Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A Sporting Chance

Golden Star, in collaboration with local community partners, has brought Prestea its very first multi-purpose recreational park through the transformation of a former unauthorized dumping site.

Recreational Park complex – phase one completed!

The History of the Site

The achievement of phase one of the park complex is amazing when you consider the history of the site. Less than 3 years ago, this is what the site looked like:


Positioned at the headwaters of the Nsuo Kofi stream, the former dump site posed serious hygiene and health risks to the community. Frequent algal blooming, mosquito breeding habitats and other sanitation issues were only a few of the risks present.

The Transformation Begins

Golden Star and Local Contractors for Mining Services (LOCOMS) worked together with Traditional Leaders to bring about the transformation. The partners worked together to clean the area, import capping materials, place and compact the cover, and implement drainage.

The site during capping

The partners then agreed on a plan to develop the area into Prestea’s first multi-purpose recreational park land. 

A plan was met with the approval of local youth, sparking a local youth NGO, Maintenance Sustainability Africa (MSA), who brought their support as volunteers to prepare and grass the site. This was the first time volunteering was mainstreamed in the area.


Grass preparation and planting

The Maintenance Sustainability Africa team at site

Grassing completed

In just a few months, the Golden Star team had installed two multi-purpose courts (one covered), a training facility and male and female change-houses and bathrooms.


Multi-purpose courts and training facility during construction and at completion!

The phase one facilities are part of a wider plan for the recreational park complex, which will later also host kiosks, a restaurant, a lecture room and a children’s playground. The courts, initially marked up for basketball, will also be marked to allow multi-purpose use for other sports, such as volleyball and futsal (five-a-side football).

General arrangement plan of the Prestea recreational park complex

Giants of Africa Basketball Clinic

In October 2018, Golden Star, in partnership with Giants of Africa, hosted a three-day basketball clinic for selected basketball players from across Ghana to commemorate the official opening of the recreational facility.

The clinic was conducted by Godwin Owinje, co-founder of Giants of Africa, and Michael Akuboh, a scout for the NBA team, Toronto Raptors. 

Godwin Owinje commented: “This is a world class facility that will help promote basketball in Ghana. The biggest problem in most African countries when it comes to growing basketball is the lack of facilities. I think that what Golden Star has done is a great start.” 

Traditional Leaders and Golden Star General Manager Ahmed-Salim Adam attend the official opening

Traditional Leaders receive basketball coaching

Creating a Pathway for Youth Through Sport

Creating a pathway for youth through sport is the mantra of Giants of Africa (GOA). 

The GOA mission is to use basketball as a means to educate and enrich the lives of African youth and grow the game of basketball within Africa through quality facilities, gear and coaches. 

GOA camps create awareness and support for underprivileged children and young adults and place emphasis on hard work, accountability, honest living and positivity.

Masai Ujiri, founder of Giants of Africa speaks from the heart about his mission: “Dream. It’s okay to dream, and it’s okay to dream big.”

Growing up playing basketball in Africa, Ujiri realized the abundance of talent in his homeland – but these players were often referred to as raw, lacking experience in the game and lacking access to coaching and facilities. Ujiri drew upon these personal experiences and founded GOA in 2003 – a non-profit organization with the goal of changing this reality. 

Today the GOA Top 50 Camp has developed players at the local, national, international and professional levels. To date over 80 campers attended high school or university in the United States, and over 100 attended university in Nigeria. In addition, nearly 20 former participants have played on junior teams in clubs throughout Europe – 30 of which have played on the Nigerian Junior National team, and nearly 55 have attended the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Africa. 

Image courtesy of Giants of Africa

What has this opportunity meant to the selected Prestea basketball trainees, trainers and teaching staff?


Emmanuel Nyadedzor, a student of Prestea Senior High Technical School
“As a basketball player, I was looking forward to continuing with my training when my dad got transferred to Prestea. But to my disappointment, I couldn’t train because there was no basketball court in the community. Now with the help of Golden Star, I have been able to train consistently.  Golden Star basketball training has really helped me to acquire new skills as a basketball player.”  



Solomon Arthur, a student of Prestea Senior High Technical School
“I was selected during the drill at Tarkwa because of my experience and performance. I learned new drills like sliding, javelin passes, bounce passes, layup and many more. The trainer taught me to take the training seriously if we want to be like Michael Jordan and Steven Curry. I thank Golden Star for giving us the opportunity to train like professional basketball players. If we are well trained, we will achieve something profitable in life”.


The trainer, David Asangalisah
“My experience with the trainees was very interesting. For me, the initiative is very good. Basketball is a discipline that engages youth and keeps them on the right path. I would say a big thank you to Golden Star for giving me the rare opportunity to train the boys.”






Abdul Fahad, Fynn Upgrade International School
“My experience during the training was very helpful because I was able to learn new skills to help me improve my abilities.   With the training given, I now know I’m ready to meet my opponent.  The trainer related so well to us and I really enjoyed learning from him. I think Golden Star is doing a great job by training the youth in the community.”





Samuel Nana Armoo, the headmaster of Prestea Senior High Technical School

“Basketball isn’t well known to the people of Prestea, Bogoso and other villages close by. It is however, well known in Takoradi, Accra and Kumasi as they play league matches. The basketball court will give local youth a recreational activity and it will help to keep them out of trouble.  As a basketball trainer, I think this will help my students to develop their skills in basketball too. Golden Star has been doing well, and having a court here is a credit to the company.”

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility. For more information on Giants of Africa and their programs, please visit www.giantsofafrica.org



Friday, 21 September 2018

If It's Not Safe, Don't Do It

At Golden Star Resources our people are our greatest asset and therefore a strong safety culture is our top priority. Every day our team members come to work in order to achieve a common goal and we take every precaution to ensure they are able to do so in a safe environment.   

In line with our commitment to sustainability, we aim to build a working environment in which our people are provided with the proper training to be productive and secure each and every day.

The wellbeing of our people is deeply rooted in our company values and is the basis of one of our most important slogans used on site: ‘If it's not safe, don’t do it.’ 

 At our operations, more than 154 employees participated in Golden Star’s Safety Standards workshops. Throughout these workshops dedicated teams of specialist personnel advised and supported our teams, providing them with the in-depth knowledge they need to ensure their safety while working in high risk environments.
 
Five areas of our operations were covered during the training sessions: Electrical, Driving and Mobile Equipment, Work at Heights, Cranes and Lifting and Drilling. At Golden Star we continuously aim to enhance our safety standards and believe providing our team with on-going training is the key to accomplishing an incident-free workplace.


 

Let’s hear what some of our team had to say about the training sessions:

Michael Nkansah, Plant Maintenance Manager (Work at Heights Champion)
“As a management champion, there is nothing more important than the implementation of safety standards. Improving our safety training is a good initiative and I am happy that everyone, including management, is in full support”






Ahmed Mohammed-Badaru, Exploration Superintendent (Drilling Champion)
“The drilling safety standards workshop allowed our employees to formulate and own these safety standards themselves. It was all inclusive and very interactive, making participation very easy for all. Employees are encouraged to observe these standards to avoid incidents, particularly fatalities, in order to uphold our safety as a value.”





Cheslyn Hewlett, Electrical /Instrumentation Superintendent (Electrical Champion)
“The electrical standards workshop has been useful and helpful in the sense that it prepares our team for potential risks when dealing with high voltages. Plans have also been made to include enhanced electrical safety standards training for every person undertaking the electrical induction”.







Sosthenes Baako Yalley, Risk Management Coordinator
“The social process of developing a safety standard across the business has been a great initiative and is a giant step in the right direction. As we aim toward incident free operation, setting acceptable working standards will improve and enhance our safety culture.”






Isaac Harrison, Mobile Equipment Supervisor (Cranes and lifting Champion)
“I am happy to be part of this program. The workshop has educated me on more effective ways to work safely and created an opportunity for us to consult our team members to draft the safety standards. This allowed for expert opinion and more practical ways of working safely.  I thank management for bringing such an initiative to enhance our safety in a way that will protect us and ensure we work effectively too”.




Jonah Quaicoe- Maintenance Service Planner (Work at Height Champion)
“I found the work at heights workshop to be especially useful and enjoyable. As the standard has been drafted in collaboration with people who are skilled in the industry, it has been developed in a practical and useful way.”







If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Building a Nation Through Youth Leadership

Golden Star is once again working with our host communities to provide practical experience for young people. Between 2010 and 2017, we have hosted 729 attachment students, 602 National Service personnel, 134 graduate trainees and 74 apprentices.


This year is no exception, with Golden Star hosting 122 National Service personnel from our host communities and beyond.


Inspired by Golden Star’s work and our commitment to sustainability, the National Service teams have carried out a number of their own volunteer programs as part of their contribution to corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

National Service personnel at Bogoso/Prestea

In February 2018, the National Service team began volunteering with projects that included free weekend tuition for basic school students preparing for their final exams in mathematics, information computer technology (ICT) and general science. In addition, career counselling in relation to educational programs was offered to the candidates to help them achieve their full potential.

National Service personnel at Bogoso/Prestea

The second phase of the National Service team’s CSR program included fund-raising and carrying out repairs and maintenance work to schools and a hospital. This work included:


• At Experimental Junior High School, Bogoso – plastering and painting a classroom block and replacing blackboards with white boards
• At St. Michael Catholic School, Bogoso – painting of the laboratory, carrying out a major electrical wiring upgrade, and providing an Epson projector and screen for use in ICT studies
• At Akyempim School A and B & Old Subri Junior High School, Wassa – providing books and stationary
• At the Government Hospital, Prestea – upgrading of old wooden theatre doors to sliding doors and painting of the out-patients department and dispensary

School children displaying their new stationary


A tutorial session for final year students


School children being taught about the importance of safety


In total, this year’s Golden Star National Service team raised almost 20,000 GHc (over US$4,000) for their CSR program, providing assistance to hundreds of children and local community members.

Golden Star is extremely proud of the National Service personnel and their efforts – not only in amassing such amazing financial support, but more importantly, for the leadership they have displayed through numerous hours of volunteer time and effort. Ayekoo!


After a job well done, the team members had this to say:



Eugene Addae, Golden Star’s National Service President at the Bogoso/Prestea operation
“Our core mandate on earth is to better the lives of our younger generation. CSR is a call to all; everybody can do little things which have a great impact. On behalf of the National Service personnel of Golden Star Bogoso/Prestea Ltd, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our general manager, the management team and the entire workforce for their tremendous support and advice throughout this project.”



Pricilla Boateng, St. Michael Catholic School
“We are very happy to receive the projector. Before it came we were finding it difficult to see and understand what our teacher was trying to teach us. With the projector, even if we have problems with our machines, we can see  our lesson on the screen. We thank the Golden Star National Service team.”








Juliet Rockson, Experimental Junior High School
“I thank you for filling the potholes in our classroom and painting my school. I am very happy about the whiteboards, as we no longer have to black the board every Friday which makes our uniforms very dirty. I thank the service people for doing this and we promise to study very hard to make them proud. God bless them.”






Janet Amankwah Yeboah, Headmistress – Experimental Junior High School

“We are very grateful to have been chosen for a CSR project. I was surprised when they brought the proposal of installing the white boards, filling the classroom potholes, and plastering and painting the building, which had never been painted. I didn’t know if it would actually be done but in less than two months, the entire project was completed! I thank the 2018 Golden Star National Service team so much for contributing to the community and I pray for higher heights for them. Bravo for a job well done!”


If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

From Training to Learning and Earning

The opportunity to succeed

Young people in Golden Star’s host communities face the challenges of unemployment and skills shortages. 


To provide local young people with the opportunity to succeed, Golden Star launched the Golden Star Skills Training and Employable Program (GSSTEP) in 2009. Since that time Golden Star has sponsored over 600 young people in our host communities to obtain trade skills in masonry, carpentry, commercial cookery and other disciplines. All trainees also receive start-up tools to set up their own businesses to better prepare them to make a contribution to their community. 

GSSTEP trainees at Mampon Project Site

In a recent review of the program’s sustainability, an exciting opportunity for improvement was recognized. More of the trainees would succeed in converting their new skills into new business development if they had complementary ‘work experience’ to support the qualifications they had gained. Recognizing this opportunity, Golden Star designed a ‘post-GSSTEP’ on-the-job learning program called the Golden Star Learning and Earning Program (GSLEP). 
GSLEP is born!

The GSLEP pilot program was conducted earlier this year with the objective of empower young people to acquire basic market-oriented vocational livelihood and entrepreneurial skills, leading to successful employment in their community.


Under the GSLEP program, the young people transition from traineeship into a form of on-the-job instruction, earning a daily income to serve as motivational support and to assist with the transition into craftsmanship.


First project completed

The maiden group of GSLEP trainees have excelled and proven the value of the new, enhanced concept, having successfully constructed a first floor, 8 unit classroom block extension for the Prestea Senior High Technical School. 

Inspection of masonry work during on the job training inspection

The trainees (14 studying masonry, 7 carpentry and 2 commercial cookery) completed this tremendous effort in just five months, with the support of their supervisors and mentors.

Further proving the applicability of this concept and the need for these skills in the community, Golden Star was thrilled to receive expressions of interest from the host communities with ideas for other projects for the trainees. Even the Chief of Mbease Nsuta himself approached our company with keen interest in the project and future opportunities for the maiden GSLEP team.

Completed second story extension for the Prestea Secondary Technical School

Robert Gyamfi, Golden Star’s Community Manager, commented that the interest from the communities fits well with the company’s expected evolution of GSLEP:
“GSLEP is a staging ground to transition our GSSTEP participants from training, to learning, to earning. We will be working to develop a pathway for these young people to move into small business ownership and entrepreneurism, along the lines of how we have facilitated the development of LOCOMs (Local Contractors in Mining Services).”

So what has this opportunity meant to the GSLEP participants?

Maxwell Essel, Trainee

“I used to be involved in galamsey (artisanal mining), but when I heard Golden Star was looking for youth to train and considering the risks involved with the informal mining, I decided to join. The skills I have learnt with Golden Star will be useful for the future, whereas life as an informal miner is unpredictable and I could be left jobless at any time. It has really helped me and my future, I don’t think I would have been able to afford such training myself. Within nine months, I have been able to go through intensive theory and practical, including projects. I am very
grateful and I thank Golden Star for being a life changer and I look forward to a brighter future.”



Otis Gyatuah, GSR CRSR Department Civil Engineer

“When the trainees came to site, they had already gone through their theoretical and practical lessons for four months, so it was not difficult working with them. As the Golden Star site representative, I do not only supervise the trainees, I also educate them on safety and risk assessment because here at Golden Star, safety is our main value.”



John Quason, Trainee

“This new initiative has really helped us financially and has built up our confidence levels. With GSLEP we are challenged in practical ways by working on projects that are beneficial and can be used by the community like the Prestea Senior High Technical School building. Aside from the skills I have acquired, it has saved me a lot of money because if I was to learn these skills somewhere else, it would have cost me more than 1,500 Cedis plus my food and transportation. I thank Golden Star for this opportunity and I look forward to working in the future.”


Emmanuel Gyatuah, Trainee

“When I heard Golden Star was looking for young people to train, I decided to join because I knew it was an opportunity for me to improve myself. Initially, our training allowed us to acquire important skills. After our practical session we moved to the field to work on a project as paid trainees! With just 14 of us and the supervision of our site trainers, we have been able to build an eight unit classroom block. With this I believe I can build a three bedroom house if the opportunity comes. I thank Golden Star for equipping us and we promise to work hard with the skills acquired.”


Samuel Wilson, CRSR Department

“Both GSSTEP and the GSLEP bring with them personal and professional development and transformation. In our community, young people often seek unskilled and unsustainable jobs just because they offer immediate pay, but now we have the opportunity to find more skilled and sustainable work.”




If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ready to Beat Malaria

This post relates to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3): End the epidemics of tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Over the past five years, Golden Star has implemented a number of initiatives to decrease the number of malaria cases reported amongst our workforce by two-thirds. These initiatives include the spraying of residential buildings and offices, the supply of insect repellent sprays to our employees and health education and mitigation initiatives, including pathology testing and anti-malarial treatments. 

In line with our values to be a malaria safe company, Golden Star organized a training session for our employees and for the people living in our host communities (Malaria Safe). This training day was held in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs for Private Sector Malaria Prevention (PSMP).

At Golden Star, our people are our greatest asset so we are committed to ensuring they work safely and stay healthy. In recognition of World Malaria Day, we carried out an education program on how to prevent malaria amongst our workforce and we gave 2,000 insecticide treated nets (ITNs) to our employees. This event was organized in partnership with International SOS.

GSR employees receiving their ITNs

GSR employees championing our malaria safe company

The Mine Maintenance team taking part in the ITN distribution

Let’s find out employees take on the ITN distribution and management decision…
Abena Asante, Corporate Responsibility team member
“The success of a company is highly dependent on the wellbeing of its employees. I believe the gesture done by GSR is a step toward ensuring good health and wellbeing, which is number 3 on the SDG goals. Over the years, malaria has been recorded as one of the most serious diseases in Africa. I thank the management of GSR for investing socially in our lives to help curb this. I hope that in subsequent occasions, the gesture will be extended beyond its employees. Thank you GSR for my long-lasting insecticide net. Medase.”


Michael Hurtubise, GSR Group Internal Audit

“I would like to thank management for thinking about the wellbeing and health of employees, it is very much appreciated. Malaria is a very serious illness and I believe the net will go a long way towards preventing it.” 







Bright Kyei Baffour, International SOS
“Malaria is a very serious illness and one of the leading causes of death in children under five and pregnant women. The education and distribution of the treated net by Golden Star management and International SOS during malaria week will go a long way in preventing malaria in the years to come. I think it should be done often, especially the education, to help remind employees and their dependents about malaria prevention.”


Richmond Kojo Yankah, GSR Environment Department
“Malaria is very a common disease in Africa and I am happy GSR management is helping to reduce it. Personally, I believe if we practice what we have been taught and ensure the safe use of the net, it will help prevent malaria. I thank management for their support and I hope that the next distribution will be extended to dependents and the communities.”




Anthony Davies, GSR Health and Safety Department

“I want to thank management for their support on the net distribution so far. The health and safety department have taken time to draw a schedule to educate and train employees which will go a long way to help them understand the good use of the ITN and its importance. I see this net to be efficient, long lasting and accommodating based on my little experience. I think it was laudable for management to have come up with this initiative. It shows how the health and wellbeing of our employees is paramount to them. We appreciate your concern."

Denis Owusu, GSR Tailings Department 
“I thank management for the distribution of the treated net to its employees. Looking at our statistics, I think this will help reduce our malaria cases and also cut down the cost of malaria treatment for employees and their dependents. It is very important for employees to keep themselves healthy because a healthy employee leads to a healthy organization.”






Samuel Cudjoe, GSR Environment Department
“Many thanks to the GSR Management team for such an awesome initiative, in line with Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. I am optimistic this proactive measure will make huge strides in preventing and curbing malaria and other related diseases within the mine site and catchment communities. Thank you!”


Vincent Tremblay, GSR Geologist
This is a great initiative by management and it is something I will encourage to be done often.”







If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.