Light for Children November 09′ Report

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 (

(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.


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