It’s in the remote and rural areas like Volta where the hardships are most extreme. Here, a lack of basic infrastructure and social services rob families of the very things they need to improve their lives. But thanks to your support of Community Sponsorship, we’re helping local families break the cycle of poverty and begin the cycle of progress.
The challenges are many:
- With only untreated water from the lake and rivers, infectious diseases are a leading cause of death among children
- For many families, the nearest clinic is over 2 hours away by foot, which is the only mode of transportation available to most
- Unreliable rainfall, outmoded tools and techniques, and a lack of seeds make even subsistence farming hard to achieve
- Run down facilities and a lack of well-trained teachers leads to low school enrolment, retention and completion among children
- Few children have the legal armour of a birth certificate
- High unemployment and a poor standard of living forces many young people to leave their community for nearby towns and urban centres.
With your partnership, local families are finally getting the chance they deserve to turn their community and their lives around with critical investments in four key areas of development:
- Strengthening the quality of education for all children
- Improving access to health care, sanitation and clean water
- Investing in local livelihoods and economic security
- Protecting and promoting the rights of children.
Facts about Volta
Education & youth
A lack of early childhood development centres in Volta means a delay in learning for many children. Because teacher accommodation in the community is limited, it will be difficult to attract teachers to the area at all, let alone teachers who are well trained and excited to be there. For the youth in Volta, job opportunities are in very short supply which is putting young women and men at risk.
- Many young women are lead to nearby cities for work where they often become street merchants, domestic servants, or are coerced into the sex trade.
- Average classroom size is 64 students.
- Young men from Volta's villages sometimes see crime as their only option for making a living.
Gender discrimination is widespread in the community. Women bear the load of caring and providing for the family, especially when economic hardships send men seeking income elsewhere. Mat weaving is the primary skill by which most women in Volta's villages seek to make an income. And since they're very labour intensive, domestic responsibilities often fall on the shoulders of young girls in the family. The cycle continues with young women dropping out of school to get married, usually as teenagers.
- About 50 % of women in Volta are not literate, compared with 28 % of men.
- Even the best mat weavers can only earn an income of $12 per week.
Many of Volta's remote villages do not have health care centres, which means mothers regularly travel distances of 17 km or more to seek medical care for their children. As a result, all members of the community are at risk during times of injury or illness.
The other issue severely impacting child health is the lack of food. Poor agricultural yields in the area mean most families struggle to provide at least one meal a day for their children.
- Infant mortality is high, at 451 per 100,000 live births.
- Newborn deaths (in the first 28 days of life) account for 2/3rds of deaths in infancy.
- Almost 50%of births happen without the help of a skilled attendant.
- Birth registration is extremely low, violating every child's right to a legal identity and putting them at extreme risk of trafficking, exploitation and abuse.
- Erratic rainfall means poor agricultural yields, food insecurity and poor nutrition for children.
The main water source is a nearby river that is used for cooking, drinking water, bathing, washing clothes and as a means of transportation. Community latrines do not meet sanitation standards and are sometimes located next to the source of drinking water, leading to possible contamination.
- Girls and women are responsible for finding safe drinking water, which often keeps girls too busy to attend school.
- Latrines are often used as village dumping sites, which put Volta's community members at risk of diseases.
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