Light for Children October 09′ Report

5th of December 2009

Light for Children October 09’ Report

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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.

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