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Volta Ghana

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Welcome to Volta

The West African country of Ghana, bordered by Togo, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire, is a nation rich in history, culture and natural resources. But despite that, more than 50% of Ghana’s citizens live in poverty. Your support will give the people of Volta the tools they need to help their community thrive, their families flourish and their children have the chance to receive a quality education. It's a long road ahead, but your support will make the burden lighter, the journey shorter and the destination one of hope and possibility.

Meet the children

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  • Phidelia and sandra

    PHIDELIA (AGE 10) AND SANDRA (AGE 7)

    "We want to be nurses," they say together when asked about their futures.Bright and outgoing, Phidelia and Sandra are sisters who share the same ambition.

    With your help, investments in the community's schools and health care system will help create the educational opportunities and local health care jobs these girls need to fulfil their dreams.

  • Vivian

    VIVIAN

    Like many girls in Volta, Vivian helps with the household chores. Luckily, that has never stopped her from going to school. For a girl whose favourite subject is mathematics and wants to be a teacher, education has always been a priority – for her and her parents. But not all children are so lucky, which is why Plan has been working with the community to promote the value of education for every child.

    "The big change I notice," says Vivian, "is that more children are in school."

  • Evelyn, Vida and Abraham

    EVELYN, VIDA AND ABRAHAM

    For many children in Volta, daily chores leave little time for school and studying. When families are struggling just to survive, kids often spend hours every day working.

    For girls like Evelyn and Vida, that includes cooking, cleaning, weaving and fetching water, and for boys like Abraham, it's hours spent fishing on the river.

    But without an education, there's little chance for a better life, so we've been reaching out to parents to make it more of a priority.

    Today, thanks to you, Vida is in school for the first time while both Abraham and Evelyn are getting more time to study.

Facts about Volta

Education

•Average classroom size is

64

students

Health

Infant mortality

451/10,000

live births

GENDER EQUALITY

About

50%

of women in Volta are not literate

Water

Girls and women are responsible for finding safe drinking water, which often keeps girls too busy to attend school

Challenges and Project initiatives

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.

EDUCATION & YOUTH

Two girls holding books in a classroom

A lack of early childhood development centres in Volta means a delay in learning for many children. 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 led 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.
Two girls holding books in a classroom
EXPAND EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES
  • Construct an early childhood development centre and provide training for teachers to ensure children get an early start to learning
  • Build proper teacher's accommodations to help attract qualified teachers to the community
  • Train teachers in working with and supporting children with disabilities
  • Plant fruit trees and orchards around schools to encourage healthy nutrition for students. Some of the fruit will be sold to generate income for the school to help fund maintenance projects, school clubs and other school programs.

GENDER EQUALITY

Mother holding child

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. 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.
Mother holding chilid
EDUCATE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF GENDER EQUALITY
  • Implement clubs and committees for women and girls to help give them a say in developing their community
  • Launch a campaign to educate families and children on the importance of birth registration and raise awareness surrounding issues that affect children's rights
  • Help the community build and establish birth registration offices.

HEALTH

Young child bride

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.

  • Infant mortality is high, at 451 per 100,000 live births
  • Newborn deaths (in the first 28 days of life) account for 2/3 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.
Young child bride
IMPROVE HEALTH CARE AND MATERNAL HEALTH
  • Equip health centres with medicine, scales, laboratory kits, stethoscopes and other essentials for providing proper health care
  • Train community health workers in obstetric care and managing childhood illnesses
  • Provide mothers and young people with knowledge and training surrounding HIV and AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Provide nutrition education and immunization services to community members, with a focus on pregnant or lactating women and children under five
  • Raise community awareness on maternal health issues and practices.

Water

Young child sitting in doorway

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.
Young child sitting in doorway
IMPROVE WATER ACCESS AND SANITATION
  • Provide safe drinking water through specialized technology that will treat raw river water (wells can't be used because of a high salt concentration in the area)
  • Train community members on the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene and provide them with the skills to care for and maintain their sanitation system and drinking water
  • Build separate sanitation facilities for boys and girls in schools to help attract girls to school and keep them there
  • Promote house latrine construction through a community-led project.

BOOST LIVELIHOOD

  • Help reduce unemployment, especially for young people, by providing skills training in occupations like fish farming, which also improve food production
  • Implement savings and loans programs to help women kick-start small businesses that will lead to sustainable income and the ability to provide for their families.

See how your support is changing lives

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