son the opportunity to prove the talent that he has.”

Comfort Bansah, Mother of Vincent Otoo
“I pray for Golden Star to move from grace to grace, continue to be in production and a safe mine because they help us in so many ways. God richly bless Golden Star!”
    
With Golden Star's support, Abigail Madzigbe and Vincent Otoo have
excelled in their education

Scholarships


Within our host communities, many families report the high cost of education as prohibiting enrolment and retention of their children in school. Ghanaian census surveys highlight the particular plight of girl children in these rural areas, with girl child enrolment and graduation from school traditionally lower than boy children.

Since 2008 we have provided scholarships for over 892 children. Scholarship recipients must meet the criteria of being brilliant and needy.  Therefore with the help of Ghana Education Services and the school faculties, we are identifying children with great capacity for learning, who through circumstances out of their control, would often not be able to participate in school without the financial support of Golden Star or the Golden Star Development Foundation.

Yaa Joyce, parent
“It is hard to see your child removed from school when you know he/she is brilliant. By the grace of God my child is still in school thanks to the scholarship from Golden Star. I thank Golden Star for the support and encourage children to learn because education is important to go places in the world.” 

Sakinatu Beyeden, parent
“I always made it clear to my son that he would start work after attending junior high as there was no money for school. Ayekoo to Golden Star for the positive impact they have created in the life of my son who is now in senior high school under a Golden Star scholarship.”

Nuhu Shuaib Abeka, scholarship recipient
“I used to have to sit outside in the moonlight to study, and I would worry about how my parents would get money to pay my fees for secondary school. I am happy in secondary school and excited to make better grades.” 

Gifty Appiah, scholarship recipient
“We had awful times when part of our school collapsed, and it was hard to hear my parents say that I would have to go work after junior high school. A very big thank you to Golden Star for our new classroom and the opportunity to continue my education under their scholarship. I am motivated to learn and want to use this platform to motivate my colleagues to achieve their goals.” 

Ramsey Mireku, scholarship recipient
“I had no hope of attending secondary school as my parents couldn’t afford the school fees, but thanks to Golden Star for a scholarship I can now encourage others not to stay at home too - in our world now it’s all about education.” 

Joseph Kwasi Mantey, scholarship recipient
“Before Golden Star’s intervention I would have had to go to the next town to continue my education. Thank you to Golden Star as they have provided a junior high school, scholarship scheme, refreshments to motivate us during sport and so much more.” 

Just a few of the Golden Star scholarship recipients
who are continuing to higher levels of education

Educational Subsidies


Golden Star also supports the education of almost 3,000 children of our employees, through educational subsidies. These subsidies are designed to reduce the financial burden on parents of placing children in quality education, to ensure the greatest opportunity for quality education and potential for income generation into the future.

Festus Adebrah, Golden Star Mine Maintenance Supervisor and PTA Vice Chairman, Golden Star School
“Education is the best gift you can give to anyone because it cannot be taken away and it helps one to become successful. I am pleased about Golden Star supporting my children’s education, and I am excited about the company’s contribution to education including free basic school for our team’s’ dependents at the Golden Star school, as well as community scholarships." 

Children learning to read with books
provided by Golden Star

What Has Been The Impact?

Ask, and most parents will tell you that nothing is of greater importance to them than their children or their ability to give their children the greatest advantage that they can.

Lydia Ackom Boateng, parent
“I want to thank Golden Star for having the community in mind with the much needed support they are giving towards education.”

James Amoah, parent, Old Subiri
“I am proud of Golden Star for supporting my son’s education when things were not easy for me. I am excited to say a big thank you to the company for the support and I urge all children to go to school because with education you get a better future.”


If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.