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Ja Rule partners Pencils of Promise to build classroom block in Ghana

Nuaso (E/R), April 12, GNA – Jeffrey Bruce Atkins Sr, an American hip hop artist popularly known as Ja Rule, cut sod on Wednesday for the construction of a six-unit classroom block at Nuaso Anglican Primary School in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region of Ghana.

The project is being executed in partnership with the Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organisation founded in the United States to increase access to quality education for children.

Ja Rule, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Aisha Atkins, said he was extremely happy to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony and to contribute to the construction of the school project.

« For me, education is the pillar of community, » he said.

He added: « I know that this is going to be an opportunity that will last for many many years to come. This is just the beginning of something very special. »

« Ghana, I appreciate you all. Thank you for accepting me as your brother.

« I will be back when the school opens up, to come and speak and greet all the kids and everybody that’s here, » Ja Rule assured, adding that, he would continue to partner Pencils of Promise to embark on more philanthropic causes in the country.

Ms Kailee Scales, Chief Executive Officer, Pencils of Promise, speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, said all children should be given the opportunity to get the education they deserved and learn in a safe environment so they could become empowered and responsible citizens.

« We are not just constructing physical structures, we are building the pillars of knowledge and hope. Every brick laid symbolises the commitment to ensuring that learners in this community have access to safe and high quality education, » she said.

She explained that Ja Rule and Pencils of Promise would bear 80 per cent of the cost of construction of the classroom block whilst the community would bear the remaining 20 per cent in the form of labour, food for workers and some materials.

Mr Samuel K Tettey, Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Director, Ghana Education Service, said the infrastructural challenge facing the school came as a result of heavy rainstorm that ripped off the entire roofing of the old classroom block, which was used by the pupils.

That, he said, had led to the running of the shift system in the primary school for the past four years, reducing instructional hours by half, and promoting truancy and other social vices among the pupils.

« The completion of this six-unit classroom block with ancillary facilities will not only help solve the infrastructural challenge as far as this school is concerned. It will also reduce to the bearest minimum the attendance challenges. Our children will do the full instructional hours to compete with their mates in other schools. Truancy, school dropout and other vices will be a thing of the past, » Mr Tettey noted.

He expressed profound gratitude to Ja Rule, Mrs Atkins and the Pencils of Promise for coming to the aid of the school.

Mr Tettey assured that the Chiefs, Municipal Assembly, and people of Lower Manya Krobo and Nuaso community would give their full support to ensure a successful execution of the project.

Mr Mark Okraku-Mantey, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, noted that, following the launch of the Year of Return in 2019 by the Government, several prominent personalities from the United States had visited Ghana.

He thanked Ja Rule for giving back to society and urged other performers in Ghana and abroad to emulate such actions.

He encouraged Ja Rule to bring more diasporians to Ghana to experience the love and help develop the country.