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Equalizing children’s education opportunities in rural areas in Ghana by improving access to formal education, including educational therapy classes, organizing spare time activities and raising up the childcare awareness among mothers

Ghana gained independence as the first country of the colonial Africa. Even though over 50 years have elapsed since that time, access to primary education is still not common, in particular in poor regions and in the country. Despite the fact that school is compulsory, disproportions in this regard are caused by significant diversification of the society and largely depend on the place of origin, social status and gender.

Officially, education is free, but the interim costs are often high (transportation, handbooks, meals). In Mankessim and Duadze as well as in the neighbouring villages in the Central Region there is an insufficient number of teachers, handbooks, school equipment. A few classes often learn in one room, and classes consist in copying the material and punishing children. Parents that are poorly educated themselves, in particular at the countryside (illiteracy in Ghana reaches 66 percent) believe that it is better for a child to work at a plantation than to go to school, because it generates costs. Due to low awareness level, disease prevention is also a problem. Every year a lot of people die due to lack of access to clean water and poor sanitary conditions as well as lack of respect to sanitary rules, and children are at the highest risk, as their resistance to disease is very poor.

The situation may be improved by levelling out educational opportunities for children from rural areas by improving the quality of teaching: introducing non-conventional pedagogical therapy, informal education and development of individual skills of each student. Moreover, awareness classes for young mothers will provide them with knowledge about basic sanitary principles as well as disease prevention and malaria prevention.

Caritas Poland and HYDO project focuses on children and mothers experiencing poorer educational opportunities from Duadze and neighbouring villages. The project continues an earlier initiative of the participants of the European Voluntary Service.

Equalizing children’s education opportunities in rural areas in Ghana by improving access to formal education, including educational therapy classes, organizing spare time activities and raising up the childcare awareness among mothers

The project is implemented in the period 1 July – 31 December 2014 in Mankessim and Duadze and the neighbouring villages in the Ghana's Central Region. The volunteer stays in Ghana from 30 July to 31 December 2014. The project will take advantage of the premises of Janusz Korczak Day Care Center.

The sending organisation is Caritas Poland, and the local partner (host organisation) – The Home For Youth Development Organisation (HYDO).

Beneficiaries of the project include three groups:

  • The first group: 70 children from Duadze village and the neighbouring rural areas, aged 2-6.
  • The second group includes approx. 30 children aged 6-12.
  • The second group includes approx. 60 mothers of children participating in the classes that have limited access to information related to education and disease prevention. 

The project is intended to even out the educational opportunities for the children from the Duadze village and its vicinity, to increase their interpersonal skills, to stimulate creativity as well as psychological and physical development, to teach them team work and to increase awareness with respect to healthy lifestyle and proper care and hygiene of children among women – mothers of children that take part in the educational and animation classes.

Disproportions in access to education are to be evened out thanks to educational classes combined with pedagogical therapy, animation of spare time combined with informal education and awareness classes for mothers of children related to: disease prevention, hygiene, health care and childcare. These measures will improve life quality of the residents of Duadze and the neighbouring villages.

The project contributes to Priority 3 – support to socially disfavoured groups, and Priority 13 – education, set within the "Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme for 2012-2015". Also, it contributes to achieving Millennium Development Goal 2 – Achieve universal primary education.