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May 2013 AfriKids is a Child Rights Organisation working to improve life for Ghana’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in a holistic, inclusive and sustainable manner

GRAND DECLARATION Celebrating the end of the ‘spirit child phenomenon’ in the Kasena Nankana East District On 27th April seven communities in the Kassena Nankana East district held a festival to celebrate the end of the spirit child phenomenon in their communities. AfriKids’ longest running programme, based in the Kassena Nankana East District, has been at the forefront of tackling child abuse and infanticide linked to the spirit child phenomenon for the past decade. This historic gathering of elders, tribal chiefs, AfriKids and community members marked a joint declaration on the ending of this practice in the seven communities; Sirigu, Kandiga, Mirigu, Nabongo, Yua, Natugnia, and Manyoro. In the weeks leading up to the durbar, together with the communities’ chiefs AfriKids arranged video screenings

in several communities reflecting on the spirit child phenomenon and the tremendous achievements as a result of the dedicated work of chiefs, community members, concoction men and AfriKids Ghana staff. Nich Kumah, AfriKids Ghana Director acknowledged the contributions of all partners in getting AfriKids this far and asked for their continuous support and contribution. In his keynote address, the Upper East Regional Minister also lauded the work of AfriKids in complementing the work of government by meeting the needs of the region’s most vulnerable people. He congratulated the chiefs and people for taking a bold step in announcing the end of the spirit child phenomenon in their communities. There was a festival atmosphere as the declaration speech was delivered by the Chief of Kandiga, on behalf of all of the seven chiefs. He spoke of AfriKids’

intervention in order to change this ancient practice – helping convert the concoction men into new “Right To Life Promoters”, who speak out against the practice– and then he declared the practice officially over. In the last four years no infant has been reported as having been killed as a Spirit Child. There is no doubt about the significance of this event in the history of the local people and of AfriKids. It is important to note that the people themselves had waited for this day to come. It was very clear in the faces of the people as they took turns to perform their drumming and dancing that they were overjoyed about the official ending of the practice. Please click here to watch an interview on the spirit child phenomenon on Arise news with Sally Vivyan Click here to read an article in The World Outline on this grand declaration Click here to read an article on AfriKids’ work in these communities in Ghana Business News


International Day Against Child Labour On 12th June it is International Day Against Child Labour. As an initiative from the International Labour Organisation, in Ghana this day will mean a lot to the 276 schools that AfriKids has helped to set up Child Rights Clubs. AfriKids first began working with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2006 when they helped establish Operation Sunlight; a project that was designed to tackle the problem of child workers being used in gold mines in the far north of Ghana. With the support of donors in the UK and the ILO, AfriKids pioneered the resettlement of former child miners from illegal child labour and back into education and training. While AfriKids Ghana focused on the individual family situation of each of its child beneficiaries, they also worked closely with the wider

community. For changes within a family unit to be fully successful, that family needs to be within a community that understands and supports the rights of children – this is where the Child Rights Clubs come into their own. Child Rights Clubs are afterschool clubs established in rural communities where issues such as child labour have a high presence. Using drama, debate, music and other activities, teachers educate club members about their own rights and help shift the common misconceptions within the community about the issues affecting young people and their families. As well as activities after school, the clubs regularly perform at community events to share their learning with the wider community. In the mining regions, this has had a huge impact on child labour, and in the Kassena Nankana district, these Clubs have been set up and helped shift perceptions around the spirit child phenomenon.

AfriKids IT Academy AfriKids Blue Sky Lodge AfriKids Ethical Trade AfriKids Medical Centre Bolgatanga Area Programme Educational fund Kassena Nankana Area Programme Medical fund Operation Bolgatanga Operation Mango Tree Operation SINGh Operation Smiles Operation Zuarungu Street Mothers Association Talensi Nabdam Area Programme Young Entrepreneurs Programme

Since 2006, AfriKids has helped establish 276 Child Rights Clubs which have gone on to educate, inform, and support thousands of children. On June 12th, spare a thought for those we work with in Ghana, and do spread the word about what AfriKids does. If you want to organise an event or do something to mark the day, do get in touch. Please contact Beata at

A boy giving a speech at a Child Rights Club in Sirigu






01: Nich Kumah, AfriKids Ghana Director gives a speech on AfriKids’ work with spirit children over the last decade 02: Women perform a dance wearing T-shirts saying “Ending the Spirit Child Phenomenon; a Must for Social Cohesion and Child Protection” 03: A certificate of appreciation presented to AfriKids at the durbar 04: A young girl talks to her peers at one of AfriKids’ 276 Child Rights Clubs 05: Members of the Concoction Men Association gather round to hear the speeches


06: Chief of Kandiga giving a speech on behalf of all of the seven chiefs

EXPERIENCE CHALLENGE Jacqueline McCarthy and Debbie Lomax, Principal and Vice Principal of Chalfont St Peter Montessori, visited Ghana for two weeks in April to take part in an extended Experience Challenge.

Debbie and Jacqueline’s Experience journey began many months before with their first fundraising event taking place in March 2012 – a pub quiz raising over £1,300! Since then they have organised a number of other fantastic fundraisers including bag packing at a Tesco’s store, a children’s party and selling AfriKids’ Ethical trade products. Miss Debbie and Miss Jack’s (as they’re better known at their school!) year-long determination

and hard work culminated in a fantastic, albeit incredibly challenging and jam-packed two weeks in Ghana, in temperatures that frequently reached the mid-40s. Their first week was spent living in the compound homes of two teachers from Operation Zuarungu’s Grace Preparatory School, teaching at the school during the day, sharing their Montessori teaching skills and experience with the teachers and pupils. Their second week was spent at Mama Laadi’s Foster Home, running workshops for local teachers (including those at the School of Night Rabbits) and supporting Laadi in running the foster home. No mean feat! Despite the stark contrasts in the facilities and resources available to them, Miss Debbie and Miss Jack threw themselves into the trip and shared their teaching experience with passion and flair. Congratulations on completing the

challenge and thank you for all your hard work in support of AfriKids! As one of their fundraising initiatives, Debbie and Jack are selling cooking books for children and families; ‘Let’s Cook Together’. Cookbooks are priced at £7.50 each of two for £10. To purchase one please contact Katie at katieaudus@

One of the delicious recipes in Debbie and Jacqueline’s cookbook

“Miss Debbie and Miss Jack threw themselves into the trip and shared their teaching experience with passion and flair.”

Katie Arnold External Affairs Manager, AfriKids From left Debbie, Ray Ayinne and Jack.

Debbie and Jack brought parachute all the way to Ghana to play with!

Debbie and the children sing a song outdoor at Grace Prep School

The children at Grace Prep School show Jack round the school


Experience Challenge Blog by Jacky Williams Jacky Williams, an Experience Challenge participant in April 2013 has written a fantastic blog sharing her experiences:

“It was a real privilege to be invited into someone’s home and to be treated as part of their family. Living and working alongside our hosts gave us a real insight into everyday life in Ghana and this experience was tremendously humbling.”

Jacky Williams A&O alumni Experience Challenge


Nich Kumah, David Pwalua and Raymond Ayinne have just met with the Ghanaian minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Nana Oye Lithur at her office in Accra

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Rehearsals are well under way for Oklahoma! on Sunday 2nd June! Visit our website to find out how you can get your tickets. Great day out with the family!

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AfriKids Director Sally Vivyan was interviewed on Arise News discussing AfriKids’ work with the spirit child phenomenon. The interview is at 35 minutes 40 seconds. Please do share your thoughts! Arise News

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AfriKids #cimcharity launch tonight @ AfriKids founder @GeorgieAfriKids will give a talk on marketing communications to fuel charity profile & growth 14 May

ILO IPEC Just over a month to World Day against Child Labour on June 12. Have you planned your support action? ILO Campaign 10 May

RFI Afrique INVITé AFRIQUE: Vieve Easton Poole, gestionnaire des programmes d’Afrikids Radio Interview with AfriKids’ Vieve in French 10 May

Let’s tweet @AfriKids

Andrew Disley from Allen &Overy completed the Marathon des Sables in aid of AfriKids Last month Andrew Disley completed the 230km Marathon des Sables which is run across the Sahara desert in Morocco to raise money for AfriKids. The race consists of five competitive stages, each about the length of a marathon, with competitors being required to carry their own food and equipment. Andrew reports: “It took me 45 hours and 8 minutes - a mere 26 hours behind the winner! I finished 622 out of 1,027 starters which I was pleased with. I confess the race was harder than I was expected - which was probably down to naivety on

my behalf. The heat, up to 52 C, the sand dunes and scrambling over rugged terrain meant that the going was slow. My best day was the last day. The route was 42 km- marathon distance, I ran most of it, but still took over 7 hours which is not much above a reasonable walking pace. AfriKids would like to say a huge thank you to Andrew for taking on this staggering challenge for AfriKids. Andrew has already raised £6,575 for AfriKids! To sponsor Andrew please click here

FUNDRAISE FOR AFRIKIDS Run to the Beat for AfriKids

Registration for Run To The Beat Powered by Nike+ is now open! Snap up your place to run in the UK’s only half marathon set to music. With live stages all around the route and world famous DJs this event is the most fun and lively running event in the capital all year. Event date: 8th September 2013 Registration deadline: 8th July 2013 Email to register:

British 10k London Run Run through the heart of London in the British 10K London Run: the UK’s most prestigious and sought-after 10km road race. On Sunday 14th July 2013, 25,000 runners will fill the streets of the nation’s capital once again, and get the unique chance to run past many of the country’s greatest landmarks including Big Ben, The London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. Get involved in a once in a lifetime challenge and raise money for AfriKids!

Event Date: 14th July 2013 Deadline to register: 20th June Email to register:

Out of AfriKids - May 2013  

The May edition of ‘Out of AfriKids’ features an article about the grand declaration festival in Ghana celebrating the end of the spirit chi...

Out of AfriKids - May 2013  

The May edition of ‘Out of AfriKids’ features an article about the grand declaration festival in Ghana celebrating the end of the spirit chi...