Our original social enterprise venture Abrofresh is 100% pure pineapple juice. To make things a little more exotic it can be spiced up with fresh ginger puree, moringa (a plant grown locally with proven medicinal properties), or both!
The pineapples, which are very generously supplied free of charge by Jei River Farms, are first skinned and then chopped up by the lovely Josie and her team. Next they are put into a huge press to extract the bulk of the juice and finally, to maximise the yield, the mulch is hand-pressed through filter bags before being bottled.
Our original social enterprise venture
Abrofresh is 100% pure pineapple juice. To make things a little more exotic it can be spiced up with fresh ginger puree, moringa (a plant grown locally with proven medicinal properties), or both!
The pineapples, which are very generously supplied free of charge or at a subsidised price by Jei River Farms and Milani, are first skinned and then chopped up by the lovely Josie and her team. Next they are put into a huge press to extract the bulk of the juice and finally, to maximise the yield, the mulch is hand-pressed through filter bags before being bottled.
Production is based at the school and the juice is given to students, teachers and the local orphanage for free once a week to kick start their day. The rest of the time it is offered to them at a subsidised price and sold to the general public via kiosks in the local marketplace as well as direct to various businesses in the neighbourhood. All profits go straight back into the school.
Abrofresh consistently makes a small profit which goes directly back to the school, and also has value in other ways. Whilst it provides employment for four local girls, it also allows our students to get involved through the business club and observe at first hand the principles of commerce. Last but not least it is a completely natural, delicious product and its health benefits are undeniable.
The Honey Project
Apiculture in Africa is very different than in Europe, most notably in that beekeepers have less of a role- the bees are left to their own devices much of the time. The tropical climate means that they can be active all the year round so there is no need to feed the bees over the winter, as is done in Europe. Even the hives look completely different!
At the moment we have six populated hives and our after school bee club is well attended- students thoroughly enjoy putting on their protective clothing and tending the hives, and the boys revel in the opportunity to show off their bravery in front of the girls (from whom there is a lot of shrieking)!
Despite these histrionics, the students are well trained and have now taken complete charge of the apiary, right down to the harvesting and bottling of the honey. The South is unfortunately not the best part of Ghana for apiculture, there being too much yearly rainfall, but it gives a respectable yield which, if volumes can be increased, will be sold alongside the pineapple juice at our Abrofresh kiosks.
We are now producing good quality bread that takes the place of the unhealthy sugar buns favoured by many of our students. It is freshly baked by our wonderful school cook Auntie Aggie each morning and available for sale to students at cost price. Our aim is to sell it at a profit through the Abrofresh outlets in the very near future.
The wooden hut which houses the bakery is located outside the second classroom block.
Aggie has been experimenting with many different types of bread and so far, tea bread has been the overall favourite!
Now that the bakery is running smoothly, the intention is for it to be run by students from the Domestic Science class, as well as both the Science and Business Clubs.
Our latest venture!
Aquaponics is a marvellous system that combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) with hydroponics (growing plants in water).
In AWSHS's case, tilapia fish are being raised in tanks and their by-products are broken down by nitrogen-fixing bacteria into nitrates and nitrites which then provide plants with the nutrients to grow. Plants act as a bio-filter and purify the water which is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
The result? Happy fish and fresh food!
Students have been keenly involved since Aquaculture expert Tony Bart came all the way from Australia on a self-funded visit in the summer of 2014 and, with the help of his eager assistant Max Sayers, set the project up.
In light of the real interest shown by a large number of students, as well as the potential future employment opportunities presented by the ever-growing fish farming industry, we are looking to introduce Aquaculture as a discipline at the school in the near future.