SEATTLE — Partnering with the non-profit organization, Pencils of Promise (PoP), the early 2000s Grammy award-winning rapper, Jonathan Smith (alias “Lil Jon”) opened up a school for Kindergarteners in Abomayaw, Ghana this October.
Lil Jon joined forces with PoP in memory and honor of his late mother, Carrie M. Smith, to contribute to this benevolent effort of improving education within the Abomayaw community.
According to PoP, up until now, Ghana was considered to be one of the major countries in the world living in poverty. Though the country has become resilient from a lack of basic necessities, they still suffer in regard to their educational resources.
Providing confidence and assurance to over 24,000 students, PoP has also aided over 120 communities in Ghana to guarantee that primary-school aged children are able to continue progressing towards decreasing the 18 percent of children that are not registered in school. PoP also strives to prevent the expected 28 percent who are in school from dropping out before completing their primary education.
In the past, kindergarteners of Abomayaw, Ghana endured lectures in some of the worst conditions possible. Unlike American luxuries, kindergarten students had to be taught in open pavilions with no windows or doors, surrounded by incomplete walls and floors with no tile or any real foundation, just the dirt on the ground.
The conditions were so subpar that the students’ health became at risk while in school as they had to endure learning in an environment that lacked proper ventilation; it’s mind-boggling to imagine how a kindergartner is supposed to pay attention and regurgitate the curriculum in such an environment.
With Lil Jon’s support and the support of those who donated directly to PoP and the Abomayaw community, the organizations were able to construct a school building that includes three classrooms to allow for hundreds of students to receive the education they deserve.
The kindergarteners that endured learning in such harsh environments now have the chance to learn in a more appropriate classroom — renovations were even made to the windows to allow for for proper lighting of the building and improve the building’s ventilation.
This is not Lil Jon’s first altruistic measure towards helping the greater good. Lil Jon’s significant and impactful opening of a school for kindergarteners was just the beginning — he now continues the effort to improve children’s lives in Ghana by working towards increasing the amount of safe, healthy and empowering schools in Ghana for the future.
– Jalil Perry