Light for Children August Report

September 16, 2011

The month of August saw lesser activities for Light for children. Rachael Beach, a volunteer from the United States of America arrived on July 29, 2011 and started the Summer School by teaching English and Integrated Science at the Chirapatre Junior High School. She was assisted by Justice Appau, a student of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology who had his internship at Light for Children. He was teaching Maths at the same school.

Rebecca Kuntz, also from the United States helped in the teaching of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). She taught the children how to browse the internet and even opened e-mail accounts for the students by making use of the internet facility in the office.

The month of August also brought in one person from the Trinidad and Tobego who resides in the United States in the person of Dnika Joseph. She came and showed interest in Light for Children`s activities and promised to partner us. She showed much interest in the beads-making and collected twenty (20) pieces to be sold in USA and promised to send the money later to us. She was given Light for Children`s T-shirt in appreciation of her kind gesture.

The latter part of August saw the departure of Justice Appau who left for school. He was given LIFOC T-shirt to show our laudable appreciation for his service rendered to us during his internship.

Rachael Beach teaching Integrated Science at Chirepatre JHS


Justice Appau exhibiting his Mathematical skills.


Rebecca Kuntz having ICT lessons at Chirapatre JHS.


Dnika Joseph (middle) in a pose with LIFOC staff.

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Light for Children July Newsletter

September 16, 2011

Light for Children volunteers continued with the arrival of 6 new volunteers to undertake programs in summer school, baby care, medical internship, and architecture internship.
The volunteers were Keir Birch and Jordan Jones from the UK, Johanna Keilwitz from Germany, Rachel Beach from USA, and Sarah Kong from Canada.

Also the 4 interns from Hong Kong University left after the completion of their internship with the Sexual Assault Prevention Program.
The monthly organization meeting for the HIV children club came off with the meeting being sponsored by Rebecca Kuntz, who arrived in June.

The ongoing LifoC/FHI Youth is also on course with the community activities by the trained peer educators. The peer educators reached 1,119 persons with information on HIV/AIDS and safer sexual practices. They again sold 2,619 condoms in the community for the month.


Jordan Jones at Mampong Babies Home

 

Keir Birch playing at Mampong Babies Home

Light for Children June Report

June 22, 2011

The month of June saw a number of activities for Light for Children to further deepen the relationship between University of Hong Kong (HKU). Five students namely, Christina Kang, Sophia Chu, Liu Guoer, Cheng Hei Jung, and Chan Tsz Chung, arrived the 3rd of June to undertake an internship in child sexual abuse program for LifoC. Other volunteers who arrived for the same program include, Rebecca Kuntz from USA, Man Chiu Y from Hong Kong, Susanne Sandquist and Una Mether both from Sweden. Socialization meeting was held at the Kumasi Cultural Center as part of the care support activities for the children. The HKU interns as well as the BTP group of Hong Kong participated in this event.

Also as part of the FHI/GAC Youth in and Out of School HIV project, a pre-implementation meeting was held at the Metro Health Conference Hall to brief the stake holders on the project.

As part of the project Light for Children undertook voluntary counseling and testing activity in five communities around the Kwame Nkrumah Univeristy of Science and Technology (KNUST). The program was very successful and five hundred people tested to know their HIV status. The people who tested to know their status were also tested to know their blood pressure levels and were advised accordingly.

Hong Kong University Students

Stakeholders Meeting

Students participating in Sexual Assault Workshop

Light for Children April 2011 Report

May 29, 2011


Light for Children April 2011 Report
Written by Mike Owusu (inlawp5@yahoo.com), Light for Children Project Coordinator

The programmes of Light For Children continued in the month of April with a number of activities. As a part of the preparation toward impending HIV Family Health International project, familiarization visits were made to some of the selected institutions that LIFOC is suppose to work with. The first point of call was at the Wesley principal who is also the patron of the college’s HIV and Peer Educators’ Club. Again the allied communities around the college where our activities in the FHI project would be focused were explored.

From there we also went to the St. Louis Training College one of the partner institutions where they have planned an HIV educational and Know Your Status Campaign. We arranged for counselor and reagents from the Kumasi South Hospital to help conduct the campaign. One hundred students tested to Know Your Status.

The Light For Children monthly socialization meeting was also held. At the meeting two volunteers namely Victoria and Eric who has just arrived participated in the meeting and entertained the children by playing folkloric Swedish music with heir Violin.

A German lady who is in the country to undertake research into the impact of civil society organizations on their communities, as part of her project work a visit to the office of LIFOC to conduct interviews with the staff.

The HIV educational programme at St. Louis Training College.


Eric, a Swedish volunteer, answering questions during the meeting of the students.


The students waiting to be tested to know their HIV status.


Two Swedish volunteers playing violin and singing for children and their caregivers during the socialization meeting.


A German lady interviewing staff of LIFOC.

Light for Children May 2011 Newsletter

May 5, 2011

6th May

The two Swedish volunteers, Erik and Victoria did a drumming and dancing performance at Sawaba, a suburb of Kumasi with Lucas and the Agye Nyame Cultural Group.

Erik and Victoria’s performance with the cultural group at Sawaba.

Other students who danced with Erik and Victoria.

11th May

The staff from LIFOC, Millicent and Yukari embarked on a campaign on the need for people around the office area to do counseling and testing.

Yukari promotes the need for counseling and testing at a hairdressing shop.

20th May
In collaboration with the HIV/AIDS unit of the Kumasi South Hospital, LIFOC staff undertook an activity called “Know your status “at the office .In all thirty five (35) persons were tested. Most of them were from the area in which the office is located. They were mostly hairdressers, dressmakers and shop keepers. Five men and thirty women were involved. Nobody tested positive.

The “Know your status” activity in progress at the office.

Getting tested for HIV

A volunteer from Japan by name Hiroki arrived to undertake a two week voluntary service in HIV. He partnered with the staff to promote safer sex and prevention activities within the Agogo area.

Hiroki and Millicent demonstrating condom use and safer sex practices at a hairdressing shop.

As part of the FHI HIV project, a mapping and selection exercise was undertaken in the allied communities within six tertiary institutions namely; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Mancels Vocational Institute, Wesley College of Education, St. Louis College of Education and University of Education-Kumasi Campus.
In collaboration with the Assemblymen of these areas twenty (20) persons were selected to be trained as peer educators and condom distributors.
The Director of LIFOC attended a meeting on Thursday 26th May at the SSNIT conference Centre in Adum, Kumasi under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. It was an interaction with UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
The special Rapporteur, Mr Anand Grover, a renowned lawyer headed a team of lawyers.
The purpose of the mission was to understand the spirit of dialogue, how Ghana endeavours to implement the right to health and its successful realization.
In attendance were other NGO’s in the region.

Light for Children March 2011 Report

May 4, 2011

Light for Children March 2011 Report

Written by Mike Owusu (inlawp5@yahoo.com), Light for Children Project Coordinator

The month of March saw the arrival of two Swedish volunteers namely Eric and Victoria. The two arrived to voluntary work with Light For Children projects. Victoria who has a musical background is doing a musical internship with a local drumming and dancing group led by one Lucus. Eric who is a political science student plays the violin works with the missionaries of Charity orphanage.

As a part of the FIH HIV project a stake watchers meeting was organized at the Korkdom Hotel in Accra. The meeting which was attended by the director of LIFOC, was to interact with the patrons and peer educators of the various tertiary institutions involved in the project. They later made presentations of the activities.

The Director who is a member of the Child Protection Committee in the Region in charge of advocacy attended a meeting to discuss issues offering the protection of children in the Region.

Other meeting which he attended was the Metropolitan AIDS Committee which he is also a member met to discuss how to formulate plans to address the problems associated with the fight against stigma and discrimination in HIV/AIDS in the Kumasi Metropolis.

Swedish volunteers playing violin and having fun

Light for Children December 2010 Report

February 27, 2011

DECEMBER ACTIVITY REPORT 2010

Written by Mike Owusu (inlawp5@yahoo.com), Light for Children Project Coordinator

A number of activities were carried out in the month of December to round off the year 2010.

During the period relationship with partner institutions and organizations was very cordial and fruitful.

Notable among them were the Kumasi South Hospital (GHS), the Mampong Babies Home, Missionaries of Charity, the Ghana Education service. Others were overseas partners namely Voluntaressor, Hong Kong University, Span Africa and Leap Now.

LIFOC participated in this year’s World AIDS Day celebration in two separate areas. One was the Regional celebration at Foase under the theme “Universal Access-Action Now”. LIFOC mounted a stand and displayed some of its works and materials.

The Traditional Authority of the area were present during the World AIDS Day celebration


Our Japanese volunteer Yukari from JICA putting a ribbon on the regional Minister


The Regional Minister and District Chief Executive were among the dignitaries present


The Security Services were not left out of the celebration


They were also demonstrations on how to wear condoms properly


At Sawua in the Bosomtwi District in Ashanti Region, LIFOC collaborated with SANN a local NGO and the Kumasi South Hospital to undertake Counseling and Testing (C.T) with the community. In all, fifty two (52) persons both men and women were counseled and tested for HIV.

The children participated in an athletic competition at the World AIDS Day activities at Sawua


The school kids were not left out of the celebration at Sawua

The Health workers from Kumasi South Hospital and Yaw Otchere-Baffour doing the CT

There was Weeding Competition for the adults as part of the celebration

The winner of the Weeding Competition being presented with his prizes


Other activities carried out were the presentation of Baby Formula (Lactogen) food to the Mampong Babies Home. It came through some of the volunteers from Voluntaressor Sweden who volunteered at the Home. The presentation was made by the Director and project Co-ordinator of LIFOC to the Second-in-Command of the Home.

The Executive Director and Project Co-ordinator of LIFOC presenting the Lactogen

Some of the children at the Mampong Babies Home

Some of the pictures from the Green Turtle Beach Resort

Mike the Project Co-ordinator resting on a mat on the sandy beach of Green Turtle Beach

 

Some of the paintings at the Kakum National Park


Elephant skull at the Kakum National Park

Light for Children November 2010 Report

February 4, 2011

Written by Mike Owusu – Development Coordinator:

Light for Children November 2010 Report

Pushing our Global Giving Project

Hi; its me, Sebastian Lindstrom. Hope everyone are exited to catch up with what Light for Children is up to. If possible, please spend 3-4 minutes to make a small donation with the help of your credit card; it would very much help us to help more children who are HIV positive. Please go to:

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/ghana-care-and-support-for-50-hiv-positive-children/

Please reach out to me with thoughts / feedback and questions at sebastian@whattookyousolong.org


LIFOC opens office at Nsuta

Light For Children has opened a new office at Nsuta in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region. Since Nsuta and for that matter the district is one of our operational areas, is imperative to have such a facility so as to help us pursue our project effectively.

Some of the projects are teaching at Basic schools, personnel support to the Nsuta Health Clinic and Care and Support for people living with HIV/AIDS to be rolled on very soon.

The month of November 2010 saw a number of activities after some months of review of our programmes.

Four Swedish volunteers arrived to work at the Mampong Babies Home and the Missionary of Charity Home. They volunteered for one week and later undertook a tour of Cape Coast and surrounding areas which is normally part of their package.

The first volunteer from Span Africa a grassroot and volunteer recruiting agency which is our partner arrived on the 31st October and started work on the 2nd of November at the Ramseyer Vocational Institute our partner school.

She was in the person of Denice Wehausen from Dallas in the U.S.A. She taught Food and Nutrition at the school for three weeks.

James Quinlan, a representative of Leap Now a volunteer recruitment organization also arrived in the country to have discussion with officials of LIFOC on the possibility of sending down volunteers to work on a number of our projects.

The Monthly socialization meeting of the LIFOC care and support group came off at the Kumasi Cultural Centre after a short break. At the meeting, James, Yukari the new JICA volunteer from Japan and Denice were introduced to the children and their care givers.

Denice later discussed issues of good nutrition with them. Later she did a practical demonstration of how to use various vegetables and other food items to prepare a nutritional balanced diet for good health.

As part of the visit of James, a tour of project sites were undertaken with the executives of LIFOC and Yukari the JICA volunteer to Mampong and Nsuta which is some of our project towns.

At Mampong Babies Home, the Principal of the Home, took us through the various sections of the facility including the nursery, the babies section and others.

During the visit, a donation of Six Hundred and Ninety four US Dollars ($694.00) was made to the home. The donation came from a previous Swedish volunteer who visited there about two years ago.

A courtesy call was also made to the District Director of Health Services for the Sekyere Central. During the meeting, a number of projects were discussed.

A Farewell Ceremony was held for Denice after her volunteer period at the Ramseyer Institute.

Light for Children July 2010 Report

October 19, 2010

Written by Mike Owosu –Project Coordinator: inlawp5@yahoo.com

Light for Children July 2010 Report

A month full of action on all fronts; enjoy this report.

Please make a small donation so that we can better help the 50 HIV-positive children that Light for Children is taking care of – please visit our Global Giving project here:

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/ghana-care-and-support-for-50-hiv-positive-children/

Some of the HKU interns at one of the schools during the Preventive Child Sexual Abuse Project

The Preventive Child Sexual Abuse Project of the organization is till ongoing and the Hong Kong University interns who are part of the team undertaking the project are still covering a lot of schools.

During the month, six (6) more volunteers namely Lucy Fenner, Ed Bevan, Mara, Alicia, Grace B and Ed Seatong arrived to work with the organization in a number of fields which included coaching in juvenile football and orphanages.

As part of their internship, the five (5) Hong Kong University students and Henrik from Sweden helped the pupils of Atonsu Presby J.H.S. to develop their skills in ICT. Since the school doesn’t have the facilities, the HKU students used their laptop computers to assist them, and also brought them to the organization’s office to help teach them the use of internet.

Henrik, one of our volunteers, teaching children information technology

Serene explaining how to use the internet to the students at the organization’s office

Jans Computer Training Institute invited the organization to educate their students on the dangers of HIV/AIDS. The organization resource person took them through the Journey of Hope concept. An HIV activist Sister Hagar also gave personal testimony of her HIV status and educated them on the best practices.

Sister Hagar sharing her personal testimony as a person living with HIV

As part of the organization’s quest to enhance its HIV/AIDS outreach activities, Family Health International (FHI) invited the Director, the Co-ordinator and the Accountant of the organization to a one day pre-implementation with their staff at the Kordam Hotel in Accra.

The Co-ordinator and Accountant at the pre-implementation meeting with FHI

The organization also participated in a one day workshop organized by Leitner Centre at the Great Hall of Kumasi Polytechnic on Patients Rights and Redress.

Twenty (20) students from the Hong Kong University (HKU) B.T.P. group paid a two week working visit to the organization. Whilst here, they participated in the organizations monthly HIV/AIDS socialization meeting at the Kumasi Cultural Centre. They interacted with the children and also gave gifts to them.

During the meeting, two (2) former volunteers who were also paying a working visit to the organization gave out mobile phones to some of the care givers.

Volunteers and HKU interns at the Global Giving Meeting in Tamale.

Pencil cases made of water bag in progress!

The final product ! To be sold for fund-raising!

Joey, one of our interns from HKU, working in handicap centre.

Music lesson conducted by our awesome HKU intern Cherie!

Children assisting Misaki, our awesome volunteer from Japan, with her art works.

Yaw briefing the volunteers on the HIV workshop.

‘Auntie Serene, don’t go back to Hong Kong!’ Last day in Jesus Care daycare centre…

The touching goodbye hug…

But still got frustrated by her students…even at the last moment

David having snacks in the HIV clinic while listening to his colleagues’ suggestion on the operation of the hospital

In a pre-departure meeting with the three UK volunteers, Ed Bevan, Ed Seatong and Lucy Fenner were given certificates of appreciation.

A fare well dinner was also organized for the HKU interns after the completion of their internship. They were also given certificate of appreciation for their two month stay.

 



Light for Children June 2010 Report

October 18, 2010

Written by Philippa Young – Development Coordinator: philippa@lightforchildren.com

Light for Children June 2010 Report

A busy month for all at the LiFoC office, particularly the HKU interns, who have reached out to over 1,500 school pupils, church choirs and dance troops over four weeks of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention workshops. This was thanks to money raised through Global Giving, an online fund-raising platform. They invited Light for Children for a workshop in Accra.

Light for Children June Activities

Global Giving Meeting

The Global Giving workshop in Accra saw experienced, and beginner, small and large NGOs join together to discuss online social networking and raising funds online. This knowledge sharing experience was extremely valuable to all sides. Global Giving (Alexis, Lorraine) learnt about the difficulties of the online world in Ghana, from intermittent connections, to small global networks, to no Paypal access – a very significant difficulty when asking people to transfer funds online.

It was also important for even the smallest NGOs to learn that Global Giving would not make exceptions for African countries. The organization works in 85 countries worldwide, all with their own specific hardships and hurdles to overcome. For a bit of background, to become a permanent member on Global Giving’s website, with the ability to raise funds with new projects, the NGO must complete online paperwork, demonstrating full transparency of administration. They must then launch a project proposal and raise US$4,000 in 4 weeks. 86% of funds raised on Global Giving are through personal connections. This means that a large social network (often a global one) is the most effective method of raising that essential US$4,000.

The problem many Ghana NGOs had was that their networks were extremely small, often within Ghana, and not all online. After ascertaining that it was not possible for Global Giving to reduce the amount to be raised or extend the time available to raise it, it was clear that an online platform may not yet be the best way for them to move forward. Instead, the workshop took a natural path into social networking 101, and was therefore still a very valuable experience for all involved.

One of the biggest hurdles for the NGOs present was that of knowledge sharing without a formal contract. The common conception of shared knowledge was that another NGO would steal best practice ideas, volunteers or funding from any NGO that dared to speak out. This was resolutely countered by the Global Giving team who gave a number of reasons why sharing, cooperation and collaboration are beneficial.

In brief:

  • Sharing knowledge raises everybody up. This is even true in business (profit-making) situations, where best practice learned by all brings the whole industry up another level
  • This is complemented by the fact that NGOs are by definition attempting to help people and build stronger communities, and thus shared best practice can only be beneficial
  • In terms of fundraising, GG made it clear that foundations actively seek out and prefer NGOs who have a history of collaboration with others as it demonstrates a willingness towards transparency, trust, and most importantly for the foundation, shows that its money will go further and help more people.

Monthly Socialization Meeting

The monthly socialization meeting of the care and support component of our HIV programme was held as usual on Saturday 5th of June 2010 at the Kumasi Cultural Centre. The caregivers were sensitized on the rights of the child and parental responsibility.

Commenting on Yaw’s address to the group, HKU intern, Serene Leung wrote:

“Yaw presented an inspiring speech saying that providing excellent education for our children may not be our foremost mission, but to give basic care and protection to them so that they can be kept safely and we would not lose them. I could truly feel that people here value children as precious gifts in this world and I can’t wait to reach more of the children here and help them with their difficulties. Then we moved to the green field to do some mass games with the children and here I saw the most lively and energetic faces of all kind.”

The six interns from the University of Hong Kong were all present, as was Sebastian Lindstrom, co-founder and director and Philippa Young, a volunteer from England.

Other activities this month

This has been an active month for the HKU interns, led by Sebastian. It is the time of the World Cup, hosted by South Africa, which saw Joanne Lai and David Kong produce patriotic t-shirts in support of the Black Stars for the intern team.

The interns also created beautiful pictures for the LiFoC office, utilizing creative skills with photographs from LiFoC projects.

The team dance at Jachie Disabled Craft Centre http://jachiedisabledcentre.org/ after the inauguration of the Federation of the Disabled and Gender Committee.

Cherie strikes a pose as she teaches music to the choir at Yaa Acha Girl’s School

Trekking back to the road after a night at Lake Bosomtwi