Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana

by Action against Child Exploitation (ACE)
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Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana
Providing School Supplies to 100 Children in Ghana

Project Report | Feb 2, 2023
Project Activities Completed in Two Communities

By Yuki Akahori | the SMILE Ghana Project Manager

Group discussion with children
Group discussion with children

Thank you very much for your kind support for us. This is Yuki Akahori, the SMILE Ghana Project Manager.

The Smile Ghana Project completed its activities in two communities in August 2022 after having been active since February 2018. During the activity period, there was a lockdown and school closure due to the spread of COVID-19, which extended the activity period, making it the longest activity to date at 4 years and 7 months.

Before the project started, the attendance rate (*1) of kindergarten to elementary school in the two communities was around 50% and child labor was scattered, but when the project was completed in August 2022, child labor in the two communities was zero and the attendance rate of kindergarten to elementary school reached 100% in both communities! During the project period, 141 children who had been engaged in child labor were found by the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) and returned to school.

(*1) Since neither of the two communities has a secondary school within the community, we have checked the attendance rate up to elementary school.

Upon completion of the project, interviews and group discussions were conducted with children, teachers, and parents (cacao farmers) to evaluate the project from multiple perspectives, including how much the project activities helped to eliminate child labor and whether our monitoring system works sustainably. Now, we would like to introduce two of the interviews with children who were involved in child labor and their parents.

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Interview with Adwoa and her mother
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Adwoa (pseudonym), 11 years old, is the eldest daughter and has four younger siblings. After her parents divorced, her father went missing and her mother went to the city to work, so the children, including Adwoa, were sent to her grandmother's house. Adwoa originally attended school, but the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) found her caring for her younger brothers and sisters and cooking meals for the whole family while the school was closed for nine months due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) counseled Adwoa and her grandmother and told them that their children should have time to learn while school was closed and that they should not be allowed to do household chores during the time they should be learning. We also asked her to tell her mother to attend the project's income enhancement training and gave her a set of school supplies to encourage her to go to school when school reopens. Today, Adwoa lives with her mother and attends a 4th-grade elementary school class every day. Her mother also participated in income enhancement training (rice cultivation). During our interview, Adwoa and her mother told us the following

Interview with Adwoa

Q: Do you enjoy school?
A: I enjoy studying, school lunch, having school supplies, and playing. For studying, I like math and English. Having the school supplies and school lunch make me feel going to school more fun.

Q: Do you want to continue studying after you graduate from elementary school?
A: I want to continue going to school to take care of my mother and grandmother and to have a respectable career.

Q: If you had a child who was working, what would you tell him or her?
I would tell them to go to school. If they go to school, they will get school lunches and school supplies.

Interview with Adwoa's mother

Q: Did you notice any difference between before and after your child started going to school again?
A: My daughter used to hate going to school before the school closed. But after receiving the project's support (school lunch and school supplies), she changed completely. Now she is motivated to go to school, and our family is relieved to see her like that.

Q: How has the support from the project helped your child's school life?
A: Through the support from the project, we have been able to save money for our children's education and earn an income to support our family. I applied the skills I learned in the income enhancement training (rice cultivation) to increase my rice harvest to send my children to school. I also learned the importance of education, so I will continue to send my children to school after the project is over.

 

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Interview with
Yaw and her mother
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Yaw (pseudonym) is 11 years old, the same age as Adwoa, and the eldest of five siblings, living with his mother and father.  Yaw originally attended school, but during his absence from school, he started going to the cacao farm with his parents to cut the grass and collect the harvested cacao pots (pods). As the eldest son,  Yaw wanted to help his parents, who worked as caretakers (*2) on the cacao plantation. Even after school resumed, he sometimes missed school to work on the cacao plantation, and he announced this at a meeting to exchange opinions (TWP) (*3) with the parents.

Upon hearing this, the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) visited the house to discuss the situation with the parents and convinced them to let Yaw go to school every day. The project provided a set of school supplies. Since then,  Yaw has been going to school every day, and in January next year, he will advance to the 5th grade of elementary school.

(*2) A form of employment in which a cacao farmer works for the landowner and receives a portion of the harvest from the landowner. For details, please refer to [Ghana Report] Cacao has dried up due to lack of rainfall, and farmers' income is decreasing.

(*3) Time with Parents: A meeting where children, parents, teachers, and the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) gather to discuss children's rights, parental obligations, and children's feelings. Held once a year.

Yaw and her mother answer questions.

 

Interview with Yaw

Q: What do you enjoy doing at school?
A: I enjoy playing soccer. As for studying, I like English.

Q: Has your relationship with your family changed since you started attending school?
A: Both at school and at home, I am now able to buy school supplies and basic necessities in small amounts.

Q: Are you satisfied with your relationship with your school teachers and classmates?
A: I am satisfied. When I don't understand something I learned in class well, my teachers teach me again. My classmates help me with my studies.

Q: Do you want to continue studying after you graduate from elementary school?
A: Yes, I do. I want to continue my studies. In the future, I want to become a nurse and protect the lives of people around me.

Interview with Yaw's mother

Q: Do you feel any difference between when your child was working and after he stopped working and started going to school?
A: My son has become more positive about studying and his grades have improved.

Q: How has the support from the project helped you in supporting your child's school life?
A: It was very helpful because my child no longer goes hungry because he can eat school lunch when he goes to school.

Q: Do you think you will be able to continue sending your child to school after the project ends?
A: Yes, we will continue to send them to school. This is because community rules require that children receive compulsory education. These rules encourage me to always send my children to school.

 

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What we found through the interview
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Interviews with children and parents of child laborers were conducted in eight families, and all families indicated that they would be able to send their children to school after the project was completed. As mentioned in the above 2 interview, the reasons why parents for being able to continue to send their children to school included the following. 

  • The project's income-enhancement training has improved the parents' income.
  • Because they learned about their obligations to their children and their children's rights.
  • Because community regulations clearly state that it is the duty of parents to ensure their children's educational opportunities.

From these responses, we believe that not only economic improvements such as higher incomes have raised the priority of education in the home and changed parents' attitudes toward their children's learning. The parents' awareness of concepts such as "children's rights" and "parents' duties" have also played an important role to raise their priority and changing their attitude. We also found that community regulations on child protection, developed by community stakeholders and district officials, were also influential enough to change parents' behavior.

On the other hand, we also found some challenges: for school lunches, it has become difficult to collect donations from parents in one of the two communities. Moreover, the project provided some school supplies to children from economically disadvantaged families, but after the project was completed, no system had been established within the communities to take charge of this task. We are considering ways to improve these issues and reflect them in the content of our activities in new areas of support to make the project even more sustainable.

We are currently compiling the evaluation results into a report. We will report back to you when it is ready!

Thank you very much for your continued support!

Yuki Akahori,
the SMILE Ghana Project Manager

Adwoa and her mother being interviewed
Adwoa and her mother being interviewed
Yaw and her mother being interviewed
Yaw and her mother being interviewed
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Oct 5, 2022
A step forward toward to Child Labour Free Zone

By Akira Kondo | Staff in charge of Ghana

Jun 8, 2022
I LOVE SCHOOL!" Children are coming back to school

By Yuki Akahori | Ghana Project Manager

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Organization Information

Action against Child Exploitation (ACE)

Location: Taitoku, Tokyo - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ace_japan
Project Leader:
Masami Narizuka
Taitoku , Tokyo Japan
$19,361 raised of $30,000 goal
 
132 donations
$10,639 to go
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