Sep 7, 2021

Supporting Family-based Care in Northern Ghana.3

Reunification event in Gambaga
Reunification event in Gambaga

Dear community,

Time flies and as we are experiencing the peak of the rainy season in the Northern Regions of Ghana currently, it is also time for BRAVEAURORA’s 2nd quarter report of 2021. A lot has been achieved within this period again and we are delighted to take you on the journey with us and see what steps have been made to provide children with protected lives in family settings.

This quarter, we want to start with a story of Dali. Dali was one of three children, who with the support of BRAVEAURORA and the Department of Social Welfare, were reunified with their families in June 2021. After a life of around 10 years in the orphanage, they are now finally able to live in their communities and with their families again. For Dali, like many children, the reunification was an event she anticipated with mixed feelings. There was on the one hand her excitement of getting to know her family and being close to them and on the other hand many insecurities and fears. Some of the main challenges for Dali were that in the residential home she grew up being Christian and spoke a language different from her family’s. So, when she started to live with her family again, she first felt alienated and as a stranger in the mid of her own relatives. However now two months later through regular psychosocial counselling and support, Dali is settling well with her family again. When our social worker visited her the last time, she was amazed by how warm and welcoming the relationship between Dali and her family has become and Dali’s smile is proving that she is very happy to be back home. The story of Dali how important the continuous support of social workers are during the reintegration process. Even though, a lot has been achieved already, when children are being reunified with their families, it is key that the support doesn’t end there. BRAVEAURORA together with the Department of Social Welfare ensure through regular monitoring visits that the needs of the children are being met. In order to make more stories like that of Dali come true, we are tirelessly working together with the Department of Social Welfare on encouraging residential homes to shift towards family-based care and supporting them in the process. This means mainly a lot of technical support in terms of providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools and also in awareness creation.

This quarter therefore we visited the regional Department of Social Welfare office in Wa and collaborated with them in monitoring several homes in the region in order to provide quality assurance, as well as further promoting the transitioning of the homes into family-based care. Besides that, as part of the Foster Care Program, assessment were conducted in 4 homes in two of the Northern regions of Ghana together with the Head of the Foster Care Service Unit of the Department of Social Welfare National Office. The purpose of these visits was also to monitor the progress in the transitioning toward family-based care as well as assessing the possibility for Foster Care Placements, if the reunification into their families of origins is not possible.

You may ask yourself how the story of the Mama Laadi Children’s Home continued this quarter? After we signed a memorandum of understanding within the last quarter, in which they committed to the transition to family-based care, we used this quarter to provide training to the staff. We trained them on the necessary steps, tools and documentation processes within the reintegration process based on the Standard Operating Procedures for Child Protection and Family Welfare. This quarter, a lot of focus was on the collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and active promotion of family-based-care in the residential homes. Reflecting on it, we are very proud, what steps could be achieved again within this time. Steps that would not be possible without the endless strength of our team and all our supporters.

Successful events like the reintegration of Dali keep us moving and fighting for family-based care day in day out. We are grateful that you are by our side to celebrate this success with us and we are looking forward to everything that still awaits us on this journey- until we hear each other again- keep in mind- small moves- big change.

Reunification process
Reunification process
Foster Care Assessments in Sawla
Foster Care Assessments in Sawla
Child Protection Committee Meeting in Walewale
Child Protection Committee Meeting in Walewale
Transition workshop in Bolgatanga
Transition workshop in Bolgatanga
May 10, 2021

Supporting Family-based Care in Northern Ghana.2

MoU with Mama Laadi Children Home/Operation Mango
MoU with Mama Laadi Children Home/Operation Mango

Dear Community,

Since 2010, BRAVEAURORA has worked tirelessly on improving the living conditions of children in Northern Ghana and providing them with perspectives for a healthy life in dignity within their communities.

 In order to achieve sustainable changes, we are convinced that the complex challenges families face in rural Ghana need to be adressed from multiple angles. That's why BRAVEAURORA is working on decreasing poverty by creating professional opportunities for rural communities, improving educational possibilities for the younger generations as well as advocating for children's rights and well-being through different projects at the same time. All this together contributes to our mission to become a leading advocate in child protection in Northern Ghana and enable children to live a healthy life in their family.

The reintegration project therefore is at the core of our work and we are delighted to tell you about the steps forward we were able to achieve within the first quarter of 2021.

Through BRAVEAURORA's continuous effort to raise awareness on the importance of family- based care and reintegration in collaboration with institutional care facilities, we were able to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mama Laadi's Children Home on the 31st of March, 2021.In this agreement, the home commits to transition towards family- based care and reintegrating children at scale. This is a huge success and BRAVEAURORA will together with the Departement of Social Welfare support the home with the reintegration process using the reintegration guidelines.

“I am very glad to be a part of this family, the family that always have the vulnerable at heart. I am exactly 4 years now with BRAVEAURORA and we have made big moves together. Empowering the young female is something I have so much passion for, we work with the young females in the communities and encourage them on how they can build a better future for themselves."- says Faiza one of BRAVEAURORA's social workers about her daily work. Our social workers passion for the work is one-of- a- kind and they are a huge asset to our team. Within the last quarter they were again able to provide around 700 children and their care givers with essential sensitization and knowledge on various topics related to questions on health, rights, family-life and education. In a lot of the activities, women empowerment takes centre stage. Additional to the workshops, the social workers provide constant individual counselling to families and young individuals in need of support.

Our Young Ambassador's program was successful again in reaching out to communties on the harmful effects of orphanage care and the importance of family- based alternatives. 279 paritcipants in 5 communities were actively participated in the sensitisation. Listening fervently to the touching stories of the young ambassador team comprising; careleavers and caregiverss, who experienced themselves first-hand the negative impacts of family separation.

To reach even more people, BRAVEAURORA got on-air regularily at the local radio station to advocate for children's rights and reintegration.

When fighting day in, day out for a better future for our children, it is always of very special joy when we realise that we are not alone fighting for this cause but that we are part of a huge global network of organisations, who dedicate themselves to the same mission. That's why we are delighted to be part of the Orphan Myth network now, which enables us to collaborate with organisations around the world to push forward our agenda for the most vulnerable in our society.

All these beautiful big and small steps we take every day, woudn't be possible without the support of everyone of you out there. We are highly grateful for every single one of you- together we have to capacity to bring about unstoppable change. So let's continue going on this journey together and live by the motto: “Small moves- big changes.“

 

A happy Reintegrating Family
A happy Reintegrating Family
Sensitisation on Family-based Care
Sensitisation on Family-based Care
Empowerment Clubs for Young Women and Girls
Empowerment Clubs for Young Women and Girls
Jan 11, 2021

Supporting Family-based Care in Northern Ghana

Reunification in Tongo
Reunification in Tongo

BRAVEAURORA was founded in Ghana in January 2010 to support vulnerable children in the community of Guabuliga in the North East Region of Ghana after seeing the plight of children in the then Guabuliga Orphanage. At this time, the focus of the organization was on improving living conditions of the children in care and expanding their educational, economic and health opportunities. With time, the vision of the organization bourgeoned and the scope was broadened to cover community development and child protection in general.

BRAVEAURORA now works with partners across the northern regions of Ghana to facilitate deinstitutionalization; tracing and monitoring cases, sensitizing RHC to reintegrate children, sensitizing RHC to close the homes, supporting RHC to transform their activities towards family-based care, supporting case management, providing quality assurance, training child protection actors, documenting and sharing best practices among others.

As a non-profit, BRAVEAURORA is purely funded by donations, grants and contributions from members, collaboration partners and our online community. It was therefore a gamechanger for us in 2020 to make it through the GlobalGiving Accelerator Program. Funds raised through the benevolence of BRAVEAURORA’s GlobalGiving community touched several lives in rural Ghana in the last quarter. For the past three months, we worked at pace to support reunification efforts, support deinstitutionalization and strengthen families in northern Ghana. The key activities undertaken are presented below;

After weeks of family tracing and monitoring, BRAVEAURORA worked with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) in the Upper East Region of Ghana to reunify 14 children from Timaltaaba Children’s Home in the Talensi District. The reunification was done using the case management approach as espoused by the Case Management Standard Operating Procedures for Children in Need of Care and Protection (UNICEF, DSW, MoGCSP; 2018). BRAVEAURORA provided the reunified children with assorted support packages including; food items, hygiene items, school items and dignity kits for adolescent girls. The reunification event was attended by key stakeholders in the municipality. The Regional Director of DSW reemphasized the department’s commitment to ensure that every child grows up in a loving and caring family. BRAVEAURORA continues to provide monitoring support and quality assurance to DSW to realise this.

As part of BRAVEAURORA’s collaboration with Operation Mango Tree/Mama Laadi Children’s Home to support the transition of the home towards family-based care, BRAVEAURORA supported the project to start constructing a two-bedroom accommodation for a reintegrating family in Gowrie, a community under the Bongo District. The 8-member household currently reside in an uncompleted school structure due to the collapse of their accommodation from heavy rains. With the funds raised through GlobalGiving, BRAVEAURORA provided funds to support the construction. BRAVEAURORA also provide continuous monitoring to the family, to support them go through the difficult time and prevent further separation. BRAVEAURORA is working with Operation Mango Tree to link the family to other family support services and provide livelihood opportunities for the care givers.

Working on a recommendation from the DSW Head Office, BRAVEAURORA is supporting five orphaned children in villages around the Bongo District. The children are below five and are currently in kinship care. BRAVEAURORA recognizes the importance for the children to stay within families and it is in this spirit that the organization supports their families to take care of the children. The organization is therefore working closely with the District head of DSW to provide ongoing support to the families. Apart from providing financial support to the families, social workers of the organization also provide them with psychosocial support. Efforts are also been made to put them under national safety net programs.

Within the quarter, BRAVEAURORA also provided direct education to 537 community members from 6 communities in the East Mamprusi and Mamprusi Moaduri Districts of the North East Region of Ghana. Care leavers and caregivers on the Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) reached these communities on the importance of family-based as opposed to the dangers on institutionalization. The YAP is a gatekeeping effort aimed at enlightening communities about the orphanage crisis and empowering them to keep their children within families. Volunteers on the YAP include care leavers, caregives and social workers from BRAVEAURORA and DSW.

The lives BRAVEAURORA has touched over the past months would not have been possible without the tremendous support from our GlobalGiving community. The change you bring about lasts a lifetime. We are grateful for every dollar put into the project and we will continue to advocate and push for family-based care at all levels.

Support to vulnerable families in Bongo
Support to vulnerable families in Bongo
Presentation of reunification package
Presentation of reunification package
Presentation of Certificate by UER Dir. of DSW
Presentation of Certificate by UER Dir. of DSW
Inspection of accommodation in Gowrie
Inspection of accommodation in Gowrie
Block Construction Underway
Block Construction Underway
 
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