UPDATE (August 24, 2011)
Gifty the client in question is three months old in her apprenticeship as a beauty therapist and will soon graduate, after which she will be assessed for resettlement. Her son is still in basic school and performing tremendously in his studies.
Both mother and child continue to receive support from The Ark.
ANTI-VIOLENCE SHELTER PROJECT IN GHANA
Report on activities for the period March to May 2011
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, 13 women clients received capital support training on good business practices; 4 children benefited from educational support package; 6 Clients were provided with emergency educational support and subsistence aid; a discharged client aged 13 from the Eastern Region was given an emergency support money, one (1) teenage client had educational support, a Client on admission at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital was given money for medical and other incidental expenses, One (1) client received resettlement package; two (2) legal support and finally 3 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, although 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
Gifty, 21 was referred to The Ark Foundation, Ghana by Ashaiman Domestic Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU). She asserted that she was raped on several occasions by her biological father. She was four (4) months pregnant at the time of reporting the sad incidence. According to her, aside this unfortunate incidence, she has been through a number of other bitter experiences. She lost her mother at the tender age of five (5) and hence she was made to live with a paternal relative in another town. The said relative contracted a marriage between Gifty and an elderly man over sixty (60) years of age when she turned sixteen (16).
The relationship produced a child. It was this action that infuriated her biological father who decided to assume full custody of client and her son. According to her, her father began perpetrating this crime soon after she came to live with him. She confided in a neighbor about the issue and it was this neighbor who assisted her to seek help at DOVVSU. Gifty’s paternal family treated her with disdain and animosity and as a result of this; the home environment was no longer safe for her. Upon the request of officials at Ashaiman DOVVSU, both Gifty and her son were offered safety at The Ark’s shelter where they have been residing for the past two (2) years.
Gifty received adequate ante natal care as she was pregnant with her father’s child. The baby girl however died two months after delivery due to ill health. She had to undergo therapeutic sessions as she became traumatized. At the moment, she is doing very well. She has been enrolled as a beauty therapist apprentice and her eldest son has also been enrolled in school. Plans for her are underway to properly resettle her soon after apprentice period is over.
The Project is still being implemented and we can assertively say that our clients are satisfied with the quality of services provided which includes Shelter, medical and legal assistance. We thank our supporters/donors for funding this project.
This question goes to our supporters: Please we will be very grateful if you tell us what you think about our project? Are there any ways we can work together to attract wider support? Sincerely thank our supporters for making this possible.