Gold Fields Ghana Foundation Programmes and projects
Scholarships and bursaries
The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation scholarship scheme was initiated in 2005. To date, 2,448 students from host communities of the Tarkwa and Damang mines have received scholarships and bursaries. Until 2019, the scholarship covered vocational training as well as senior high school and tertiary education. However, since the implementation of the government's Free Senior High School initiative, the scholarship scheme now focuses on students pursuing university degrees and other tertiary programmes. All students in the host communities are eligible to apply for the scholarship once they gain admission to any accredited public university or tertiary institution in Ghana.
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Graduate trainee programme
The graduate trainee programme was initiated in 2018. It is designed to build a talent pipeline for Gold Fields and the mining industry in Ghana. University graduates from the host communities, who have completed national service, are enrolled in a two-year structured, on-the-job training. The graduates are assigned to various departments including Mining, Engineering, Metallurgy, Finance, Human Resources and Community Affairs. The programme forms an integral part of Gold Fields' community skills development strategy, which aims at enhancing the quality of human capital in the host communities. After two years, a new batch of trainees is enrolled. So far, 171 university graduates have benefitted from the programme.
Community apprenticeship programme
Informal apprenticeship training is available to young people in the host communities who are interested in developing their skills. They are assigned to local trade masters to acquire skills in vocations such as dressmaking, auto mechanics, welding and fabrication.
Mine-related training programme
Initiated in 2016, the mine-related training programme has trained 191 young people in operating heavy mining equipment such as dump trucks, drill rigs, bulldozers, forklifts and excavators. Participants undergo three – four months intensive training, followed by a three-month internship where required. After completing the programme, they are issued a driver's license for heavy mining equipment and Minerals Commission operator's license. The programme aims at equipping young people in our host communities with skills to enable them gain employment in the mining industry. Six women who graduated from the Tarkwa programme now work with the mine, while five people who graduated in 2022 from the Damang programme have been employed by our business partners and other companies.
Teachers motivation programmes
Salary Top Up: Teachers of the Nana Amoakwa Model School in Damang receive between 30% and 70% of their monthly salaries as additional allowance from the Foundation. This initiative continues to motivate teachers to support pupils in their care.
Best Teacher Awards: The Tarkwa and Damang Teachers' Awards were instituted to recognise and promote excellence in teaching in host community schools. It is also to honour dedicated teachers and encourage best practices in schools. The awards, which started in 2016 in Tarkwa and 2018 in Damang, have renewed passion among teachers and improved their performance. Since then, the teachers in host communities eagerly compete for the coveted title of Best Teacher each year. Awards are also given to best teachers in the various subjects.
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Ambulances to boost emergency healthcare
In 2020, the Foundation donated two brand new, fully equipped ambulances to the Apinto Government Hospital and the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital. The donation was in response to a request by the host communities for ambulances to boost emergency healthcare. The donation was also timely, as it enhanced COVID-19 response in the host communities. The Foundation also donated one brand new, fully equipped ambulance to the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa in 2021.
Community health outreach
Every year, our Community Affairs teams organise free medical outreach programmes in the host communities, with support from doctors and other health professionals. Community members undergo free medical screening and receive medications. Through these medical outreach programmes, which are highly patronised, primary healthcare services are brought to the doorsteps of our host community members.
Observation of international health days
Various activities are organised to mark international health days such as World Malaria Day, World Aids Day and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Some of the activities include receptions to educate community members and health talk shows on community radio to inform members about such health conditions.
"Bo Wo Ho Ban" health talk on radio
Over the past 10 years, the Foundation has been sponsoring the popular health education programme, “Bo Wo Ho Ban”, on community radio. The show selects health professions to discuss pertinent health and sanitation issues. For host community members, this programme has become a reliable source of useful information on how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Water and sanitary facilities
The Foundation has provided over 150 water facilities in the 19 host communities to ensure that residents have access to potable water. These include hand-dug wells, boreholes fitted with pumps and small-town water systems. In addition, more than 25 toilet facilities have been constructed in the communities. Each community has a Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) committee that manages water and sanitation facilities.
Cleanest community awards
To further promote cleanliness and encourage proper management of waste and water facilities, the Foundation initiated the Cleanest Community Awards in 2018. The competition seeks to reward communities that observed proper hygiene. Each year, the communities compete for the Cleanest Community title, and are assessed on waste disposal, management of toilet facilities, general hygiene and water usage. This is done in collaboration with the Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assemblies. In 2018 and 2019, the Nyamebekyere community emerged winner of the Cleanest Community competition among the nine host communities of the Damang mine. As part of the grand prize, a small-town water supply system was constructed for the community. In Tarkwa, the Tebe community beat nine other host communities to win first prize in the 2019 competition.
Youth in Horticulture Production (YouHoP)
Youth in Horticulture Production (YouHoP) was initiated in 2016 in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Under YouHoP, vegetable farmers receive training in best farm practices, including nursery and transplanting, pest and disease identification and control, pesticide application as well as proper harvesting. The farmers also receive training in packaging and marketing of wholesome vegetables, such as cucumber, cabbage, green pepper, lettuce and spring onions. In 2020, 60 YouHoP farmers received Green Label Certification, which is further proof that the vegetables are cultivated, harvested and distributed under safe and hygienic conditions. YouHoP has enhanced the livelihood of 662 farmers and other community members within the value chain. In addition, farmers and community members have access to soft loans through the Promprom Credit Union, which was established as part of the project.
Cocoa farmers' support programme
In 2018, the Cocoa Farmers’ Support programme was initiated in host communities of the Damang mine to boost cocoa yields and income of farmers. Under this programme, cocoa farmers receive government-approved fertilisers, farm equipment and training in proper handling and application of agrochemicals. Each year, 120 new farmers join the programme and benefit from inputs for three years, after which they exit. This is to allow as many cocoa farmers as possible to be part of the programme. Thirty-six percent (36%) of the current 360 cocoa farmers on the programme are women. So far, 600 cocoa farmers with a total farm size of 1,200 have benefited from the programme. A recent assessment show that the first batch of participants experienced 33% and 7% increase in cocoa yields and income, respectively.
Rubber plantation programme
Blast exclusive zones and other fallow lands on the mines have been rehabilitated into rubber plantations and crop farms. Farmers in the host communities have access to these farms.
Roads and bridges
In 2019, the Foundation completed the rehabilitation of the 33-kilometre Tarkwa-Damang asphalt road. The road starts at the Bogoso Junction in Tarkwa and runs through Abosso to the Damang mine. Over US$27.6 million was invested in the road, which had deteriorated over the years. Since its completion, the road has eased transportation, improved road safety and boosted economic activities in communities within the Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley municipalities and beyond.
The Foundation has also constructed and rehabilitated several roads in the host communities, including the Awudua road, Nana Angu UMaT road, Samahu-Huniso-Pepesa road, Brahabobom community roads, New Atuabo community roads, Abosso community roads and Pieso community roads. The Foundation has constructed/rehabilitated over 105 kilometres of roads in the host communities.
To improve access to all communities and to ensure the safe transportation of people and goods, the Foundation has built several bridges in the host communities.
Classrooms, libraries and ICT centres
More than 50 schools have been constructed or rehabilitated in the host communities. In addition, libraries and ICT centres have been set up to encourage reading and improve computer literacy among school children.
Community centres are important facilities for host community members as they serve as convenient venues for social gatherings and recreation. The Foundation has constructed 16 community centres in the host communities.
Access to quality health care remains a priority. Nine clinics, health centres and Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds have been constructed/renovated in the host communities, some of which include the Huni-Valley Health Centre, maternity block at the Apinto Government Hospital, and clinics at Wassa Damang, Bompieso and Huniso.
Stadium and sports facilities
Work is ongoing on the reconstruction of the Tarkwa and Abosso Park into an international standard stadium, with seating capacity of 10,400. When completed, the stadium is expected to position Tarkwa as a football hub in the Western Region and encourage the development of youth talent in the host communities. It will also serve as home ground for the Tarkwa-based and Gold Fields-sponsored Medeama Sporting Club, which is a premier league team.
The Akoon Park in Tarkwa has also been rehabilitated and currently serves as home ground for Medeama SC.