Out of AfriKids
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
One of the areas of our education work STARS focussed on was the Child Rights Clubs
AfriKids Ghana visit the UK and out do the fundraisers at their job! Nich (AfriKids Ghana Director) and Richard (Operation Fresh Start manager) spent most of October with the UK team in London. Nich, who makes an annual visit, was here to contribute to final round interviews for funding with the Baring Foundation and Comic Relief. We heard the good news that the Baring Foundation will be supporting AfriKids with a five year grant the day after the interview. We still have our fingers crossed for Comic Relief. AfriKids pick up their STARS Award ! From left to right: John Hickman, Chair of AfriKids UK Trustee’s, Katya Hokkanen, AfriKids UK Finance and Programmes Manager, Richard Amoah, Operation Fresh Start Manager, Liam Nolan, Fundraiser
Richard was in the UK for his first ever visit to collect the STARS Impact Award for Education on behalf of AfriKids Ghana; a fantastic recognition of their grassroots work and the first award to be won by AfriKids Ghana directly. The award was
presented at the Wallace Collection on the 15th October and carries a $100,000 grant towards education work in 2010. Other highlights of the trip included meeting the Deutsche Bank Charity of the Year team, seeing the Lion King spectacular stage show and Richard’s victory in the ‘olive wars’ - an ongoing competition among the AfriKids Ghana staff over who can best acclimatise themselves to European food during their short stays here.
â€˜Nich Kumah, the Director of AfriKids Ghana, is a charismatic man with compassion and vision, he would stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the leaders I work with in the UK.â€™ Alistair Turner, Leadership Coach
Out of AfriKids inside stories An extract from: Leadership Lessons From Ghana - Reflections Of A Leadership Coach In October 2009 I spent a week in the back of a 4 wheel drive jeep, bouncing along the roads and tracks around Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana, one of the poorest areas of the world. LCB, the business I am a partner in, works with AfriKids, an award winning charity, to help them raise money and this was my first opportunity to visit the work we had supported. Some of the sights were shocking: a 7 year old boy high from drinking petrol is not a sight that I ever want to see again. However this was not typical, overwhelmingly the experience was positive and my memories are laden with images of people making a difference, taking responsibility for
themselves, caring deeply and passionately for others and building a future for their families and the community. As a human being I was deeply touched by what I saw. As a leadership coach I was intrigued by how AfriKids seemed to achieve so much. I was continually asking the leadership team – ‘what do you do that makes such a difference?’ These are the conclusions I’ve drawn from those conversations.
Context Despite being poor, the Upper East Region, like the rest of Ghana, is relatively politically and economically stable. This means the projects have a long term focus and can meaningfully build on their success. Nich Kumah, the Director of AfriKids Ghana is a charismatic man with compassion and vision, he would stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the leaders I work with in the UK. He has built a strong leadership team and the success of AfriKids means they are able to continue to attract high quality people. Nich leads the 160 staff based in Ghana (there are 6 in the UK).
Alistair and fellow Mount Toubkal walkers visited Ghana in October, their pictures are on the previous page
AfriKids focuses on working with women and children in a society where men dominate. When a man dies his wife and property are ‘inherited’ by his brother. Once given some support to break out of their debilitating circumstances many of the women ( and children ) are able to flourish and demonstrate their ability to look after themselves. Through a combination of luck, good judgement and circumstances, AfriKids have ended up working in an environment which is conducive to long term projects. They have also found a leader who can make things happen and are working with people who will make the most of the opportunities presented.
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Let’s Read! The Zuarungu Children’s Centre School Let’s Read! is an education improvement programme devised by four UK teachers in response to the needs of primary teachers in the UER of Ghana. It consists of three main elements: Teacher training workshops which focus on interactive
teaching strategies An emphasis on the alphabet and phonics teaching A pack of resources – laminated cards using pictures mainly
drawn from the local environment The Let’s Read! team went out to Ghana in May this year and had many positive things to say about the teaching at the Zuarungu Children’s Centre School. They also gave some valuable feedback on their time there and ways in which to encourage more class participation.
See how your school can get involved by reading the fundraising ideas section on the back page of this newsletter
Below is an extract from an essay written by one of the beneficiaries of Operation Sirigu on Spirit Children ‘A heed to the cry of a defenseless child’ The traditional belief systems of our communities are reflected in child abuses every day. In a patrilineal society such as ours, women and children have little say in decision making process. If a child is born with such deformities such as a swollen head, milk teeth, disfigured limbs etc he/she is branded a spirit child and subjected to elimination by death through the administration of some prepared "concoctions". By the cultural belief of our people, if the child drinks the preparation and dies, then, indeed the said child is a spirit. However our uneducated parents fail to accept the reality that there is no living creature that can take in poison and will still live normally. The important thing our parents and opinion leaders fail to accept is that these deformities can be prevented if pregnant mothers seek maternal care, hence killing of innocent and defenseless children is not right.
Fundraising We need you to help us to raise money for the items below throughout November Thank you! Calling all seamstresses AfriKids Ghana have two huge flag poles with no flags! Are there any budding seamstresses who’d like to create some for us? If you’re up to the challenge, please contact Lissa Wallington on 02074435113 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ways to get your school involved This is a photograph of a concoction man. This gentleman has ended the practice of killing spirit children and encourages others to follow through monthly meetings within the community
Good news story’s direct from Ghana
AfriKids Ghana are in need of locally appropriate laminated cards of animals, vegetation, food etc. Could this be a project in your school? If so, please contact Liam Nolan on 02074435111 or email@example.com
An exciting UK fundraising dinner
Every month AfriKids Ghana send project updates to AfriKids UK to share good news stories, case studies and general news with us. The updates are written by Nich Kumah, AfriKids Ghana’s Director and his assistant Lena Naaso - Langmagne.
Star 100 is a network of professional men and women from Ghana or interested in Ghana.
Operation Zuarungu Zuarungu has a number of heart warming and interesting stories this September. There is a spectacular thing about Elijah, one of the beneficiaries in formal education. Elijah was taken ill for most part of the third term of school and this kept him out of school for a long period. Interestingly, Elijah topped his class when he wrote the term’s exam. This is one student who needs just a little push and the sky would be his limit.
A beneficiary was given guinea fowl eggs and a hen for hatching. Interestingly, the eggs hatched and through the care given, the sales yielded well and a goat was bought with the proceeds. This is an industrious boy who has the zeal to move on and needs to be commended and given the chance to explore.
In June they reached their 5th anniversary as a group and are celebrating with a dinner dance on the evening of the 5th of December 2009 at the Radisson Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street in Central London. The evening will feature a Ghanaian-fusion menu designed especially for the event and Ghanaian themed entertainment, plus will be fundraising in support of AfriKids. If you want to find out more or buy tickets - £55 (single ticket), £95 (two tickets) or £460 (table of 10) - please contact Richard Tandoh on 07725 886848 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.