Our Story

In 2003, accompanied by her daughters, Ann-Marie and Barbara, Dora Anie, traveled to her home country of Ghana for the first time in 13 years. While there, they visited the village of Mepom where Dora was born and raised, and the school she had attended. Dora was shocked and saddened by the deplorable condition of the school – crumbling concrete walls and scant supplies.

Dora returned to Canada with a heartfelt determination to reach out to the children of Mepom. She began working on a plan to raise money to rebuild the school and provide supplies to the students. She was determined to provide a safe and conducive learning environment for the children of Mepom, a project that would come to be known as “Dora’s Dream”. 

Three years later, with the help of the church communities at MacNab Street Presbyterian in Hamilton, and Knox Preston Presbyterian in Cambridge, Ontario, as well as many other donors, Dora’s dream came true. The money raised through the “Dora’s Dream” project funded a new nursery, kindergarten classrooms, a kitchen (including a water poly tank), and much needed school supplies for the community of Mepom. 

Dora didn’t stop there. She recognized a long-term need – there were so many other communities like Mepom that needed safe schools for children. In 2005 Dora’s Dream, renamed Ghana Schools of Dreams, became a not-for-profit organization with an established Board of Directors. In 2013 the organization was strategically renamed once again and became Schools of Dreams. In November 2018, Dora received the good news that she’d been waiting to hear for over 10 years: Schools of Dreams had received charitable status in Canada! 

Dora was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in August 2018 and began treatment. Not even ovarian cancer slowed down Dora’s dream. While receiving medical care, Dora continued fundraising for the organization. In June 2019, Dora passed away but her mission lives on.

Mission

Schools of Dreams transforms the lives of young children and their communities by building safe, sustainable learning environments in rural Ghana.

Vision

Working together as one community to provide access to education for young children in rural Ghana.

Values

Respect

We treat everyone fairly, with courtesy and kindness, regardless of the situation. We encourage new and innovative ideas and welcome diverse opinions with a positive spirit. We actively listen to others, demonstrating compassion and empathy, in an effort to understand rather than respond. We value and respect the uniqueness and diversity that each of us brings; we are inclusive and maximize the use of individual talents and experiences. We provide opportunities for involvement and personal growth, and recognize and praise the contributions of others.

Openness

Our internal and external communications are ongoing, transparent, clear and honest, even when it is uncomfortable to do so. We generously share our knowledge and expertise to collaborate towards common goals. We actively listen and communicate without judgment, and are open to evaluating the possibility of alternative solutions and criticism. We share our aspirations, successes, challenges, and failures with lessons learned, and regularly report with respect to our financial stewardship. We are upfront and visible with the actions we take and ensure these actions are consistent with our values.

Integrity

Our behaviours reflect professionalism, honesty, and trustworthiness. Our actions are consistent with our values, especially in the face of adversity, temptation, and challenge. We do what is right even when no one is watching. We do what we say we will do, and we hold ourselves and others accountable. If we make a mistake, we say so, and do all we can to fix it.

Strategic Plan (Sept 2019 – Aug 2022)

To learn more about Schools of Dreams, please read our 3-year Strategic Plan.  It was designed to guide the current and future direction of Schools of Dreams.  It highlights the key attributes that our organization needs to excel in to be successful, along with the actions that need to be undertaken in support of our vision and mission. Read More