ANTI-VIOLENCE SHELTER PROJECT IN GHANA
Women and children who have suffered abuse, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, neglect, harmful customary practices and parental non-maintenance, report to or are referred to The Ark’s Anti-Violence program under which the Anti-Violence shelter project operates.
Based on an assessment of clients’ practical and strategic needs, Social Workers/Counselors provide the required service to them to alleviate their problems (e.g., injuries from beating need medical aid and a referral to the police. Also a case on defilement, incest or rape would probably require shelter for the victims especially where in the case of children they live with the perpetrator or in the case of women when their lives are in danger. These services are all provided through funds raised from Global Giving fundraising.
Report on activities for the period Nov 2010 to Date
The project provided shelter for abused women and children and other costs e.g. (Utilities, police, security services, medical aid, communication costs, food items, toiletries, social workers follow up cost, school daily allowance and fuel for cooking);
Also, 5 Clients were provided with emergency educational support and subsistence aid; 15 women clients received capital support training on good business practices; 5 children benefited from educational support package; 5 clients were assisted with transportation and subsistence support, a discharged client aged 14 from the Central Region was given an emergency support money, a Client on admission at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital was given money for medical and other incidental expenses ; two teenage clients had educational support and finally 6 clients ended up at the Shelter.
We noticed that the women who received capital support and business practice training are better able to handle the financial support given them, albeit limited, and have more control over their lives because of economic empowerment and the education they receive about their rights not to be abused. Families of teenaged girls, who have suffered sexual violence, including incest, are happy when the clients are discharged from the shelter after receiving a full range of services and care, including medical, psychological referrals and resettlement packages. The clients are able to be re-integrated into their families and society much better.
A client’s story
Ama (not her real name for purposes of confidentiality) was living in a suburb of Accra, with her five year old daughter whose father failed to remit her consistently. During her stay in Accra she met a Police Officer and had three children (a son and a month old twins) with him. The father of the children failed to provide for their up keep so Client resorted to washing for people throughout her pregnancy in order to feed her children and never attended ante-natal care. She had little money to feed her children and also had to sleep in an uncompleted building since she could not afford to rent a room. She gave birth at home because she could not afford the hospital bills.
When her Landlord was ready to complete the building he asked her to move out and that was how she came into contact with The Ark. Client was admitted at the Shelter upon assessment and her children who were seriously ill were sent for medical assessment and treatment.
The case of maintenance and paternity of her twins were forwarded to the District Juvenile Courts in Accra by The Ark’s legal centre. This case is still pending in court. Ama finally decided to go back to her village to live with her parents. She was provided with a financial package (GHC500) to engage in a trade of her choice and to put her child in school. Ama is very happy about the service offered her and promises to take very good care of her self and children.
The Ark is still implementing the project, and so far can confidently say that our clients are largely satisfied with the quality and range of services we offer within our integrated approach which includes Shelter, and re-settlement services; thanks to our supporters/donors whose contributions are funding this project.
This question goes to our supporters: Please tell us what you think about our project? Are there any ways we can work together to attract wider support? We wish to use this opportunity to thank our supporters for making this possible.