In June, Light for Children hosted an annual visit from BTP (Beyond the Pivot), a Hong Kong based NGO that partners with us to build sanitary facilities and educate students. Volunteers constructed badly-needed toilets with a hand-washing station at the senior high school in the Ashanti village of Banko.
... and after. Students now have well-ventilated cubicles with curtains for privacy.
They also worked with public health nurses to educate adults in the home about safe food storage and other hygiene issues.
In July, Light for Children hosted a group of 11 students from The Justice School, an American organisation working on child welfare issues. As part of their program they ran Preventive Child Sexual Abuse workshops in Kumasi for five days.
Orientation and training with Light for Children's training officer, Emmanuel Kwarteng.
Mike Owusu (our Program Coordinator) attended a capacity building meeting organised by the Human Rights Advocacy Centre and the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in health. They discussed issues of reproductive health, such as the fact that birth control (family planning) is not currently covered by Ghana’s national health insurance policy. The delegates came up with a draft proposal of how to evaluate the performance of health facilities in Ghana in the area of reproductive health.
Mike at the capacity building workshop
At the meeting, delegates also learned that the vast majority of children in Ghana learn nothing about sexuality or even puberty except what they learn in school at the beginning of junior high school. This is worrying as some children reach puberty before junior high school, and also not all teachers are equally comfortable teaching this material.
Also on the theme of sex education, Mike gave a talk at the Church of Christ Basic School in Kumasi about transactional sex and the value of waiting until they are mature enough before starting sexual relationships. He also spoke of alternatives to using sugar daddies to pay for one’s basic expenses such as school fees.
Mike with the Justice School participants at Church of Christ School
Our Danish volunteers, Natasha Boje Kruse and Sigrid Liv Jacobsen, continued teaching at Oxford Basic School in Nsuta. They also spent several days in Kumasi working at the Education Centre library.
Sigrid at the library
Natasha at the Education Centre library
After Sigrid and Natasha left Nsuta, Agnete Hansen from Denmark also taught in the Oxford Basic School. The teachers and students were grateful for her contribution and invited her to teach in a summer school program after the school closed for vacation.
In June, long-term volunteer Carina Monstad joined Lisa Parsons in re-cataloguing the books in the Education Centre library.
They used a specially designed pictorial system to make it easier for kids to find the book and help with re-shelving.
The students haven't yet mastered the finer points of re-shelving.
Carina and Lisa also opened the library for students who were otherwise unoccupied during their exam week.
Carina reading with a student's younger sister
Later in July, Maxine Donkor, an intern from Surrey University in the UK, worked with the children at the library. We were also joined by local volunteer, Kofi Osei Boahene for one week.
Kofi reading with students at the library
Maxine helping a student with her reading
Together, Kofi , Maxine and Lisa created a new children’s book in Twi.
One of the goals of the library program is to address the shortage of appropriate reading materials for beginning readers in Ghana