July continued to be busy and productive for Light for Children’s volunteers and staff.
At the Education Center in Atonsu, ICT programs for local school children continued at the computer lab. Also, the library opened with a pilot project teaching reading and creative writing to a group of ten children. Janice Wong of Hong Kong, and Lisa Parsons began this project, and were later joined by Sweetlana Abu Kaf of UAE. Sweetlana also worked with the group of Hong Kong volunteers on the Preventive Child Sexual Abuse program, participating in a few of the school workshops.
Janice with children in the reading and writing program
Sweetlana at the Education Center computer lab
The library was also opened during the rest of the day so that children who were not part of the pilot project would also have a chance to read the books and draw some pictures.
Lisa reading with children in the library
Signe Neilsen was joined by Johanna Valsdottir, also of Denmark, who volunteered at both Touch a Life (a home for children rescued from child labour in the fishing industry) and the computer lab at the Education Center.
Johanna at the Light for Children office
The GlobeMed volunteers from Spelman University in the US continued their program of Preventive Child Sexual Abuse workshops. Some of them also took a day to tour the Mampong Municipal Hospital. They also joined Rebecca Kuntz and Mike Owusu in a visit to Mampong Babies Home to deliver a large donation of supplies from an American donor.
Light for Children staff and volunteers at Mampong Babies Home
A second group of BTP volunteers from Hong Kong and China arrived to build toilet facilities in villages near Kumasi. Janice Wong kindly assisted in their cultural orientation.
Janice and Mike give orientation to BTP volunteers
Mie Rosendahl of Denmark arrived in late July and volunteered at the Mampong Babies Home for two weeks.
Three nursing students from Denmark, Merete Pedersen, Stine Schroder, and Simone Knudsen volunteered for three weeks in July. They worked first at Mampong Hospital, and later at St Michael’s Hospital in Pramso.
Mike visiting with Merete, Stine, and Simone at their placement
In partnership with the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (SWAA), Light for Children has been conducting a four-year project to promote use of female condoms in Ghana. Yaw Otchere has been coordinating the training of local volunteers, and reporting to SWAA on their activities. On July 11, Lisa, Johanna and Signe were invited to observe an event where women in a local market were educated about the use of female condoms, and given the opportunity to purchase a sample packet at minimal cost. (Charging a small amount deters people from taking samples without intending to use them.) These events have been very successful, with hundreds of women showing an interest and buying the samples.
A volunteer demonstrates proper use of female condom to a woman in the market
Yaw at the female condom promotion and distribution
On July 12, Light for Children had a socialization meeting for the sponsored children with HIV and their families. Caregivers were given sponsorship money and funds for medicine for the children. The GlobeMed volunteers, as well as other international volunteers, took the opportunity to get to know the children.
LIFOC volunteers and staff with the sponsored children