Childhood Regained, Ghana
In the Northern Region of Ghana, Hope for Children is working with four communities to combat exploitative child labour to help children stay in school giving them a chance for a better future. Our vision is that every boy and girl in Northern Ghana attains a high quality basic education by the age of 15, from which they can progress to higher levels of education and employment to fulfil their potential in life.
Over the last two decades Ghana has had sustained economic growth, rising into the World Bank’s category of a lower-middle income country. Yet this national picture hides vast inequalities between the south and the north. In the Northern Region a child is four times more likely not to have attended school than in other parts of the country. Nationally around 1.9 million children are estimated to be engaged in child labour and the Northern Region has higher levels than the rest of the country.
What We Are Doing
1) Developing participatory children’s clubs. There are two types of children’s clubs, Stars (for children at risk of dropping out of school) and Eagles (for children who are not in school). Each club has 20-25 children aged 10-18. Club activities include sports, drama, weekly extra tuition and for out of school children literacy and numeracy classes to help them catch-up so they can join school; training on child rights, health as well as leadership and working together as a group.
As well as children’s clubs Childhood Regained initiated 4 “bike banks”. These operate like a library for bikes so that children can get to and from school when long distances are a factor in late arrival or eventual drop-out.
2) Developing women’s ‘lahingos’ (groups). Through a network of women’s groups lead by local volunteers we train and support women to develop small enterprises as well as raising their awareness of children’s rights to education and changing attitudes to child labour. Through these groups women can access our micro-credit loans scheme and are supported to form their own mutual saving and loan groups called village saving and loan associations. The project offers a tractor sharing scheme and have built grinding mills controlled by community committees to reduce the need for child labour at key points of the year.
3) Empowering communities to protect and educate children. At the community level Advocacy Committees made up of local people are trained and supported to identify and act on issues effecting children in their communities and help change attitudes towards child labour and education. At the school level we train and support Parent Teacher Associations and School Management Committees on child rights and school governance.
4) Developing a child-led approach to attitude changes in communities. Childhood Regained builds children’s confidence and supports them to be influential change makers in their communities through radio programmes, community dramas and by forming Children’s Assemblies as a platform for children to engage with local leaders and decision makers.
- 1533 children have been enrolled in Stars Clubs and 96% have stayed in school.
- 92% of 1,073 out-of-school children are now back at school or in vocational training.
- 1,380 women benefiting from training and mentoring on business skills and financial literacy, 692 receiving small loans and 769 taking part in their own Village Saving and Loan Schemes.