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 Children  Ghana Project #4027

End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana

by Self-Help International
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End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana
Akosua with Lapope.
Akosua with Lapope.

It is often sad to see malnourished women and their children in our rural communities. The question that comes to mind is: why are these communities that produce food for people in the urban areas malnourished? Could this be attributed to inadequate knowledge about food preparation methods or food distribution in the households?

This is the situation in the village of Beposo, Ghana and Akosua, a 20-year-old mother of one, told Self-Help staff in Ghana how she’s starting to address this issue.  Akosua joined the Growing Healthy Food, Growing Healthy Children (GHFGHC) program last year.

“I got pregnant again when Lapope, my daughter, was 12 months old, and this compelled me to stop breastfeeding her. I realized my daughter was losing weight, but I didn’t know what to do because accessing food had always been a challenge for my family,” Akosua said.  “‘Diversified meal’ was not in our dictionary - the only food in our diet was akple, a dish made from corn flour and grinded pepper, and sometimes ayoyo, a green leafy vegetable soup. Any leftover akple would be mashed with sugar for breakfast and sometimes lunch.”

“My family depended on this for survival for many years until, one day, a friend told me about Self-Help International and its program,” Akosua said.  “Although I registered with the program as an expectant mother, I attended meetings with my 19-month-old daughter. The moment the nutrition officer saw my girl, he noticed she was malnourished and registered her into the program as well.

“My girl and I were supplied with a food supplement called Tom Brown, which is a mixture of Quality Protein Maize (QPM), ground nuts, and water. Upon further nutritional analysis of my girl and me, we were given eggs to help improve both our macro and micro nutrient status”.

Lapope was further supplied with Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) by Self-Help to help her catch up with her growth, after she had been confirmed by a medical officer that she had no medical condition.

Akosua told Self-Help, “With these food supplements, my girl is now growing well and I can confidently say my unborn child will be born healthy.  I cannot say my household is completely food secure, but one thing I know is: the headache of not knowing what to eat for breakfast is now a thing of the past.  Many women from Beposo have benefited from this program - my family and I have been saved by this program”.

More importantly, Akosua and 69 other women from Beposo and surrounding areas have received the knowledge and skills to grow QPM, a vital component in the Tom Brown supplement.  With the onset of rains in March 2019, they are going to receive fertilizers, seeds, and herbicides to grow their own QPM and other nutritious crops such as orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) to feed their family and ensure a healthy community full of strong and energetic children to help realize the dreams of Ghana.

Akosua, Lapope, and Jesse during training.
Akosua, Lapope, and Jesse during training.
Akosua receiving supplements from Jesse.
Akosua receiving supplements from Jesse.

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Amidu with with family.
Amidu with with family.

Amidu lives in the rural village of Ama Badu in Ghana and serves as the PTA chairman of the local primary school.  He lives with his family, including his two daughters and one son, named Sumaila (5 years old), Faizatu (4 years old) and Muniratu (2 years old). Both Sumaila and Faizatu attend Ama Badu primary and are served breakfast at school every day due to Self-Help International's school feeding program.

Amidu’s family are farmers that believe one of the best things to ever happen to their community is Self-Help's school feeding program. The program has contributed to increased school enrollment and attendance. It has also brought relief to parents with school-aged children by eliminating the need to get breakfast ready before school starts and providing reassurance that their children well get fed that day.

“The school feeding program is the anchor to the foundation of our primary school.” Amidu explained “I live here and have seen how the feeding program has caught the attention of the people of Ama Badu and beyond. Before the introduction of the program, many students stayed home, a situation I initially attributed to the high rates of illiteracy among their parents.”

Christopher, the headmaster of the Ama Badu primary school, told Self-Help International,  “Amidu has taken it upon himself to ensure that the one-acre Quality Protein Maize (QPM) school farm that ensures a regular supply of maize for school breakfast is free of weeds. He purchases and sprays herbicides at no cost to the school.”

Amidu believes his kindness comes from his firm belief in the SHI school feeding program.

With support from Amidu and likeminded parents whose children benefit from the feeding program, the program will gradually become self-sustaining. Amidu constantly tells community members, “Let’s work hard in support of this program and own it for future generations!”

Over 700 school children in rural Ghana are fed breakfast prepared from QPM every school day, which has resulted in increased enrollment and attendance. The program is helping to build a sense of pride and ownership among community members, which are key in community development. With their dedication and passion, community members like Amidu make projects like Self-Help’s school feeding program possible.

QPM plot at Ama Badu primary school.
QPM plot at Ama Badu primary school.
QPM plot at Ama Badu primary school.
QPM plot at Ama Badu primary school.
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Grace, Janet, and Abigail
Grace, Janet, and Abigail

Janet (8) and her sister Abigail (6) live with their mom, Grace, in Beposo in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region. Though their mother never attended school herself, she vows to give them the best education possible. Each morning, she sends them off to school in Beposo where they start their day with a protein-rich breakfast porridge. 

Grace is multi-skilled, diversifying her petty trading and ready to try new things. In order to provide for her children, she egages in many business ventures. On any given day she might be selling kenkey, doughnuts, or bananas, depending on when you catch her.

When asked why she works so hard, Grace's reason is simple: “As a single mother with two children, I have a lot of load on my shoulders with no one to help and if I don’t do it no one will.” 

The inability of many rural entrepreneurs to diversify their businesses has led to the premature collapse of businesses which could have provided jobs to young people, to support their education and reduce incidents of crime. Grace is determined to provide for her children, using whatever skills and resources are available to her. By diversifying her businesses, Grace is better able to capitalize on when different items are in ready supply, keeping her costs low and selling what is most in demand. 

Though she is a hard worker and doing her best to educate her children, life for a single mother is not always easy. Knowing her children will get a healthy breakfast each morning helps lighten her load. 

The SHI QPM school feeding program has been of great benefit to my family. My mind is always at rest knowing that my little girls will be served breakfast at school. This program has really helped me a lot. It has made it easier for me to take care of my daughters.”

Thank you for your generous support, which eases the burden on single mothers like Grace. 

International Youth Week is August 6-12! During this time, GlobalGiving is generously matching new recurring gifts. Can we count on you to change lives of more children like Janet and Abigail? Start your monthly giving today! Give the gift of health and brighter futures! 

Abigail enjoying QPM tom brown at school
Abigail enjoying QPM tom brown at school
Grace selling kenkey
Grace selling kenkey
A whole classroom enjoying breakfast before class!
A whole classroom enjoying breakfast before class!

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Sawdatu with her children
Sawdatu with her children

Iddrisu is a proud husband to Sawdatu and father to their five children. He worked very hard to provide for his family. He started off as cab driver driving someone else's vehicle, and little by little, he saved up enough to buy his own personal cab.  As he earned more from his own cab, he even started a second business selling recharge cards in his rural community of Timeabu. He was able to provide for his wife and children. He had big dreams that they would finish school and become responsible adults. Life was good. 

But one fateful day, something terrible happened and he lost everything. Iddrisu was in a motor accident and because he had no health insurance, he had to sell all his property to cover his medical bills - including his cab, his family's primary means of income.  The family was left to rely on their one acre farm for both food and income. Feeding all seven family members became very difficult.

In cases such as Iddrisu’s, who can’t engage in vigorous farm activities due to the motor accident he had and also lacks the financial resource to hire the needed manpower, it is quite common to pull children out of school to help on the farm, particularly older children. But because of the school breakfasts, Iddrisu and Sawdatu have been able to keep all five children in school after the accident, instead of pulling them out to help work to provide enough food to go around. The boys help on the family farm only during weekends and holidays so they don't fall behind in school.

Your support of Self-Help's school feeding program has helped Iddrisu and Sawdatu's children stay in school and better nourished during this tumultuous time.  According to Iddrisu, “One of the best things to happen to me and my family is the SHI school feeding program. There is nothing more assuring for a parent than to wake up and never have to worry about what your children would eat before going to school.”

To help make ends meet, Sawudatu has been linked to Self-Help's micro-credit program, so she can access training and micro-loans to start a trading business. As a micro-credit beneficiary, she will be able to access Ghana’s national health insurance to protect the family against future major medical bills.

Thank you for your generous gift to end child hunger, which is helping families like Iddrisu and Sawdatu's help themselves. 

This Father's Day, you can honor the sacrifices your dad made to raise you with a gift to Self-Help International that will help ease the burden for a family like Iddrisu's. Gift a gift to end malnutrition for children in Ghana and select the "Donate in honor" option to print or email a free card to Dad. 

Sawdatu, ready to join the micro-credit program
Sawdatu, ready to join the micro-credit program
Sawdatu and Iddrisu's family
Sawdatu and Iddrisu's family

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Augustine and his friends enjoying their breakfast
Augustine and his friends enjoying their breakfast

Augustine was born into a broken home. But thanks to your support of the school feeding program, he's getting stronger each day.

When Ataa was in her final year of junior high school, she found herself pregnant. Ataa’s father became very agitated with the man who impregnated his daughter, and after series of disputes between the two families, the man was arrested. Ataa’s father could not come to terms with the fact that his daughter had become a school dropout after investing so much in her education. He became a laughing stock among his peers, especially those who thought he was foolish to educate his daughter in the first place.

There was too much anger in the home, so, like many poor girls in rural Ghana, Ataa decided to leave the community and set out on her own. But she found that the world was tougher than she imagined. By the time she and her son Augustine returned home, they were both in worse condition.

Ataa’s mother lamented, “Though, I am not a nutritionist, when I saw Augustine I knew right away he was suffering from chronic hunger.” By then, she explained, Ataa was expecting again. “I wondered how my husband and I could take care of Ataa, her pregnancy and her son.”

Eventually, Augustine and his half-sister Suzy came to live with their grandparents, and they enrolled Augustine at in kindergarten at Beposo D/A School, where they are grateful that he receives free breakfast every morning.

“I enjoy the porridge, especially when I am eating together with friends,” says Augustine.

“I must say my grandson is not the only one who owns SHI gratitude,” said Augustine’s grandfather.  “The zeal with which the children at Beposo Basic School eat the porridge is amazing, and I ask myself how many of these children would attend school regularly if no porridge was served?”

Augustine’s grandmother added in, “Every parent from Beposo must be thankful to God and Self-Help.”

Augustine, now eight years old, is developing interest in school. Though he had a rough start in life, his grandparents have high hopes that he will complete his education, become responsible and serve his community.

Thank you for your support of the school feeding program, and supporting children like Augustine to get the nutrition their growing brains and bodies need! 

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At Self-Help, we know that fighting hunger isn’t a quick fix. It requires both feeding interventions to support children already experiencing malnutrition; and at the same time preventing malnutrition for the next child by working with mothers. If you’d like to learn more about our work to support teenage girls to stay in school and delay pregnancy until they are able to care for a child, visit our sister project here. In honor of International Women's Day today, GlobalGiving is matching all donations made to Stop 125 Teen Girls in Ghana from Missing School today only! 

Augustine at Beposo Primary School
Augustine at Beposo Primary School
Augustine & Suzy with their grandparents
Augustine & Suzy with their grandparents

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Organization Information

Self-Help International

Location: Waverly, IA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SelfHelpIntl
Project Leader:
Nora Tobin
Waverly, Iowa United States
$39,889 raised of $55,000 goal
 
735 donations
$15,111 to go
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