Archive for February, 2010

Light for Children December 09′ Report

February 17, 2010

17th of February 2010

Light for Children December 09′ Report

An Amazing year! A big thanks to all volunteers from around the world who support Light for Children on the ground and in your home countries. You guys make things move forward!


ACTIVITY REPORT

1/12/09

World AIDS Day celebration at Sawua in collaboration with 3 volunteers of SANN at Sawua. There was HIV Journey of Hope presentation at Sawua JHS and a durbar and free Voluntary Counseling and Testing for the community. About 70 people took advantage of the opportunity.

1/12/09A participant at the Voluntary counseling and Testing room

Light for Children participated in the launch of the Adolescent Sexual Health in West Africa Report in Accra at the British Council Hall by Plan Ghana.

8/12/09

Celebration of Ashanti Regional AIDS Day at Bekwai Adankranya. Light for Children mounted a stand and displayed pictures of its activities. Others were beads (bracelets) made by its Care and Support group with technical assistance by Misaki Asari a JICA volunteer with the organization.

In attendance were Ashanti regional Minister, the Bekwai Municipal Chief Executive, the regional HIV/AIDS co-ordinator and other dignitaries and chiefs. The organization distributed the HIV/AIDS red ribbon to the dignitaries and others at the durbar grounds.

11/12/09

A quiz competition was organized by Gabby a volunteer of LIFOC who works at Mampong Nsuta. It involved 5 junior High Schools at Nsuta. LIFOC supported the programme and prizes ranging from a computer with accessories, a set of football jerseys, a volleyball and 1 football and other consolation prizes. The District Education and District Assembly supported the programme.

14/12/09

There was a presentation of the MAM project activities at the Miklin Hotel. The MAM team from GSMF and Fizer International were present as well as other implementing partners.

17/12/09

Workshop on Early Childhood Development by Commission on Children Ashanti Region for all District Chief Executives and NGOs.

19/12/09

LIFOC monthly socialization was organized as part of its Care and Support programme at the Kumasi National Cultural Centre.

22/12/09

Eleven volunteers arrived from Sweden to volunteer for LIFOC.

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Light for Children November 09′ Report

February 17, 2010

1st of February 2010

Light for Children November 09’ Report

Ghana in the News – South Korea invests $10bn in Ghana housing

Written by Rhianydd Griffith, Ex-LIFOC volunteer (rhi@hotmail.com)

(A Few months late but here we go!)

A South Korean construction firm (STX) has agreed to build 200,000 homes in Ghana over the next six years at a cost of $10bn (£6.1bn).  STX said its housing deal will involve construction in 10 cities, including the capital Accra, from 2010 to 2015.

STX will set up a joint venture with the Ghanaian government to share the cost of the project. The government will provide land and tax exemptions, while STX will provide the $10 billion funding.  At least 30% of STX’s workforce will be Ghanaian. Once built, 90,000 of the houses will be bought by the Accra government and the rest will be sold to the public.

Why is South Korea seeking to build infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa?  A ministry statement explains; “Korea has a lack of natural resources. It is therefore keeping an eye on the African continent, including Ghana. Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in natural resources but has experienced problems with civil-war and poor infrastructure.” South Korea, like other rich nations, has therefore already signed various deals in Africa giving it access to farmland to help shore up food supplies.

This type of deal is not without controversy. The United Nations and the World Bank are concerned that African countries, many of which face hunger problems, are giving away vast areas of farmland in return for vague promises of job creation and spending on infrastructure.  However, the UN does not want to undermine all foreign investment in agriculture, which can offer opportunities for development.  It has therefore started drawing up a code of conduct to regulate overseas investment in farmland which is likely to be ready in around a year. The rules it contains will be voluntary.

Within Ghana, concerns have been raised that the housing development will target rich citizens and Ghanaians living abroad rather than catering for the housing needs of low income citizens.

However, Albert Abongo, the Ghana Minister of Works and Housing, is determined that the investment by South Korea will have a positive impact on Ghanaian society. He recently told the Ghanaian media, that the government is determined to continue with the affordable housing programme that it started in 2006. The programme aims to make housing accessible to the low and middle-income groups in the country.

November Activities for Light for Children

November has been a very productive month for the team at Light for Children!  The Mobilise Against Malaria (MAM) movement, initially launched by Pfizer in 2007, is increasing in momentum. The Light for Children team is developing a relationship with the local press and the Information Service Department which is helping to spread the word about the symptoms and treatment for malaria. Let’s keep it up!

Mobilize Against Malaria

On 9 November, the Mobilize Against Malaria movement broadcasted on one of several recent radio slots. The broadcast was made in the Sokoban commnity by the Information Service Department van.  The mission of the Information Services Department is to communicate government development policies and programmes to the Ghanaian people and its director was present at the broadcast.

On 10 and 12 November, Light for Children took part in Mobilize Against Malaria out-reach activities at the Apire community and Nzema. As part of the MAM project, local pharmacists and individuals are being trained to spot the symptoms of malaria and educate communities on its prevention. One aim of the activities is to emphasise that malaria can be prevented and treated, but is so often lethal if ignored or misdiagnosed. On both days, Light for Children worked in conjunction with the Information Services Department officers and van.

School Presentations

Light for Children has continued its focus on education this month, giving presentations on HIV/AIDS on 2 and 4 November, at the Atonsu/Agogo Presbyterian Junior high school. The presentations were aimed at the pupils of JHS level 1.

New Arrivals

From 3 November, Light For Children hosted students from Trent University, Ontario, Canada. Students were briefed on the activities of the organization at the Light for Children premises. As you can see from the photograph below, the sheer number of volunteers in attendance was fantastic and Light for Children is very grateful for the continued support of  students from Trent University.

Monthly Socialisation Meeting

Light for Children’s monthly socialization meeting took place on 21 November. The children were weighed and measured while Mike and Yaw discussed their wellbeing with their parents and caregivers.  At the end of the meeting, parents and children shared lunch, before being given their monthly provisions of Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) mediation.

Light for Children October 09′ Report

February 17, 2010

5th of December 2009

Light for Children October 09’ Report

Please support our new Child sexual abuse prevention Program!

We need your help; please make a small donation with your VISA card to our new project that will empower 4000 young students to fight sexual abuse. Please go to;

http://www.globalgiving.com/projects/lightforchildren/

Sports, Infrastructure and Tourism – Ghana’s plans to boost its economy

Written by Rhianydd Griffith, LIFOC volunteer

In the wave of publicity surrounding Ghana’s recent win of the Fifa World U-20 Championships, the country is currently hoping to use the sports industry to kick-start its economy.  Ghana is looking to bid for the rights to host the 2015 All-Africa games, knowing that it will cover 22 disciplines.  If it succeeds, it hopes to develop modern infrastructure for sports such as basketball, volleyball, track and field, swimming and cycling.

After South Africa in won the bid for the 2010 football world cup, other countries in the continent who were looking to international sports events as a way of boosting their economies and improving their infrastructure, were given renewed hope. With the football world cup 2014 being held in Brazil, and the 2016 Olympics being staged in Rio, it is also clear that the current trend in international sport leans towards emerging markets.

Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo was recently appointed Ghana’s minister of youth and sports.  His policies are a mix of encouraging grass-roots sport, opening new facilities and hosting major events.  He is a former boxer and believes passionately in the transformational power of sport.  Speaking to the BBC at a Global Sports Industry forum, he says “What is important to us, as a people, is the opportunity to use the power of sport to deliver lasting economic, social and health benefits to our citizenry.”   Mr Pelpuo wants to use sport not only for economic and business reasons, but also for talent identification, skills development, social cohesion and fighting poverty.

Ghanaian sports people – such as Chelsea footballer Michael Essien – are being drafted in as mentors to the country’s youth.  Michael Essien grew up in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where he played for his local club Liberty Professionals.  He has revisited the country with charity Right to Play since his move to London.

“We still have to impress on the rest of the world that Africa is safe and that business and investment opportunities should be followed up,” says Mr Pelpuo. “One of the great things about sport is that we can use it to sell Ghana overseas, and also use it as a driving force to do business with other countries.”  Fingers crossed for the 2015 bid!

OCTOBER ACTIVITIES

New Arrivals

On 5 October 2009 Emma Bressel arrived from Sweden to begin a 2 week volunteer service at the Missionaries of Charity Babies home in Kumasi. On 7 October two more volunteers from Sweden, Issabella Wesslan and Elin Bildt also arrived to work at the Mampong Babies Home.

An orientation session was held for new volunteers Tacey and Marinda on 14 October on programmes and projects of LIFOC at the office. The girls are from Australia and the United States respectively.

Socialization Meeting

The monthly socialization of the Care and Support Activity took place at the National Cultural Centre.

Projects

On 5 October volunteer Hannah Lehleiter from Germany, in the company of Mike LIFOC’s co-ordinator, presented food items to the Dwenase Rehabilitation Centre for the disabled. An HIV/AIDS out-reach educational programme was held on 21 October with the students of the National Vocational Training Institute (N.V.T.I) in Kumasi. They were taken through the Journey of Hope Concept, condom demonstration and distribution.

The 24 October saw Light for Children staff accompany the Mobilize Against Malaria volunteers on their out-reach programme in a suburb of the project target area. Like last month, a review meeting was held on 30 October with the volunteers of MAM project at the LIFOC office.

Light for Children August/September 09′ Report

February 17, 2010

November 19, 2009
Light for Children August and September 09’ Report
Written by Rhianydd Griffith, LIFOC volunteer (rhi@hotmail.com)

Football: Ten Man Ghana Wins the Under-20 World Cup with dramatic penalty shoot out
victory over Brazil.

Ghana’s under 20 team, the Black Sattelites, has become the first ever African team to win the Under-20 World Cup. The exhilarating final took place on 16 October in Cairo, Egypt. Ghana, who had Daniel Addo sent off in the first half, produced a fabulous defensive display to deny the Brazillians. The final finished 0-0 after extra-time and both sides had missed two penalties out of the first five to add to the tension in the stadium by sending the game to sudden death. However, Brazil were made to pay when Alex Teixeira’s weak shot was saved and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu scored the winner for Ghana. Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh said it meant “everything” to see his side become the first African team to win the under-20 World Cup. Tetteh said: “It’s something people have to speak about, it’s everything.”

The coach claimed that when the shoot-out was on, he knew his side were going to take the title, even though they initially went behind. “We were well composed and when it went to penalty kicks we were determined because we have come from far, and we were well motivated to win.”

Ghanaians clad in the national colors of red, gold and green celebrated long into the night on Friday as excitement over the team’s victory brought the West African nation to a standstill. Earlier, many football fans had converged in churches hours before the game to
pray for divine intervention.

Ghana’s squad for next year’s World Cup in South Africa will likely include the cream of the adult team, including Chelsea player Michael Essien, as well as some of the brilliant youngsters who sparkled this month in Egypt. The team will no doubt carry both Ghanaian and African expectations on their shoulders as they bid to improve on the quarterfinal places achieved by African countries
Cameroon and Senegal in 1990 and 2002.

August and September Activities for Light for Children

New Arrivals
The 2 and 5 August saw Hong Kong University students Luo Ruoyun, Tam Wing Yin Joanne and Elaine Lee arrive to begin their stay with Light for Children.

On 24 August volunteer Hannah Lehleiter from Germany arrived to stay with the Opoku-Appiah family in Abusi Akuruwa. This is Hannah’s second trip to Ghana, and she is already proficient in the local language and culture. Hannnah’s host family has said she is “just like a Ghanaian” due to her level of integration and assistance around the home! On 1 September Light for Children welcomed Lisa Scarizzi, a Canadian volunteer, who will work at the Mampong Babies Home for 3 months. Annika Nottberg from Sweden joined Lisa at Mampong on 7 September for a 3 week placement.

On 22 September two volunteers from Australia -Tacey Rychter and Gabrielle Maymon also arrived to begin 3 month placements at the Missionaries of Charity orphanage and Catholic Junior Secondary School in Nsuta respectively.

Mobilise Against Malaria (MAM) Project
A training session for volunteers on the MAM Project was held on 6 August. At the session, volunteers were educated on how to sensitize members of their various communities to the need to seek early and prompt treatment when any symptoms or signs of malaria are recognized. Volunteers were trained on how to present their messages to community members through the medium of role play.

On 28 August the MAM community volunteers met at the Light for Children office for a monthly review and submission of their reports.

On 24 September the MAM Project activities continued through the arrangement of Community Radio Centre jingles and talk shows at 3 radio centres. The message that people should seek prompt treatment for malaria was strongly promoted. The theme continued at 2 more centres on 26th.

The MAM project monthly review meeting took place on 30 September at the LIFOC office.

Socialization Meetings
Light for Children’s monthly socialization meetings were held on 15 August and 20 September at the National Cultural Centre. Various volunteers including Mareike and Misaki Asari were present. Some clients helped Misaki Asari (JICA volunteer) to make some beads.