Wednesday 16 May 2018

Protecting Our Future

Golden Star School Sustainability Club members with Golden Star employees

At Golden Star, safety is a VALUE. It is more important than a priority. Priorities may change, but at Golden Star our dedication to continuously improving safety standards will not.  Our people are our greatest asset and we are committed to their wellbeing.

The Chief Executive Officer and President of Golden Star Resources, Mr. Sam Coetzer, spoke in support of Golden Star’s plans to involve host communities, especially school pupils and students of our host communities, in promoting safety and other aspects of sustainability. 

Sam Coetzer, Chief Executive Officer, speaking at Prestea during safety week

With the support of the CEO and site leadership, and in partnership with key local schools and Ghana Education Services, Sustainability Clubs have been formed in two local schools. The two pilot clubs have 90 members each and include six executives. These clubs will provide social, environmental, and economic sustainability education and action over multiple generations. They will also act as a focal point for coaching youth leaders in health and safety conditions and practices that impact on society vulnerability.

Club executives at Prestea Senior High

Swearing in of new club executives at Golden Star School, Bogoso

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Golden Star employees, who addressed the club members about the need to integrate theoretical and practical approaches in upholding health, safety, environmental and civic responsibilities for enhanced sustainability.

Mr. Robert Gyamfi, Manager of Community Relations, advised current and prospective members that the motivation for joining the club should stem from one’s genuine conviction to champion the cause of sustainability.

Students expressed their excitement  for the club and the opportunity to  learn  about sustainability,  while using the club as a platform to provide leadership to other youth, and contribute to society. Let’s hear what the club members are most excited about…

Dorothy Agyemang - Golden Star School 
“Even though it is new, this club has already made me a better person. I have learnt a lot about how to sustain the environment in my own small way and I believe this change can help me change others. I will educate my class and my little sister to turn off lights and to not litter. I know that television also takes some amount of electricity so I will educate my younger sister so we don’t leave it on when we are doing other things. This can help reduce the amount of bills our parents pay. I thank Golden Star for helping me to be a better person through this club.”

Adom Ghattey - Golden Star School
“I think sustaining our environment can go a long way to help the next generation live a better life. In my church, the Sunday school class always goes out to buy water in the middle of lessons and after drinking the water, they litter the whole place with the containers. As a sustainability club member, what I have planned as a way to help sustain the environment, is to tell the minister of my church to buy a water dispenser for the Sunday school as the dispenser will help stop the littering and together we can build a nice environment.”

Emmanuel Dadson, Golden Star School
“I will write notes like “turn off the light when not in use” or “don’t litter the compound” and paste it on the walls and in our classrooms. It is shown in research that polythene bags take many years to decay and they lead to health related issues like cancer when they get into the body. I will teach my friends and those in my school not to eat food in polythene bags when they go to the canteen but in bowls because aside from the health issues, it will prevent the school from becoming dirty. Even making poly bags uses more trees and the end result is deforestation.” 

Patience Kwofie –Prestea Senior High
“I have learnt a lot through this club, especially on safety….how we arrange our classrooms and dormitories is part of safety because careless arrangements can make someone fall and get hurt. As a prefect and a club member, I will do what I can to help sustain the environment within my school.”

Agnes Kaku -Prestea Senior High
“I am very excited to be a member of the club. I have learnt so many things and am hoping to learn more through the training. Here in Prestea there is a lot of rubbish, which blocks gutters and they overflow when it rains. Now I know I will pick up and dispose of rubbish properly. I am proud to be a member because change has come to me.”

Emmanuel Ababio - Prestea Senior High 
“I am part of the wildlife club. Sustainability is broader and covers a lot of aspects which inspired me to join. The club has had a lot of impact so far. I can’t wait to start our projects and see more.”

Barbara Osafo - Prestea Senior High
“I didn’t know much about the club until a friend took me to a meeting and that was when I realized I have so much to learn and contribute to the society. Joining this club has been very educative and motivating and I believe to be able to change someone, there is the need to accept change yourself. I thank Golden Star for bringing their safety and environment values to us.”

What are the expectations?

The Headmistress and Club Masters of these schools had this to say:

Rosina Akoto, Headmistress – Golden Star School
“I am very impressed about the way and manner in which Golden Star has gone about forming this club. With the club coming in, I know and believe the environmental issues in this school with regards to littering will reduce. On behalf of the school, I want to expresses my appreciation to Golden Star for their effort so far. Kudus and more Grace.”

Elvis Kan-Uge, Club Master – Golden Star School
“If we talk about sustainability, it is not one-sided; energy conservation, environment, wellbeing and safety all falls under sustainability. My expectation as a Club Master is to ingrain in these children the habit of not littering, conserving energy, living a healthy life and protecting the environment. In the next 2 to 3 years, we expect the club to be a betterment club where we influence these kids, and as they improve on themselves they also influence others to build a sustainable community and environment.”

Dominic Kumah, Club Master – Prestea Senior High
“When management asked me to be the Club Master, I was very delighted because I believe in making the environment safe. With illegal mining endangering our environment and threatening our safety, I think this club will help us solve the little issues so that they don’t grow into big problems that will be above our control. So for me, I believe starting with these younger ones was a good initiative and am proud to be a master of such a club.”

Let’s hear about what the Golden Star champions for the sustainability club have to say about their motivation for supporting this initiative:

Samuel Ansah – Environmental Department
“I see this club as a very good initiative by Golden Star and I would be glad if it can extend to other schools within our municipality. Coaching younger people in safety and environmental culture is important because it becomes a way of life for them. They then become leaders and can educate others, especially those that did not benefit from education about how important our safety and environment is.”

Prince Okwasie Arhin - Safety Department
“It is a nice initiative to bring safety and environmental stewardship to these students. They can then help educate their parents, friends, neighbours and the community in which they live about how to build the environment and live a more sustainable life. I like the zeal of the students and how they have embraced this club with the willingness to learn.”

Augustina Yenzu - Community  Department
“Sustainability is about conserving resources for the benefit of all. If our safety culture in the workplace, home and school is poor, this may result in injury or the loss of human life. In the school environment it is important that classroom furniture, dormitory beds and other school items are arranged well to prevent accidents. Rubbish can also cause issues and must be placed in a bin or nominated areas in the school. I believe strongly that the formation of the sustainability club will help address a range of issues in our schools and in society”.

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit