About us

CRIS Background

The Centre for Rural Improvement Services (CRIS) is a non-governmental, a nonpolitical and non-profit organization formed in 1998 in Damongo, West Gonja District, Ghana.  CRIS was established in order to improve the living standards of poor, marginalized and disadvantaged segments of society living in West Gonja, one of the Ghana’s most poverty stricken of districts.

In its early years, CRIS helped regional communities secure potable water sources and trained local women in water administration and management.  CRIS also provided households with inside latrines and led community sanitation and trash clean-up campaigns.  In addition, CRIS assisted in the formation of women farming groups and the formation women-led savings and loan associations.

In May 2003, CRIS was officially registered with the Department of Registrar General Ghana and incorporated  as a non-profit organization with registration number: CG076022017  and with the Department of Social Welfare  registration number:  DSW 2369.  Since then, it has continued to provide critical services to impoverished communities across Ghana’s Northern Region.  Presently, CRIS’s services fall into four thematic areas: health, education, democratic governance and human rights, and sustainable livelihoods.

Brief description of CRIS and legal status

The Centre for Rural Improvement Services (CRIS) is a Non-Governmental, Non-profit and Non-Partisan organisation, committed to the promotion of quality life for the poor & marginalized in society particularly women, children and physically challenged. Our head office is  at Damongo, the district capital of West Gonja in the Northern Region of Ghana with a sub office at Sawla, Buipe and Daboya. CRIS’s programmes focus on Education, Health, Democratic  Governance, Agriculture and food security, WASH, Livelihood  and Environmental protection with Village Savings Loans  & credit (VSLAs) as cross cutting intervention.

CRIS is registered with the Registrar General’s Department with registration number: CG076022017  and with the Department of Social Welfare with registration number:  DSW 2369.

Where We Work

  1. West Gonja
  2. Bole
  3. Central Gonja
  4. East Gonja
  5. Central Gonja
  6. North Gonja
  7. Sawla –Tuna- Kalba

To work with communities to expand their capabilities to assess their rights, maximize their potential and provide for the wellbeing of its members.

A society of equal opportunities, where every person is able to assert their rights, fulfills their responsibilities and enjoys a secure life with dignity.

logo2020

Center for Improvement Services

Realizing Potentials

Core Values and Guiding Principles

CRIS’s rights based programmes are delivered together with a wide range of partners and communities through a combination of community empowerment programmes, advocacy, and evidence based research and to some extent, service delivery. We draw on the trusting relationships developed with communities and local governments over the years. It also builds on a deep understanding of the issues and grassroots perspectives on development challenges. Our work is therefore guided by the following values and core principles:

  1. Equity and Justice to ensure equal opportunity for everyone within our organization and in our work with the communities.
  2. Mutual respect for the values and worth of each person and group in our collective pursuit of our mission and vision.
  3. Honesty in all our deeds and words.
  4. Transparency in our processes, decisions and communications.
  5. Humility in recognition of our need for others in the fight against poverty

Goals of the Organisation

  1. To enhance the opportunity of poor and marginalised boys and girls to have access to quality basic education through improved retention and ability of at least 70% girls to complete Junior high school by 2021.
  2. To empower citizens to demand accountability from traditional, local government structures and health institutions as well as actively participate in decision making at the local level.
  3. To secure access of poor and marginalized men and women to a decent livelihood through access to productive resources, skills training and enterprise development

EDUCATION

In order to promote education, CRIS has established parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and school management committees (SMCs) in schools where none existed and built the capacity of existing PTAs and SMCs by training them in student enrollment, retention and completion. CRIS also led highly successful campaigns to encourage school dropouts to reenroll, with particular emphasis on teenage mothers.  CRIS prepared mentor-teachers to educate girls on sexual reproductive health, assertiveness a

nd home economics. Through CRIS’s efforts, district “wing” schools serving the very rural have been established and access ramps for the disabled have been constructed in schools.


Goal
: To enhance the opportunity of poor and marginalised boys and girls to have access to quality basic education through improved retention and ability of at least 80% girls to complete Junior high school by 2021

Objectives:

  1. Improved access and retention of boys and girls in deprived rural community schools in the Northern Region by 80% in 2021
  2. Improved quality of teaching and learning in basic schools through improved school management and community support.
  3. Advocate for a conducive School and community environment enhance effective teaching and learning which promotes and enhances the rights of especially girls to quality education.

Education is one of CRIS’s most critical and important programmes. We view access to quality education as a right; one of the most fundamental of rights. Besides its impact on ability to earn income and its contribution to the development of both individuals and communities it is essential for the realization of the other rights. CRIS regards education as the main key to development since it empowers people to pull themselves out of poverty. It fosters essential skills and provides the tools necessary for individuals, families, communities and countries to fulfill human potential and realize aspirations. Better access to education leads to citizen empowerment and increases people’s ability to assert their rights, to demand accountability from their governments, and to engage in the world as global citizens. Education is critical to the strengthening of civil society organizations that seek to articulate the needs and demands of people in the Northern Region for an equitable distribution of the Ghana’s resources, and solutions to the marginalization of region.

The Education Programme will continue to focus on access to quality basic education by boys and girls in rural and deprived communities in the Northern Region. The programme would target the government, its agencies and international donor agencies at the national level, to ensure the adoption and implementation of policies and practices that assure access to quality education for girls and boys. This will be done through our association and active participation as member of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition and the Northern Network for Education Development by actively participating in activities which directly influence education policy and practice.

At the community level, emphasis will be placed on empowering communities by building community capacity to engage service providers and policy-makers in the provision of those resources which are essential to complement community response to educate their children in order to ensure that children do have access not only to a school but to quality education.

Furthermore, issues on the school environment and its impact on retention will be addressed after conducting an in-depth gender analysis. This will sustain the gains made in increasing the retention of girls in the first phase.

Some limited level of service delivery will be undertaken as an approach for demonstrating good practice and encouraging duty bearers and service providers such as the Ghana Education Service and the District Assembly to replicate in other deprived schools. This will also increase CRIS’s legitimacy to engage government agencies and donors at the regional and national level as a result of our practical experience in demonstrating good practice of meeting immediate and urgent educational needs of deprived and marginalized boys and girls.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  1. Returned 140 teenage mothers to school in the West gonja and Sawla Tuna- Kalba districts of the northern region of Ghana. From 2011 to 1014.
  2. District Assemblies on West gonja and Sawla Tuna Kalba incorporated  disability friendly ramps into school building plans. 24 schools had ramps  as part of completed  classroom buildings.
  3. Girls Clubs activities improved performance and leadership among girls. They have influenced schools to make their environment more girl-friendly, enrolment of peers into school, remain and complete their education. For instance, the return and transition rate of club members has improved to 75% in 2014/15 for girls progressing into upper and JHS schools as compared to 65% in 2013/14 academic years in the Bole and STK districts.
  4. Interclub competition/interventions use as advocacy platforms for children to demand fair distribution of teachers and other TLMs in rural schools.
  5. Through capacity strengthening of patrons and girls, issues of rights violations on children especially girls are seriously addressed.
  6. Reached 3,200 girls through Girls Clubs and camps aimed at increasing the confidence, assertiveness, and participation in the leadership of girls in rural communities.
  7. CRIS intervention in girls’ education has improved the assertiveness of girls in our communities as well as increased their interest in education. Those who had made up their minds to stop schooling at the Junior High School level had a change of mind and are now successfully in the Senior High School of their choice.
  8. Promoting school governance by strengthening of PTA Networks. A PTA Network has been formed in Tamale and two others in the Bole and STK districts to serve as advocacy bodies for parents to have a stronger voice to demand accountability from the government for quality education delivery in these districts.
  9. Increased visibility of active SMC/PTAs Networks dealing with the issue of surface mining, teacher absenteeism, idleness, punctuality and tracking of educational resources in 4 districts.
  10. 500 children from 16 communities in three districts in the Northern Region are championing and advocating for the rights of children.
  11. Influenced the development of school rules in the North and West Gonja districts.

Core Values and Guiding Principles

CRIS’s rights based programmes are delivered together with a wide range of partners and communities through a combination of community empowerment programmes, advocacy, and evidence based research and to some extent, service delivery. We draw on the trusting relationships developed with communities and local governments over the years. It also builds on a deep understanding of the issues and grassroots perspectives on development challenges. Our work is therefore guided by the following values and core principles:

  1. Equity and Justice to ensure equal opportunity for everyone within our organization and in our work with the communities.
  2. Mutual respect for the values and worth of each person and group in our collective pursuit of our mission and vision.
  3. Honesty in all our deeds and words.
  4. Transparency in our processes, decisions and communications.
  5. Humility in recognition of our need for others in the fight against poverty

Goals of the Organisation

  1. To enhance the opportunity of poor and marginalised boys and girls to have access to quality basic education through improved retention and ability of at least 70% girls to complete Junior high school by 2021.
  2. To empower citizens to demand accountability from traditional, local government structures and health institutions as well as actively participate in decision making at the local level.

To secure access of poor and marginalized men and women to a decent livelihood through access to productive resources, skills training and enterprise development

EDUCATION

In order to promote education, CRIS has established parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and school management committees (SMCs) in schools where none existed and built the capacity of existing PTAs and SMCs by training them in student enrollment, retention and completion. CRIS also led highly successful campaigns to encourage school dropouts to reenroll, with particular emphasis on teenage mothers.  CRIS prepared mentor-teachers to educate girls on sexual reproductive health, assertiveness and home economics. Through CRIS’s efforts, district “wing” schools serving the very rural have been established and access ramps for the disabled have been constructed in schools.


Goal
: To enhance the opportunity of poor and marginalised boys and girls to have access to quality basic education through improved retention and ability of at least 80% girls to complete Junior high school by 2021

Objectives:

  1. Improved access and retention of boys and girls in deprived rural community schools in the Northern Region by 80% in 2021
  2. Improved quality of teaching and learning in basic schools through improved school management and community support.
  3. Advocate for a conducive School and community environment enhance effective teaching and learning which promotes and enhances the rights of especially girls to quality education.

Education is one of CRIS’s most critical and important programmes. We view access to quality education as a right; one of the most fundamental of rights. Besides its impact on ability to earn income and its contribution to the development of both individuals and communities it is essential for the realization of the other rights. CRIS regards education as the main key to development since it empowers people to pull themselves out of poverty. It fosters essential skills and provides the tools necessary for individuals, families, communities and countries to fulfill human potential and realize aspirations. Better access to education leads to citizen empowerment and increases people’s ability to assert their rights, to demand accountability from their governments, and to engage in the world as global citizens. Education is critical to the strengthening of civil society organizations that seek to articulate the needs and demands of people in the Northern Region for an equitable distribution of the Ghana’s resources, and solutions to the marginalization of region.

The Education Programme will continue to focus on access to quality basic education by boys and girls in rural and deprived communities in the Northern Region. The programme would target the government, its agencies and international donor agencies at the national level, to ensure the adoption and implementation of policies and practices that assure access to quality education for girls and boys. This will be done through our association and active participation as member of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition and the Northern Network for Education Development by actively participating in activities which directly influence education policy and practice.

At the community level, emphasis will be placed on empowering communities by building community capacity to engage service providers and policy-makers in the provision of those resources which are essential to complement community response to educate their children in order to ensure that children do have access not only to a school but to quality education.

Furthermore, issues on the school environment and its impact on retention will be addressed after conducting an in-depth gender analysis. This will sustain the gains made in increasing the retention of girls in the first phase.

Some limited level of service delivery will be undertaken as an approach for demonstrating good practice and encouraging duty bearers and service providers such as the Ghana Education Service and the District Assembly to replicate in other deprived schools. This will also increase CRIS’s legitimacy to engage government agencies and donors at the regional and national level as a result of our practical experience in demonstrating good practice of meeting immediate and urgent educational needs of deprived and marginalized boys and girls.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  1. Returned 140 teenage mothers to school in the West gonja and Sawla Tuna- Kalba districts of the northern region of Ghana. From 2011 to 1014.
  2. District Assemblies on West gonja and Sawla Tuna Kalba incorporated  disability friendly ramps into school building plans. 24 schools had ramps  as part of completed  classroom buildings.
  3. Girls Clubs activities improved performance and leadership among girls. They have influenced schools to make their environment more girl-friendly, enrolment of peers into school, remain and complete their education. For instance, the return and transition rate of club members has improved to 75% in 2014/15 for girls progressing into upper and JHS schools as compared to 65% in 2013/14 academic years in the Bole and STK districts.
  4. Interclub competition/interventions use as advocacy platforms for children to demand fair distribution of teachers and other TLMs in rural schools.
  5. Through capacity strengthening of patrons and girls, issues of rights violations on children especially girls are seriously addressed.
  6. Reached 3,200 girls through Girls Clubs and camps aimed at increasing the confidence, assertiveness, and participation in the leadership of girls in rural communities.
  7. CRIS intervention in girls’ education has improved the assertiveness of girls in our communities as well as increased their interest in education. Those who had made up their minds to stop schooling at the Junior High School level had a change of mind and are now successfully in the Senior High School of their choice.
  8. Promoting school governance by strengthening of PTA Networks. A PTA Network has been formed in Tamale and two others in the Bole and STK districts to serve as advocacy bodies for parents to have a stronger voice to demand accountability from the government for quality education delivery in these districts.
  9. Increased visibility of active SMC/PTAs Networks dealing with the issue of surface mining, teacher absenteeism, idleness, punctuality and tracking of educational resources in 4 districts.
  10. 500 children from 16 communities in three districts in the Northern Region are championing and advocating for the rights of children.
  11. Influenced the development of school rules in the North and West Gonja districts.