Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 10.38.48An award winning North East media training and production company, set up with support from one of the region’s universities, is ready to transform the lives of people in Ghana by providing a route into higher education.

Social enterprise Media Savvy Training Solutions was created five years ago by Dan Makaveli, with support from the University of Sunderland’s Enterprise Place. The company raises the aspirations and employability prospects of individuals within hard to reach groups in the UK, through the delivery of digital arts and media training.

Now hoping to expand their reach the company is looking to take their work across the globe, and have highlighted Africa as their first destination in the international market.

Media Savvy Ghana, launching within the coming weeks, was devised following a trip Dan and Ghanaian student Joseph Mackay made to the country while they were studying. The two travelled back to Ghana in early 2015 with the dream of taking Media Savvy to Joseph’s home country.

During the second trip Dan and Joseph secured premises and met with locals who became supporters of the programme. Upon their return, Dan and Joseph worked tirelessly to secure furniture and funding and have now been gifted 12 personal computers and a range of media equipment from the University of Sunderland.

Dan Makaveli said: “Joe is from Sunyani, a city of a similar scale to Sunderland, and we decided to initially deliver our programmes in his home city. He has an excellent local knowledge and has undertaken extensive research into the demands of the provisions we are developing.

“We’ve worked really hard to secure funding for the lease of the property and have ambitious plans to invest in the facilities to raise the standard of the learning environment. We are extremely grateful for the support we have received to-date from funders and the University.”

Enterprise Place Business Development Manager, Vince Robson, is delighted to be contributing to one of the service’s Alumni businesses. He said: “Watching Media Savvy grow from working within our shared office space to a sustainable business which now runs from its own office is great, and their new venture with Media Savvy Ghana is a very exciting development.”

Media Savvy Ghana will launch their inaugural training programmes in August 2015 with courses in Media Production. Consultations with Senior Lecturers and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, helped shape the programme, enabling a pathway for Media Savvy graduates to enrol onto an accredited postgraduate course within the University of Sunderland’s Media Department.

Dan is looking forward to working with Joseph and expanding the company overseas. He added: “Working with Joe has been truly inspirational. He has been actively involved with Ghanaian politics and splits his time between the UK and Ghana.

“This is just the start of the journey to transform the lives of communities within Ghana to improve their employment prospects and stimulate the creative economy within Sunyani and the country as a whole. We have a long term vision and are currently trying to source additional funds via sponsorship to support our ambitious plans.”

The company are looking to crowd fund via Indiegogo, and any potential sponsors can find out more about the opportunities by visiting: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/media-savvy-ghana-training-academy#/story