April/May 2016 Activity Report
In May, the Ghana chapter of Girls Not Brides, of which Light for Children is a member, held its annual general meeting in Kumasi. This international organization works to prevent child and forced marriages, to help girls caught in such arrangements and to advocate for girls’ rights to education, health and opportunity. At the meeting, the new executive was elected and sworn in.
All of the attendees at the Girls Not Brides Annual General Meeting
The newly elected executive
Carina Monstad of Norway continued her volunteer work at the Philippa Maternity Hospital in Mampong. This facility provides medical services including ultrasounds to pregnant women, as well as being used as a clinic on occasion for the general public.
Carina at the maternity hospital
Natasha Boje Kruse and Sigrid Liv Jacobsen, two volunteers from Denmark, began teaching at Oxford Basic School in Nsuta. These volunteers taught the students English and Mathematics.
Sigrid and Natasha at Oxford Basic School
Mike Owusu attended a briefing on the National Decentralization Action Plan, 2015 – 2019. This meeting of civil society organizations took place in Kumasi in April. Through decentralization, decisions affecting the daily lives of Ghanaians – school administration and the rent for market stalls, for example – will be handled at the local level instead of the national level.
Organizations such as Light for Children participate by advocating for the vulnerable people affected by decisions in these areas. The meeting was facilitated by decentralization expert Professor Kwamina Ahwoi.
Professor Kwamina Ahwoi
Mike also attended a capacity building workshop for members of Coalition of NGOs in Health. Participants got a refresher course on writing effective proposals and reports, organizing fundraising, and the importance of joining international networks. Mike, as a member of the executive, gave a presentation about the opportunities offered by international networks.
Coalition of NGOs in Health capacity building workshop
Mike attended a workshop on child protection baseline research facilitated by officials from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Delegates discussed UNICEF's research findings on a variety of issues affecting children and youths, including child marriage, sexual assault, child trafficking, female genital mutilation, child labour and living on the streets.
Mike met Anthony Osei Boakye, the Member of Parliament for Atwima Nwabiagya, at a funeral in the cocoa farming district that Light for Children supported during the ECHOES project 3 years ago. He commended Light for Children on the fact that some of the adults in the village that attended literacy classes under the ECHOES project are now able to read and write.