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Light for Children KUMASI, GHANA

HTTP://LIGHTFORCHILDREN.COM/

Quick Overview Light for Children envisions a future where children in Ghana have healthy, happy and productive lives which enables them to realize and pursue their full potential. They strive to: 1)  Educate  and raise local and global awareness of the lives of vulnerable children in the Ashanti Region. 2)  Engage  a global community of young people with the view of vulnerable children empowering a sense of understanding and hope. and 3)  Enable  the deprived children, their families and their marginalized communities to meet their basic needs.  

Country: Ghana ! Several major civilizations flourished in the general region of what is now Ghana. The ancient empire of Ghana (located 500 mi northwest of the contemporary state) reigned until the 13th century. The Akan peoples established the next major civilization, beginning in the 13th century, and then the Ashanti empire flourished in

CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Movement, holding the All-African People's Congress in his capital, Accra, in 1958 and organizing the Union of African States with Guinea and Mali in 1961. But he oriented his country toward the Soviet Union and China and built an autocratic rule over all aspects of Ghanaian life. In Feb. 1966, while Nkrumah was visiting Beijing and Hanoi, he was deposed by a military coup

the 18th and 19th centuries.

led by Gen. Emmanuel K. Kotoka.

Called the Gold Coast, the area was first seen by Portuguese traders in 1470. They were followed by the English (1553), the Dutch (1595), and the Swedes (1640). British rule over the Gold Coast began in 1820, but it was not until after quelling the severe resistance of the Ashanti in 1901 that it was firmly established. British Togoland, formerly a colony of Germany,

A series of military coups followed, and on June 4, 1979, Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings overthrew Lt. Gen. Frederick Akuffo's

was incorporated into Ghana by referendum in 1956. Created as an independent country on March 6, 1957, Ghana, as the result of a plebiscite, became a republic on July 1, 1960. Premier Kwame Nkrumah attempted to take leadership of the Pan-African

Ghana Statistics Ghanian population: 25,199,609 Over 10 Ethnic group s Urban population: 51% Christian: 71.2% Child Abuse Prevalen ce: 34.4%

military rule. Rawlings permitted the election of a civilian president to go ahead as scheduled the following month, and


Hilla Limann, candidate of the People's National Party, took office. Rawlings's three-month rule was one of Ghana's bloodiest periods, with executions of numerous government officials and business leaders. Two years later Rawlings staged another coup, charging the civilian government with corruption. As chairman of the Provisional

What is the largest barrier to your daily activities? Resources are hard to find - but we just started a partnership with USAID to focus on literacy in the rural communities. The response to that program was more overwhelming than we thought possible, so we went to USAID and said we really wanted to run this literacy project but there was no funding. It’s not a lack of knowledge - it’s aligning the resources and opportunities.

National Defense Council, Rawlings scrapped the constitution, instituted an austerity program, and reduced budget deficits over the next decade. He then returned the country to civilian rule and won the presidency in multiparty elections in 1992 and again in 1996. Since then, Ghana has been widely viewed as one of Africa's most stable democracies. In Jan. 2001, John

Health Statistics HIV rate: 1.8% adult prevalence Infant mortality rat e: 39.7 deaths/ 1,000 live births 0.09 physicians per 1,000 people

Agyekum Kufuor was elected president. In 2002, he set up a National Reconciliation Commission to review human rights abuses during the country's military rule. He was reelected in Dec. 2004. In presidential elections in December 2008, Nana Akufo-Addo, of the governing New Patriotic Party, won just over 49% of the vote, and John Atta Mills, of the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress, took almost 48%. In the runoff election, necessary because neither candidate received 50% of the vote, Atta Mills eked out victory, with 50.23%. It was the closest election in Ghana's history. President Atta died in July 2012. His four years in office were marked by stability and an increase in oil production. Vice President John Dramani Mahama was sworn in shortly after Atta's death. Mahama won the presidential election held in December, taking 50.7% of the vote. He prevailed over Nana AkufoAddo of the New Patriotic Party.

Organization: Light for Children Light for Children otherwise known as LIFOC was set up in 2005 as a support group for children infected and affected by HIV.  From this small beginning, it grew and developed into child-centered organization. LIFOC is a registered organization without religious or political affiliation. It seeks the welfare of needy and disadvantaged children and also focuses on community and humanitarian services.LIFOC is governed by Board of Directors and management team. The board has five members and is responsible in giving direction for the implementation of different projects of the organization and also formulation of policies. LIFOC is completely run by Ghanian staff. LFOC takes a rights based approach to child development in various communities across Ghana. Their programming aims to support school children through practice support and service delivery and workshops within 5 main program areas. PROGRAMS: Preventive Child Sexual Assault Program Light for Children came out with a project in 2010 named “Preventive Child Sexual Assault Workshop” to reduce the incidence of child abuse cases in the country and to mitigate the effect of this heinous crime. As of July 2012 the program has covered fifty-nine (59) basic schools and seventeen thousand and one hundred (17,100) pupils and students within the Kumasi city.

With this project, trained staff and volunteers conduct workshops in schools. The project seeks to create awareness among school children on this menace, educate them on how to prevent themselves from this abuse and eventually to sensitize them on the help lines and support systems that are available for victims who report their ordeals to the appropriate authorities. This project is unique because it has the support of the Ghana Police Service who normally provides technical support and the Ghana Education Service which facilitates the timing and the type of the schools that we conduct the workshop. Moreover, in the workshop, participatory approach is used in conducting it and this emboldens some of the children to come out with some of the sexual advances that they normally encounter from adults. Allied to this is that confessions of the victims are kept secret since the counselors are professionals. Eventually we arrange educational sponsorship for victims that we come across in the course of the workshop and continue to monitor their situation and preform frequent home visits. Summer School Education is the engine of economic development, so becoming educated is probably the most significant means for personal success. Despite the fact that basic education in Ghana education is supposed to be free and compulsory, 50%


of children from Primary do not reach Junior Secondary School. The average illiteracy level in the region is 40.4%, and as high as 64.7% in poorer areas. The “Ghana Summer School” is a programme providing free summer education for poor children in the Ashanti region. The program commenced in the Summer of 2008 and is still growing strong. Lasting three months, the school offers core subjects to over 150 children who cannot afford the fees of traditional summer education in the region. They have an unending desire and excitement for learning and come to class every morning ready to learn! Ghana Summer School is open to children aged 8-16, whether or not they currently attend school, in order to encourage those children who cannot afford formal education to attend. Staffed by international volunteers, the children are taught English, Math, Science, and Sport to help them study towards their exams, and keep up with their peers. School Health This program runs concurrently with the Preventive Child Sexual Assault Workshop. It is implemented in partnership with the local health facilities and the Ghana Education Service in deprived communities. It provides health care to school children in their settings. The goals of the School Health Program include • Enable school children to have right frame of mind to learn • Lessen financial burden of parents and guardians on health care • Improve academic performance among school children in deprived communities

• Reduce child mortality HIV Children Care & Support This program involves forty-three (43) children who have been affected or infected by the HIV pandemic. Sponsors provide funding for anti-retroviral therapy, nutritional supplements and extra food to meet the children special dietary requirement, and support for their educational needs. The children receive monthly home visits and monitored with regards to their health, nutritional status and educational progress. The goals of the program are to reduce impact of HIV(AIDS) Pandemic, to work towards removing stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, to find sponsors to support every child under our care, and to enable our clients to use their fullest potential in whatever career they want to pursue. Activities include home-based visits, helping the children to do their homeassignment from their teachers, accompanying some of the children to the AIDS clinic for monthly pharmacy pick-up, and taking the weight of the children and send their reports to their sponsors. The monthly socialization meeting brings together all the affected and infected children, their caregivers, the staff of the organization and its volunteers/interns. Health and other related concerns affecting the welfare of the children is discussed and addressed. Sometimes, health practitioners and nutritionist are brought in to offer professional advice to the caregivers to help improve on the health and nutritional development of the children. The meeting also offers a platform for the caregivers to bring forward concerns and issues and are discussed in order to find solutions.

What makes lifoc unique? “Our community approach - we don’t want to go to a community and how we think you should fix them, but we work with them and identify their resources, knowledge and skills that could align with our resources, knowledge and skills that could improve the communities.”

GROW IDEAS “Once the Education Center is built in early 2014 the GlobeMed students could come and help set up programs, hold community forums in the area on what programs people are interested in, teach computer or art classes, help with building playground or physical structures. For this opportunity 2-3 students could stay for 1-3 months, and the impact could be hundreds or thousands of Ghanaian children and community members.”

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country resources

CIA World Factbook https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/theworld-factbook/geos/gh.html International Human Development Indicators http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/ GHA.html Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/africa/ghana World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int/countries/gha/en/ Ghana Illegal Mining Crackdown, Article http:// www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/ghanaarrests-chinese-illegal-miners


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