On March 22nd, there was a Regional Advocacy Meeting at the Noks Hotel in Kumasi, with stakeholders in health, organized by CEDEP (Centre for the Development of People) in collaboration with Alliance for Reproductive Health, under the Universal Access to Health Care Campaign. The theme was Time to Listen and Act Swiftly!! -- shaping our National Health Insurance for improved healthcare services. Yaw Otchere (director at LIFOC) attended.
Light for Children also participated in the Winrock Community Sensitization at Nkorang on 26 March, 2013, as part of the ECHOES project. The objective of this durbar was to educate people about the negative effects of child labour in the cocoa growing communities.
Mike and James Amanor (LIFOC’s accountant) attended a Training of trainers workshop for capacity building for SMC (School Management Committees) and PTA (Parent-Teacher Associations, which took place April 4th to 9th at Koforidua. The workshop was organized by World Cocoa Foundation and USAID.
Monthly monitoring on the progress of the ECHOES project continued in all five communities. Mike and Philip visited the communities on the 25th and 26 of April. The adult literacy program is making steady progress in all 5 places, though the OST (out of school teens) program still struggles with poor attendance. Both programs continue to suffer from the frequent power outages.
On Saturday, April 27 in the morning, the monthly socialization meeting was held at the Kumasi Cultural Centre for the sponsored children with HIV and their parents or caregivers. Yaw gave counselling on best practices in health, nutrition and education. Caregivers who are HIV positive themselves were reminded of the importance of taking care of their own health and taking their medication. The participants were served lunch and given their monthly allowances.
Klara and Lisa worked on updating the Sexual Abuse Awareness Program to make it more age-appropriate, and to address some of the questions that students have been asking. Klara and Lisa also visited the DOVVSU (Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit) office and met with Mary Adjei, the commander of the unit, to find out more about the services they offer.
Sanne and Luisa, students from Sweden, were here to do research on communication strategies that organizations in Ghana use to encourage behavioural change related to HIV. They visited the regional coordinator of Ghana AIDS Commission in the Ashanti Region, as well as the headquarters in Accra.