October/November 2016 Activity Report
October and especially November were busy months for Light for Children volunters and staff.
Mike spoke to the students of Mampong Nurses’ Training Center in early November about Ghana’s Children’s Act and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Although Ghana was among the first countries in the world to sign, many clinicians have not heard of the CRC. There have been numerous reports of children being treated badly by medical professionals, prompting Light for Children to undertake this sensitisation program.
Mike addressing students at Mampong Nurses' Training Center
Light for Children once again took part in the 19 Days of Activism Prevention of Abuse and Violence Against Children/Youth, which takes place every November. This year, Tabitha Small, Linnea Silverdahl, Jon Björkebaum and Joses Adom conducted school workshops as part of Light for Children’s Preventive Child Sexual Abuse program.
Can you tell which one of them is supposed to be a girl?
Volunteers with students at St Michael School in Kumasi
There's also time for fun and games!
Linnea and Tabitha also tackled the issue of corporal punishment in schools. They met with Justice Appau, who is now teaching at a junior high school, and three of his students in order to learn more about corporal punishment in Ghanaian classrooms.
Discussing corporal punishment with students
On November 4, Tabitha and Linnea visited Future Leaders School in Kumasi to discuss the issue with teachers and the headmaster. Their goal was to open a dialogue and to understand the situation rather than to condemn Ghanaian practices. Most teachers in Ghana see caning as a necessary evil: although they may theoretically wish it to stop, they currently believe they are unable to manage their classrooms without it.
Light for Children facilitated a discussion on emotional violence, abuse and neglect of children. The participants included school children, delegates from the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Department of Social Welfare, the Department of Children, DOVVSU and some NGOs.
The school children at the meeting said that they dread verbal, emotional and psychological harm more than physical violence. Most children say that such abuse occurs more at home than in the school by their teachers. They added that such verbal humiliation make them passive and withdrawn. These revelations surprised the adult participants.
Delegates at the forum on emotional abuse of children
Mike also participated in World Diabetes Day on November 14. Diabetes is a growing problem in Ghana due to both genetics and lifestyle changes. People rarely get tested or diagnosed until the disease is quite advanced. Events like World Diabetes Day help to draw attention to the issue, advocating for better screening programs and other interventions in the areas of prevention and treatment.
Mike at World Diabetes Day
In November, Linnea and Tabitha moved to Nsuta where they are continuing their internship by working at Mampong Babies Home.
It can be exhausting!
Greetings from Vietnam! I have left Ghana to get some training and experience as an EFL teacher (English as a Foreign Language) in Southeast Asia. I will still be looking after the website and doing some other odd jobs for Light for Children. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back in Ghana putting my new knowledge to good use.
Ghana, mafe wo paa!