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Theo and the Marinel Foundation

Theo is a young leader who has established his own charity, the Marinel Foundation in Ghana.

"Hello. My name is Theophilus Nelson, I’m 25 years of age and in 2017 I established the Marinel Foundation. My mother and father, both Ghanaian-born and raised, founded Marinel International School (M.I.S) in Dome, Accra, Ghana in 2007. When M.I.S was established, it began with a nursery that had 13 students on its register. Now M.I.S has amassed a figure of 400 registered students in classes ranging from crèche to junior high school (ages 1-15). Marinel Foundation is working closely with M.I.S so that low-income families can bring their children to the school so that they can be enrolled onto sponsored/free educational scholarship programs. In the 13 years M.I.S has been opened, the school has educated over 1,000 children and continues to educate and empower Ghana and Africa's youth.

According to research from various scholars Africans across the globe are generally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. I have goals and aspirations of turning M.I.S into a school that specialises in STEM subjects and African-History. We currently have plans to build a library, a science laboratory and a small-scale educational virtual reality laboratory to help achieve these goals. I strongly believe Marinel Foundation can bring these aspirations into reality.

My parents both decided on ‘Marinel’ as it’s an abbreviation of my mothers first name ‘Maria’ and our family name ‘Nelson’. Being British-Ghanaian, Born in London, I was very passionate about my Ghanaian/African heritage and I always wanted to be involved in philanthropic projects in Africa to empower people through grassroots movements. I remember being 15-years old in 2010 and seeing the Ghanaian national football team almost make it to the world cup semi-final. Seeing how the whole continent of Africa and the world rallied behind Ghana in that tournament really inspired me to one day do something great for the people in that nation. Me and my mother use to have back and forth dialogues about setting-up a charity in the UK to support the families and students attending our school as some of them struggle to pay for school fees. This led to me doing the necessary research and establishing Marinel Foundation.

As of now, Marinel Foundation has really started to take off as we have many students attending the school on sponsored/free educational scholarships. The money donated does not only go towards supporting the education of students, taking the financial burden off their parents, but it also contributes to paying staff salary e.g. teachers ect and helping the school with its running costs e.g. water and electricity bills ect. Besides Marinel Foundation supporting M.I.S, we also want the charity to get involved in philanthropic projects outside of the school. Eventually we would like to embark on projects that will support local communities in Ghana, Africa and the African diaspora in the UK and world-wide.

Find out more about Marinel Foundation and support their work:

Charity Number: 1174730

Instagram: @marinelfoundation

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