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

Thank you for your ongoing support of our projects. Without your financial contributions, we would not be able to continue our operations in new villages in Ghana and establish child labour-free supply chains in Ghana and across the globe.

Last week ACE presented at the TICAD 7 (7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development), an international three-day gathering attended by country leaders, NGOS, trade unions and government ministries. The TICAD is an important collection of events fostering cross-sector collaboration and knowledge exchange and it acts as a time for reflection on the progress being made in African development. It is also a time when future priorities and commitments by all stakeholders can be declared. It represented a great opportunity for ACE to reflect upon the lessons learned from the SMILE Ghana project and how our operations are leading the way for the creation of a system of Child Labour Free Zones (CLFZ) across cocoa-farming communities in Ghana.

On the second day of the conference, we were able to have a lengthy conversation with Nana Brempong, head of our local partner CRADA, as well as Mr. Nana, Chief of a village in Atwima Mponua district where we first started the SMILE Ghana project back in 2009. We reflected upon how the community had changed within the last ten years, and thought it was important to share some of their jaw-dropping statistics with you.

Prior to the project, 30% of the village’s children were enrolled in school. Attendance was poor and a path toward university practically non-existent. The existing educational environment itself discouraged attendance and helped steer children into labour in the coca-industry: the village didn’t have a junior high school - the nearest one was 9 miles away, teacher attendance and performance was poor due to lack of training and infrastructure, and parents could not see the importance of sending children to school when they lacked the funding to provide them with necessary supplies such as textbooks and school meals. Today, enrolment in school is at 95% with school attendance remaining between 95-98% throughout the year. Several students are attending university this year.

Chief Nana himself expressed his surprise and gratitude regarding how much the village had changed, highlighting the fact that he no longer saw children working on the farm during the school day. As part of the SMILE project, a junior high school was built in the village. School supplies provided. Vulnerable families provided financial support and financial management training. Teachers given training and more teachers recruited to accommodate the increase in the pupil population.

While he acknowledged that he had faced some reluctance at the beginning of the project to withdraw children from labour, the improvements of the educational environment and awareness-raising activities regarding the importance of education has reinforced support amongst community members. We were so delighted to hear about how things had changed in this village and these changes are being seen in the other project villages too. By providing these communities with the initial aid to improve - or even newly establish - basic facilities and supplies, we are able to kick start a long-term transformation of development.

We will continue to work with local people in Ghana, working in solidarity to create a better educational environment for all the children who live there so that they have the capacity to themselves build a better future for their community.

Thank you again for your role in these successes. Any further support that you can give for the continuation and expansion of this project will be much appreciated.

Presentation at TICAD 7 Side Event
Presentation at TICAD 7 Side Event
With chocolates made from beans from Ghana
With chocolates made from beans from Ghana
Children in school at a village in Ghana
Children in school at a village in Ghana
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School Committee and PTA having a meeting
School Committee and PTA having a meeting

My name is Akira Kondo, and I am the Ghana Project Manager for ACE. Thank you so very much for supporting our efforts to end child exploitation in the world.

ACE has been implementing the "Smile Ghana Project" to eliminate child labour in Brong-Ahafo, Asunafo-South District since February 2018.  In these two villages, the villagers themselves have been trying hard to improve the educational environment for their children. However, there are still many challenges ahead of them.

One of the biggest challenges in the current situation is how to provide school lunches to children. It was originally planned to receive a subsidy from the local government to cover the cost, but the subsidy has not been provided since October 2018, and the schools haven’t been able to secure other sources of funding, and so have not been able to provide lunches to children for a while.

Because school lunch hasn't been provided, and most parents cannot afford to prepare meals for their children to bring to school, some children go hungry at lunchtime and this undermines their health, well-being, and education. Not being able to concentrate on their studies, some of them stopped coming to school.  We discussed how to solve this issue and what measures may be taken with the school operation committee and the PTA to raise money from parents and villagers, but so far, current efforts have not proven effective in raising or allocating the necessary funds.

So representatives of the Village Council, the School Committee, and the Community Child Protection Committee  (CCPC) decided to go directly to the county office and petition the county governor to provide a subsidy. The governor, who heard the plight, immediately contacted the Education Bureau staff and instructed them to take measures.  It is going to take a little while to get the subsidy, but it is on its way.

In the past, people in the villages were not so eager to take their own actions in such matters. However, they have now learned the importance of education and children's rights through our project, and have started to take initiative by themselves, which led to their taking the step of going to the county governor directly.  We are so proud of the people in the villages, and their growing sense of empowerment and self-determination to improve the lives of children! 

We will continue to work with people of the village in solidarity, to provide a better educational environment for all the children who live there.

Thank you so much for your continued support! Any further support that you can give for the furtherance of this project will be much appreciated.

Meeting with the county governor
Meeting with the county governor
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My name is Tomoko Shiroki, and I am the Managing Director and Co-founder of ACE. Thank you very much for supporting our efforts to end child exploitation in the world.

Since 2009, ACE has been implementing projects to solve the problem of child labor and child trafficking in the cacao-producing areas in Ghana.

In the beginning, it all started with one small activity in one village, and our projects gradually spread to 10 villages in two regions and so far we directly rescued 527 children from child labor, and have additionally helped to educate around 4,000 children from the project communities. Now, we currently implement our projects in 2 villages in Asunafo-South District in the Brong Ahafo region.

This year, 2019 is our 10th anniversary of the project! We would like to thank everyone who was involved and supported us over the years. Please take a look at the video we made to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

Click here to watch our video on YouTube! 
[
Chocolate Brings Happiness to People]

Please continue with us on our journey to make a future without child labour. It is through our combined effort that all children will become free to have safe and productive childhoods, and dream of brighter futures.

For more information about ACE, please visit our website at: 
http://acejapan.org/english/

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My name is Tomoko Shiroki, and I am the Managing Director and Co-founder of ACE. Thank you very much for supporting our efforts to end child exploitation in the world. 
 
Today, we have good news from Ghana! On November 29th, ACE co-organized a "National Stakeholder Dialogue on the Creation of Child Labour Free Zones in Ghana” with the Ghanaian Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), Ghana Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) and our local partner CRADA. 
 
The conference was organized to bring various stakeholders, and more than 80 attendants including cacao farmers, child who had experienced working as child laborer, chief and teachers from cocoa producing communities, staffs from several NGOsprivate corporations, international organization like ILO, local governments and the central ministries came to share experiences and learn from each other, and to start a discussion of how best to achieve the goal of ending child labour. It was a very rare occasion for all the stakeholders to get together in one setting and hold a conference like this in Ghana. 
 
It was the first time ever to hold a national-level conference on the theme of "Creating a child labor free zone mechanism” in the West Africa region, and we truly believe that we took a very progressive and advanced step. At the conference, all participants eagerly joined the discussion, which lasted unabated for hours. The event reminded us that we all share the same goal of elimination of child labour in the world.  

 We were honored to be able to make this progress together with people in Ghana. It was a great pleasure for us to hear that the deputy director of MELR mentioned in his speech that the presentation given by ACE at CLCCG (the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Groupmeeting in Abidjan in July this year triggered to engage this National Stakeholders' meeting. 

 It has been 10 years since we first started our work in Ghana. In the beginning, it all started with one small activity in one village, and now we have become an organization capable of developing a big project with the Ghana government. This was made possible because of people who have supported us throughout the years. We would like to thank you for your continued support. 
 
This is just the beginning of us! We will work in solidarity with the people in Ghana to continue our activities to build a future without child labour in the world. 

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My name is Akira Kondo, and I am the Project Manager for the Ghana region for ACE. Thank you so very much for supporting our efforts to end child exploitation in the world.

It has been six months since we started a new project in two villages. A volunteer organization, “Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC)” was organized in the villages as soon as the project started. Representatives visit families with children who do not attend school and persuade parents to send their children to school. One of the families, Paul’s family, moved to this area. Paul has a fourteen-year-old boy named John. John has not attended school since dropping out of elementary school when he was in the third grade. Paul himself never went to school and he did not understand what it meant to go to school. The family migrated from the northern part of Ghana, where language and customs are different, so they could not interact with neighbors well. However, thanks to the great efforts of members of the CCPC to persuade Paul’s family, John re-entered school in the fifth grade. He enjoys going to school every day and said, with his eyes shining, that he liked mathematics and wanted to be a banker in the future. Paul is now very proud of his son going to school.

Just like Paul’s family, there is a tendency for a lot of families who are involved in child labor and have migrated from other parts of Ghana to have difficulties interacting with other residents of the village. Also, such families often live far away from the school and it makes it difficult for children to attend school. We advise members of the CCPC to give special attention to such families. This CCPC’s attitude helps to make those migrant families to gradually open their minds. 

The CCPC supports children who have not been able to attend school, and due to their efforts, the number of children at school has increased. Thank you all for donating to this project. Because of your generosity, we could provide school supplies to the new students, giving them a good start on their education. 

However, since the number of children who attend the school has increased so rapidly, the school is now facing new challenges, the most immediate of which is a shortage of desks and chairs. The school administration has been discussing how to solve this problem, and are considering requesting support from the region, the district, or the national government, and whether they can ask for support of the parents of students or other village residents. It is quite a difficult issue, and we are trying to help them to find a sustainable solution.

Any further support that you can give will be much appreciated!

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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
$11,503 raised of $15,000 goal
 
116 donations
$3,497 to go
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