CASE (Community Action and Support for Education)

In 2017 we ran our first UK Aid Match Head Held High campaign and every pound donated by the UK public was matched by the UK government. Thanks to your generous support in 2018 we launched our 3-year programme Community Action and Support for Education (CASE).

 

CASE aims to improve access to education and quality of teaching practice in schools for 1,400 children in West Mamprusi, in the North East Region of Ghana.

Education outcomes for children in the area are poor; many children are subject to exploitative child labour, and child marriage is still common for girls. In partnership with local organisations RAINS and NNED we are delivering an integrated community-based programme working directly with children, parents, teachers, community elders and government officials to drive long-lasting change.

At the mid-way point we can report that CASE has already achieved many important outcomes through both practical interventions and sensitisation activities across 4 rural communities and with responsible government agencies to increase awareness and change behaviour:

 

 

75 out-of-school children have been enrolled into school having completed a 9-month programme of transitional classes and we are working to increase that total to 300 by the end of the project.

100% of children enrolled in the transitional education have now graduated and returned to mainstream schooling. This success rate has been commended by Ghana Education Service.

 

120 children at high risk of dropping out of school have received school uniforms to help them stay in school.

 

180 children have received sets of books, pens, pencils and other essential learning materials to motivate and enable children to afford to stay in school.

 

 

 

 

36 teachers and Ghana Education Service officials trained and provided with ongoing practical support to embed child-centred learning methods to improve educational outcomes and help more children to stay in school.

 

300 women registered in Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) to reduce financial barriers to children’s education. Providing mothers with the means to save money weekly and invest as a group in education and other poverty-reducing activities as well as their own small enterprises.

So far 50 women have completed business skills training and as a result 98% have already established or extended their small businesses.

 

880 children are now involved in weekly Children’s Clubs weekly clubs to help children stay in school, understand their rights, and promote child-led advocacy through Child Assemblies to challenge and raise issues which affect them with community and local government agencies.

 

For example, when we asked children elected onto Children’s Assemblies how they intended to address some of the challenges they face they responded, “we will organize community meetings to engage parents on issues of kayaye (child migration) and school dropout”.

 

550 girls meet quarterly to effect change through Girl Clubs. Specific issues in communities disproportionately affect girls, such as sexual violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. These girls only clubs are building the confidence and skills of girls to advocate for their rights. The girls then work with representative Children Assemblies to develop action plans to tackle issues of concern.

CASE is delivering practical support for girls included providing training and materials to make reusable sanitary pads for improve hygiene and health. 

 

Children have developed and published quarterly newsletters to highlight the issues affecting them – one edition focussed on inadequate teachers, lack of teacher’s quarters and the poor condition of local roads to shine a light on wider issues of education, health, road infrastructure and sanitation. Consequently, 11 children were invited to meet with heads of state institutions (the Ghana Education Service and The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice) to present the newsletters to them. Representatives of these institutions offered their commitment to helping children address some of the issues raised.

 

Child-led Radio Campaigns with local community radio stations have provided another important vehicle for children raise concern and advocate for child rights including directly engaging with the local authorities through panel discussions. The radio campaigns also offer a wider reach to other communities who are not directly participating in the project

 

Children’s Dramas for Community Sensitisation - enables children to get key messages across to the adults that care for them and other community members. Increasing awareness of child rights, the importance of girls’ education and challenging harmful practices such as child marriage and exploitative child labour. So far children have performed 4 community dramas, each involving 15 to 20 children and attended by about 200 people in a community.