How it all Started

St. Joseph Senior High School came into being after Most Rev. Joseph Francis Kweku Essien became the first bishop of the Diocese of Wiawso in 2000. Rev. Msgr. Simon Assamoah, who spent 1997-1999 as an associate pastor at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Johns Creek, Ga,, was called back to the Western Region to be the Vicar General and to assist His Excellency in building the Church in the diocese.   With great poverty and poor living conditions throughout this rural part of Ghana, Msgr. Simon initially focused on several parish building projects and providing clean drinking water.  Msgr. Simon called on his many friends back in the states to help in these endeavors. Father built a new church his parish in Bibiani as well as raised money for updating several other parishes. The success of the creation of new wells for clean drinking water was so great that the government took over that program.

 

Msgr. Simon noticed that the people went to him when something was wrong with the wells. They expected him to fix it. He realized that the communities would never be self-sufficient unless they had the education to take care of their own needs and staff local businesses. Yet, less than 50% of students’ eligible students could go to the limited supply of high schools in the region. The bishop, msgr. Simon and a task force that was set up to look at this problem, determined that a  Co-educational residential high school would go a long way to raise the education level and therefore standard of living in the area.

 

In 2006, a group of friends visited Ghana and committed to start a 501c(3) to help raise the funds for the school with the proviso that the operating costs would be covered by the parents, diocese and other local contributors.

The nonprofit contributes 100% of the money raised directly to the support of St. Joseph’s. In setting up the 5013c(3), the US team chose the name “Clap for Jesus” from the sign on a local shop that had that as its name, in honor of the incredible joy and faith of the people of Ghana.

Left to Right: Steve Raber (Board Member), Tom Clements (Board Member), Msgr. Simon Assomoah (Visionary and Local Overseer), Steve O’Brien (Board Member), Niels Berzanskis (Lead Construction Engineer) 

Left to Right: Rev. Fr. Anthony Oppong (Assistant Headmaster), Twum Barima (Building Contractor), Neils, Stella Adjei (Headmistress), Kondua (Road Contractor)

School Opens

The school took in her first batch of 101 students in October of 2008. The school was initially inaugurated on May 2nd, 2009 as a Private Catholic Senior High School. The school was to model in students the Catholic Philosophy of Holistic Education, Discipline and Academic Excellence.  

 

During that period, the school lacked a lot of equipment and materials, and this made teaching and learning very difficult. [For example], the school hitherto was doing contract photocopying of examination questions and others in town, because the photocopy machine in the school had broken down, and the repair cost was very huge.  

 

The school was absorbed by the Government into the Public system in September 2014. It was within the 2014/2015 academic year that Mrs. Stella Adjei was posted to the school as the first substantive headmistress.“ [1]

Students & Staff Growth

The government absorption has proved wildly successful. The student population was 351 at the time of the transfer. At the end of that academic year,2014/2015, it grew to 550 students.  

 

The school, while still financially impoverished, has blossomed. There were now 705 students in the spring 2017 semester. 366 females and 339 males.  

 

The school started with 10 teaching staff. Today, there are 43 teaching staff and 13 non-teaching staff for 56 full time employees.

© 2017 by Clap for Jesus, Inc