Archive for October, 2007

Light for Children Fun Day

October 20, 2007

Written by: Carly Moran, Co-Ordinator / Volunteer and Jacqui Lowe, Kumasi District Volunteer

Light for Children volunteers and staff were keen to meet all the children in a group, and give the children an exciting day out at the same time, so it was decided what a better place to do it than the zoo! Twenty children under Light for Children’s care who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, attended with their family members for a memorable day out.

After meeting all the children and families the day began with fun and games in the cultural centre grounds, Kumasi. The children were taught playground games by the volunteers, such as ‘stuck in the mud’ and ‘ladders’ amongst others. After the children had worn the volunteers out, more relaxing games were played!

Whilst the volunteers and children were busy getting stuck in the mud, parents and Light for Children directors, Mike and Yaw, held a meeting to discuss the provision of medication for all the children, and advice and support was given.

A quick snack break to refuel was followed by a gift presentation for all the children attending the day. Packs were given with token gifts of sweets, bands and pencils etc. and were appreciated by all.

Next stop for the group was Kumasi Zoo, where the excited children were given a guided tour, and all listened intently to the in depth descriptions given by the experienced guide. The highlight for the children was undoubtedly seeing the mighty lions up close, but other highlights included the Gorillas, spinning Chimpanzees, and the Crocodiles.

Once the fascinating tour was finished, the group still had energy left for balloon fights!

Lunch was provided for all by Light for Children of fried rice, chicken and sweets for the children, which was much appreciated after the busy day. The day ended with many young smiling faces and fond farewells.

 

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Sexually abused girl

October 17, 2007

Written by: Carly Moran, Co-Ordinator / Volunteer

Abigail Agyei, 13, was identified as a sexual abuse victim after being given a lesson in her school on the effects of early sex on the body. She disclosed to her teacher after the lesson that she had experienced sexual abuse when she was in class 2, (3 years ago). Since the abuse she had been experiencing white vaginal discharge. Abigail identified her abuser as the husband of her older cousin whom she still currently lives with.

Abigails mother is a farmer in Enchi (western region) and her father is mentally unstable so it was decided by the family to send her to Kumasi to receive better schooling and hopefully a chance at a better life. Since the attack happened Abigail has bee afraid to tell her aunt what has happened as she may not believe her and it would put a huge strain on the family. At the moment Abigail tries to ignore the man at home and will sometimes shout at him when she sees him which makes her aunt think she is a bad child. The family is not providing enough money to enable her to fulfill basic needs for school such as clothing, shoes, books and other learning material. She is only given 5000 Cedis daily by her caregiver for food.

In conjunction with the school Light for children contacted the aunt for a meeting to disclose the incident to her so that she could help Abigail. Unfortunately the aunt refused to believe the allegation, so because of the little evidence and because the incident involves a family member LIFOC decided against trying to bring the case through the courts. The main priority was then focused on Abigail’s health and her ability to keep attending school, as this would help her create a better future for herself.

LIFOC staff and a teacher from the school took Abigail to the STI clinic, without the knowledge of her caregivers on the 4th of October. The clinic gave Abigail a full check up and HIV test funded by LIFOC. Thankfully the HIV test was negative. The discharge that Abigail was experiencing came from an infection that occurred because of the early breaking of the hymen, and is treatable by medication but if it had been left it could potentially effect Abigail’s chances in later life of bearing children. The medication was given to the teacher so it could be administered at the school without the knowledge of the family. One week later Abigail attended the clinic once again for a check up to make sure the medication was working. The infection was healing and the doctor was pleased with her progress.

The main priority LIFOC is now focused on is securing funding for Abigail to help her complete her schooling. One years sponsorship for Abigail will cost 1,350,000 cedis which will cover her school fees, uniform, books and food.