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The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has officially handed over a US$980,000 girls' dormitory to the Huni Valley Senior High School, one of its high-impact projects in the Prestea-Huni Valley municipality.
The Foundation invested in the project, which is in the operational area of Abosso Goldfields, Damang Mine, to help tackle the accommodation deficit for girls at the school and to reduce the number of female students residing in off-campus hostels.
The high-impact project is a 360-bed facility with four two-bedroom ensuite apartments for teachers. The facility comes with a prefects' cabins, ironing room, chop box rooms and bathrooms.
In addition, 180 bunk beds and a mechanised borehole have been provided to ensure adequate water supply. The facility has also been equipped with fire alarms and extinguishers to ensure maximum safety.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa, Joshua Mortoti, explained that Gold Fields is committed to creating value which is sustainable and lasts beyond the company's mining activities to benefit stakeholders.
"To ensure we are on the right path where this is concerned, Gold Fields recently commissioned a study by a third-party, to do a comprehensive socio-economic impact assessment of our projects and programmes on host communities and the larger Ghanaian economy," Mr Mortoti said.
"We were pleased that overall, Gold Fields has contributed significantly to the economic growth of the country and supported to improve infrastructural development." he added.
According to Mr Mortoti, educational infrastructure projects have significantly increased access to education and school enrollment in host communities.
"We officially hand over one such project – the Huni Valley SHS Girls' Dormitory. In 2019, the Foundation approved the construction of a 360-bed capacity girls' dormitory with four 2-bedroom apartments for teachers. We believe this new facility will help to significantly improve the level of education," he said.
Mr Mortoti also noted that one of the company's Environment, Social and Governance targets is to increase the percentage of women at Gold Fields to 30% by 2030 and that the best way to achieve this is to support the training of girls at the senior high school and tertiary levels of education.
"Through our scholarship programme, skills and graduate training programmes, we have made a conscious effort to include more females to ensure they acquire employable skills and to create a pipeline for employment," he iterated.
The girls' dormitory was constructed within 3 years by a local contractor at Tarkwa, an indication of the company's local content strategy which ensures that Gold Fields nurtures and supports the growth of local businesses.
Set up in 2004, the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has invested over US$93m in several socio-economic initiatives and high-impact programmes in the host communities of the Tarkwa and Damang mines.