Rivers have a way of captivating people. Stand on the banks of one of the world’s major rivers and you can still feel the wonder Wordsworth expressed over two hundred years ago, watching the Thames flow through London in the early morning. Rivers of the World, the flagship art and education programme of the Thames Festival Trust delivered in partnership with the British Council, has been capturing this enthusiasm and inspiring pupils and teachers in countries across the world since 2006.

The project is designed to enable young people to develop core and transferrable skills, explore and celebrate their local environment, learn about other cultures and engage with global issues. Specifically, it aims to support:

  • Pupils to develop new skills and knowledge on rivers, art and global citizenship to help them live and work in a global economy.
  • Pupils to gain motivation and inspiration for learning through exciting engagement in river-themed content, resources and international collaboration, taking action to tackle global issues in their community and play a part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Teachers to develop new skills and knowledge on rivers, art techniques and international collaboration that they take into their curriculum teaching.
  • Teachers to access high quality learning materials, resources and an international network of peers and best practice.
  • Participating schools to be well positioned to participate in Connecting Classrooms 2018-22, as they are already working in clusters.

To achieve these objectives, the project provides fantastic opportunities for pupils to work with talented professional artists to create beautiful river-inspired artworks for public display in London and other cities around the world via physical and online digital exhibition.


In November 2019, Ghana was selected to join the 2020-2022 iteration of the Rivers of the World programme. The underlisted six (6) connecting classrooms schools from the Ningo Prampran district education directorate were chosen to represent the country:

  • Old Ningo D/A Basic A School;
  • St Joseph’s Anglican ‘1’ Basic School;
  • Dawa Presby Basic School;
  • Afienya D/A Basic School C;
  • Dawhenya D/A Basic School; and
  • Mataheko D/A Basic ‘A’ School

Working with a professional artist,120 Junior high school pupils from the 6 schools visited and studied the river volta at Ada Foah through the lenses of six river themes (i.e. river of life; river city; resourceful river; working river; river culture; and polluted river). Following the visit, the artist led a week-long art lessons in the six schools, where the pupils were inspired to creatively channel all their ideas about the river into drawings, paintings, photographs and other visual media.

Crucially, climate change related conversations featured prominently in the art lessons. As seen in the final artworks, the pupils were inspired to work on designs that could speak to pertinent issues in their communities and also utilised items easily thought of as waste for artistic repurposing. The pupils were also introduced to the concept of contemporary art and examples of Ghanaian artists doing well on the global stage and how these artists have employed the idea of recycling in their material processes.