By Tulika Jain, Marketing and Communications Intern
In June, two members of Team Hope, Ruth, our Programmes and Partnerships Manager and Rose, our Trusts and Foundations Manager, visited our project in Ghana. The project is working to improve access and quality of education for vulnerable children living in West Mamprusi in the north of Ghana. The vision of this project is to ensure that the boys and girls attain a high-quality basic education from which they can progress to higher levels of education and employment and realise their potential, as well as reduce susceptibility to child labour.
Ghana experiences high levels of inequality between the North and South, with the South having higher levels of development, prosperity and opportunities. Notably, the education systems in rural areas in the north lack infrastructure and are largely ineffective. Our team has visited Ghana several times previously for work on the project, and they themselves have seen classrooms without textbooks, furniture or even teachers. Fortunately, a lot has changed, with the quality of education improving. There is, however, much more to be done.
During their trip, our team met with our local partners to oversee the project plans, see the project in action, collect data and conduct training workshops for the local staff. They both emphasised the pleasure of working with the local people who are always friendly, open and welcoming.
Specifically, the local partner which executes the project in Ghana is extremely effective. They understand the nuances of the country and understand what is required, ensuring that resources do not go to waste, and the project is implemented correctly on the ground. This determination extends to the community as well, and together, the people have a genuine commitment to improving children’s rights in their part of the country. This drive is felt by parents, children and workers alike, who are proud of the work that is being done in the project. They understand that while the funding is provided from the outside, their contribution and efforts are crucial to bringing change. Our Programmes Team thus feels very confident about the outcomes of this project, which is being implemented by such a motivated and experienced team.
There are many aspects of this project that Rose and Ruth were particularly excited about. One of these is the ‘bike banks’, which provide a practical and useful way for children to get to school, an issue that prevented a good number from attending before. There are also the Children’s Clubs, where the children come together to engage with each other and the community in a positive way. They provide an opportunity for the children to learn about their rights while having fun. Furthermore, a key success has been the Women’s Groups, which are savings groups where the women in the community save as a group, giving out low-interest loans with informal but effective methods of safeguarding. It is a hugely popular initiative, with the women supporting each other financially, becoming role-models for younger women and giving out loans to the men of the village!
All in all, our team thought that the trip was extremely insightful. It allowed them to see the fruits of their labour from all the way over in the UK translate into some life-changing work in Ghana because of the dedication and work by an enthusiastic local team.
Hadija is a 10 year old girl from Northern Ghana
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