Commonwealth Office celebrates New Horizon Special School founder on her 93rd birthday

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The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, created by Heads of Ghana to promote Trade and Investment across the Commonwealth’s 2.4 billion citizens has celebrated Madam Francois, Founder of New Horizon Special School on her 93rd Birthday.

Presenting a Citation of Honour to Mrs Francois on her Birthday, Mr. John Apea Commonwealth Head of Mission said: “On behalf of the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we are delighted to present a citation of honour to Mrs. Francois on her birthday for the amazing work that she has done with special needs children and adults in Ghana”.

He added: “As the Founder of the first private Special School in Ghana, what impresses me the most is that, Mrs. Francois has never been paid a salary for her work at the New Horizon Special School over the past 50 years”.

On her part, Mrs. Francois thanked the diplomatic communities within Ghana, businesses and the general public for the immeasurable support that they have provided to the New Horizon Special School over the past 50 years:

“Words escape me today on my birthday, but I would like to thank God that I am still here and all our helpers, who know who they are, for all the support -big and small, that they have given the school over the years. This is why the school is still here, and we definitely could not have done it without each and every one of them,”.

John Apea, Head of Missions for the Commonwealth cutting the birthday cake with Mrs. Francois, founder of New Horizon Special School.

About New Horizon Special School

New Horizon Special School was founded by Mrs Salome François in 1972 and has been legally registered as a voluntary, non-profit making and charitable institution with the Ministry of Education. It is managed by an Executive Director and controlled by a Board of Trustees.

New Horizon Special School provides day school education for children between the ages of 6 and 18 years old, and vocational training and employment for adults (18 and over), who have intellectual disability.

Its aim is to not only provide a well-rounded education for children and adults with special needs, in a safe and caring environment, but also to develop each child’s potential to the full so that he or she can lead a productive and satisfying life.

Persons with other disabilities like spasticity, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, hearing impairment etc may also be admitted so long as their primary disability is a learning difficulty.

Presently, its pupils’ range in age between 6 and 63 years, and it offers vocational programs including kente weaving, batik dyeing, basket weaving and bead making.

All items produced are sold in the School Shop with 50% of the proceeds of each item going back to the student who made it, as a way for them to earn income.

Older students are also taught life skills like ironing, cleaning and basic cooking to help them live independently.

New Horizon Special School provides bursaries for some of its needier pupils whilst those not in receipt of bursaries are charged modest school fees. To date, New Horizon is funded solely through cash and material donations, sponsorship and sale proceeds of its products.

About the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

CWEIC is a commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation with an official mandate from the Commonwealth Heads of Government to facilitate trade and investment throughout the 54 Commonwealth member nations.

The role of CWEIC is to use the convening power and trusted network of the Commonwealth, which is led by Her Majesty The Queen, to drive trade and investment.

CWEIC’s network includes around 100 business and government Strategic Partners (members) including Standard Chartered, Zenith Bank, Trade & Investment Queensland and the Government of the Maldives from 30 countries and territories. Every two years, CWEIC hosts the Commonwealth Business Forum in association with the host country of The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

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