The Savannah Kids Education Project was started by Oluu Mahamadu. He got the idea after several years of volunteering in orphanages and social service programs where he developed an understanding of the needs of children growing up in impoverished families. The program began as a means of linking children who had been forced to work on the streets in order to eat, with families in developed countries who would sponsor them through school. The program helps to pay the children’s school fees and affords them an allowance for food, so they no longer have to work to eat. The program also promotes frequent correspondence between the family and the sponsored child.
Oluu has done a good job of keeping the organization progressive but has begun to understand that the reason the children are forced to work it because their families are unable to generate enough income to support them. Therefore, in November he is launching a micro credit program to the organization to enable the mothers to start businesses and teach them about savings and financial planning so they can prosper and independently support their families.
S.K.E.P. also works with volunteers, placing them with various educational organizations, such as a vocational rehabilitation center for disabled people and a local school for the deaf in an effort to offer support to these marginalized populations. The organization is a good example of taking a progressive and evolving approach to the complicated issues of poverty.
Denise and four other In-the-Field Travelers are currently in Ghana before they are making their way to Mali and Burkina Faso. They'll be visiting more than 30 GlobalGiving projects in the next month. Follow their adventures at http://itfwa.wordpress.com/.
ANNUAL REPORT 2008-9
“S.K.E.P and R.F.V.O”
Savannah Kids Education Project and the Rural Folks Voluntary Organization.
Post Office Box TL:2388, Tamale- GHANA.
Banking details in Ghana:
“Amalgamated Bank of Ghana
Accounts Number: 010100406, Swift Code: AMMAGHAC, Tamale Branch
1. Summary and history
2. Purpose of the community
3. Journal of the year 2007
4. Organization and management
6. Evaluation of last year’s plans
7. Plans for 2010
Annex 1: Financial statements 2008
1: Summary and History
General. The “Savannah Kids Education Project and Rural Folks Voluntary Organization is a non religious, ethnic, political organizations. S.K.E.P was registered in August 2004 with the aim of taking care of orphans and street working children. Oluu Mahama Mahamadu initiated this project after working for several years as a volunteer at the Tamale Children’s Home. He was working there because of the keen interest in supporting and giving a helping hand to the less privilege in the society. In early 2004 Oluu together with some friends carried out some researches to find out why there were several children working on the streets of Tamale and its surroundings. This was done because he wanted to find out what made the children to live and work on the streets and what measures could be taken to prevent it.
The organization before registering as an official NGO supported the Tamale Children’s Home from 2000 till January 2004. The organization provided the orphanage with toilet facilities, water reservoirs, school, play ground, washing machines, medical aid, wheels chairs for handicapped children and also made cash donations and food stuff.
The organization carried out a research in the northern region between February, 2004 and April the same year. The findings were that they were hundreds of children who spend their life’s on the streets of Tamale and some surrounding big villages working so hard for their daily bread.
Tamale and its surroundings are dominated by Muslims and traditional believers. The religion allows men to marry several wife’s. Most men take advantage of these to marry several wife’s and give birth to more than the number of children they can cater for. Some believe it is a prestige to have many wife’s and many children, others give birth to many children because of farming activities, some do it for luck of education on family planning, whiles others do it for religious believes. No matter what the reasons may be, the child and the mother are always the victims. The mother contribute over 60% to the child’s upkeep in most traditional homes in the northern region of ghana. The man has several children from many wife’s and has no time on individual child. He spends most of the day struggling to provide an average meal for the family. In such homes it is the responsibility of the mother to provide clothing, healthcare, compassion, love, and education. the child will only have access to school when the mum is able to afford the educational needs. Some fathers do contribute but this is rare in polygamy homes. When the child is sick it is the mother, when the child eat well it is the mother and when the child is happy it is also the mother. The father has no time for emotional or personal contact with the children.
It is the mother who fights for the rights of the child, every woman in the home protect her children. In a situation where the mother is out of the home due to divorce, death or whatever circumstances, the child will be turn as a slave of the home. Every other person will put all their work load on the child. No one care if the child eat well, have good health, happy, or sleep well. The child will be the one to sweep the compound, make fire for cooking, fetch water, and wash all dishes. All these will be done and no descent meal will be giving. He or she will only eat well when there is abundant of leftover food which rarely happened. When there is a divorce the women cannot move with her children to her relative, they refuse to accept another man’s child in their home, the northern region is practicing the paternal system, which give right of children to the man though the woman suffers more in raising the child.
All these pressures at home pushes the child out to the streets because he or she knows whatever is earn on the streets will go straight to their mouths. They will prefer working on the streets than been slaves in the house without getting any food. They rather stay on the streets than staying home and experiencing hatred and neglect ion. Part from these kind of children there are also many children who are a result of rape, teenage pregnancies, and handicapped children who are abandoned by parents. Due to the religious believe most parents will turn their back on daughters who got impregnated outside marriage, they drive away these innocent young girls to the streets. Most of these girls find shelters from food sellers or turn to street hawkers. They stay on the streets, give birth on the streets and the streets becomes the home of the innocent child.
The organization setup a child sponsorship scheme, this is aim at supporting the education of children living on the street, children with disabilities, and children from poor homes. It also give each child 10Euros per month, provide healthcare, shelter, and clothing. The organization also several other projects, which include, advocacy on human rights, gender, discrimination against the physically challenge, provision of school classrooms, health centers rehabilitations, guinea worm prevention, health campaign and training of tradition health attendants. Most of our advocacy and campaign programs in organize together with foreign volunteers and specialize personnel. The organization was registered in August 2004 and our first group of children were taken in September the same year.
Some of the achievements of the organization since 2004
The organization has expanded from 10 children in 2004 to 90 children in December 2008. Most of our first batch of children has already completed Primary and Junior High School education and are awaiting to go to Senior High Schools.
The organization has provided healthcare for the children and their families
The organization rehabilitated 5 different schools and equipped them all with furniture and two schools with electricity
The organization has also rehabilitated the Dalun health center, the Singa health center and Nyohini health center
The organization has provided learning materials and equipment to the Nyohini Rehabilitation Center for the physically challenge, it has also provided the center with toilet facilities and a 90 tables and chairs
The organization arrange for more teachers at the Bagabaga school
It provided the Bagabaga school with toilet and water facilities
Over 70 workshops has been organize for women and teachers to help build their capacities, education people from different locations on family planning, HIV awareness, and train traditional birth attendants in remote areas of the Tolon Kumbungu District
The organization has provided 8 children who were not able to walk to school with wheel chairs and tricycles. Clutches were also provided to three young girls, one young girls is currently at the Nyohini Rehabilitation center learning weaving, she is blind but doing very well now, a 14 year old girl was also sent to school for the deaf at Savelugu and a boy of 16 years old was also sent to the school for the blind in wa. He is currently in Junior high school
The organization has spent over 25000 Euros (only on food) within the past four years. Several thousands were spend on educational materials and lots on healthcare, transportation, entertainments, infrastructure and management.
The organization has also since 2004 subsidies school fees, educational materials, school development levy and examination cost, which has lead to the tripling the population of the school.
The organization organizes Christmas party for the children every Christmas and many other parties during popular festivities
The organization did volunteer placements, it has send volunteers to work at the Nyohini rehabilitation center, the Tamale Children’s Home, The Bagabaga school, The regional Hospital, The Tamale Youth Center, and allocate many other volunteers to help do house to house campaign on domestic violence, child abuse, discrimination against the physically challenge
The organization has in the past four years spend over 9000 euros on advocacy through the radio and posters. Some of which include, right of a physically challenge person, the importance of girl child education, hygiene and sanitation, causes of infant mortality, domestic violence, child abuse and peace iniatives
3. The main objectives of the organization are listed below
Identifying street children, orphans, children from poor home
Providing education, healthcare, shelter, food and clothing for the identified children
Building the capacities of single mothers and providing them with micro credit facilities
Empowering and building the capacities of children with disabilities or the physically challenge
In the coming year the organization will construct a resource center, known as common ground learning center. This is aim at engaging the children after school and stopping them from going back to the street, there will also be facilities for learning craftsmanship. There shall also be a project at this resource center to help identify the potentials of these kids.
The organization is currently promoting its activities and look for partner organization in Holland and other
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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