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 Children  Ghana Project #4027

End Malnutrition for 600 Children in Ghana

by Self-Help International
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
Fatima excited to go to school early
Fatima excited to go to school early

*Double the impact of your gift this week! More details below*

Abdullai and his wife, Fatia are a young couple who have faced struggles well beyond their years. The couple started their family in their native town of Dibasonye, in the Upper East Region of Ghana (being one of the four poorest regions in Ghana), with people living on less than one dollar per day. All  three children of Abdullai and Fatia-- Sule, Fatima and Ibrahim, were born and raised in Dibasonye. Even though it was difficult to earn a living wage, Abdullai and Fatia did their best to feed their family.

Unfortunately, their hard work to keep their family fed became futile once tragedy struck. In 2015, Abdullai lost his main source of income after fire destroyed his maize farm. It became almost impossible for him to provide for his family. He was eventually forced to relocate in search of finding a new job. In their quest for a better life, Abdullai, Fatia, and their three children left  to settle in Fankamawe, a village in the Ashanti Region.

Before moving, Abdullai’s brother had assured him that he would find a job either as a farm laborer or a herdsman. Finding a job was not as easy as Abdullai’s brother believed it to be. Abdullai told our staff at Self-Help, “When we first arrived at Fankamawe, I would wake up early morning with my wife and move from one house to another in search for people who needed help on their farms.” Some of the people he encountered were hostile, and treated them both harshly. Sending their children to school was not a priority at the time, as their primary focus was on how to feed their children first. Although temporarily defeated, Abdullai was hopeful. He told us when he first met us, “Life here at Fankamawe has not been easy, but there are signs that if I work hard I will have a better future for my children.”

Thankfully, things have indeed changed for the better. By partnering with Self-Help, Abdullai and Fatia have both completed agronomic training sessions, designed to ensure they can maximize yields in the coming planting season. They also receive an input loan so they’ll have all the seed and other inputs necessary to cultivate an acre of Quality Protein Maize (QPM). They’ll be able to use that QPM to ensure their children are getting a regular source of protein in their diets so they can achieve their biological potential.  At harvest, the family will repay the loan in kind with a portion of the maize they grew, which is then used to support their local school’s breakfast program.

To their parents’ delight, Sule, Ibrahim, and Fatima are now in school. In addition to getting an education, the three children also get a healthy breakfast at school each morning. Fatia tells us, “It is such a great relief that the school feeds the children breakfast. It makes life easier for us, the parents who don’t necessarily have enough income.”

When we last visited the family, Fatia was pregnant in her third trimester and was on her way to the farm in the morning. She confided in Self-Help as she told us, “This pregnancy was unintentional. After Sule, I decided not to become pregnant again to be able to take good care of my three children.”                             

Though Fatia says she never intended to get pregnant for the fourth time, she and her husband are financially stable and their family is living well. “We are ready for our fourth child,” they told us. “Our problem of food insecurity is over because we joined the SHI QPM program and Abdullai has a second job as a herdsman.”

The sense of self-reliance developing in the Abdullai’s family is impressive. They are able to overcome challenges that come their way and build a better future for their children.  We continue to watch the progress of Abdullai and Fatia’s family, along with many others as they continue to improve their lives and well-being through our programs.

Fatia working to provide for her family
Fatia working to provide for her family's future
Abdullai as a herdsman working to increase income
Abdullai as a herdsman working to increase income

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A father
A father's love

Sadick loves the breakfast porridge he gets at school each day. In fact, he loves it so much, that he stopped eating breakfast at home, even on days when his parents were able to provide it. His dad, John, said that when Sadick wouldn't eat breakfast at home any more, he started to worry that his son was getting sick.

Then he found out the truth: that Sadick just liked the breakfast at school better than he liked the breakfast at home!  John is grateful that his son now gets breakfast every day of the school year, and says he is growing stronger every day now. John contributes maize from his farm to the school feeding program now for Sadick and all the children in the classroom to enjoy each morning. 

We know you believe in nourishing children like Sadick - after all, you've made generous contributions of your hard earned funds to support children like him in the past.  We need your help again, but this time we're not asking for money.

GlobalGiving selected this photo of Sadick and John as one of the top photos in their photo contest this year!  Your vote can help us win $1,000 to support this school feeding program:  

CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR SADICK & JOHN'S PHOTO AND HELP US WIN THE $1,000 GRAND PRIZE

Thanks for your support! Help us spread the word by inviting your friends to vote too!

PS: After you vote, check your email and verify your vote. This is the only way for your vote to count. The organization whose photo has the most votes by noon EDT on Friday, May 26 will win. Read the full terms and conditions here.

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Fatima ready for school
Fatima ready for school

On January 19th, 2016, for the first time, six year old Fatima experienced her first day of school in a small village in the Ashanti region of Ghana called Fankamawe. Like most kindergarteners, Fatima initially did not like the idea of going to school. According to her teacher, Zuwera, Fatima had “become used to staying at home and playing all day.” Fatima’s parents were originally unable to send her or her siblings to school due to their financial situation. But after participating in our agricultural training program, their parents now have enough money to provide Fatima and her siblings a proper education.

Within only a short period of time, Fatima grew to enjoy her classes. Her parents excitedly shared with us, “Fatima loves the care and attention she receives from Zuwera.”  Even Fatima’s teacher, Zuwera has seen a drastic change. She also describes Fatima’s eagerness to learn, telling Self-Help staff, “Fatima feels at home when she is in the classroom, and is among the few children who come to school early.”

For Fatima, going to school also means getting a healthy breakfast each morning through the school feeding program Self-Help offers in partnership with the local primary school. Like the others students in her class, Fatima's weight and height have been measured regularly to track her progress. Shortly after she started attending school and joined the school feeding program, she was severely underweight and just under 3 feet tall. Though discouraged with the numbers, Fatima’s mother never lost hope that her daughter would one day grow to be a happy and healthy girl.

Less than a year later, thanks to the school feeding program, Fatima’s weight and height have improved significantly. Since she started her first day of kindergarten, Fatima has gained 4 1/2 pounds and grown 3 inches. With joy in her smile, her mother told us, “Fatima is such a big fan of the QPM porridge, she even wants to go to school on weekends for it.”  

Every child deserves the chance to have an education free of hunger pains. Thanks to your support, Fatima is no longer hungry for food; she is now hungry to learn.

PS: We're working to bring 50 - 100 more children on board the school feeding program by April! The community of Timeabu, where we've started a new Teen Girls Club, has requested to join - and we need your help to grant their request! Would you make a monthly recurring donation of $10 or more so more children like Fatima have a healthy start to each day?

Fatima with her family
Fatima with her family
Fatima enjoying her tasty breakfast
Fatima enjoying her tasty breakfast
Nadit
Nadit's classmate eating porridge served at school
Jasmine agreed to share her family's story, but requested not be captured on camera. Out of respect for her wishes, the photos in this story depict Nadit's classmates who are also benefiting from the school feeding program.

Earlier this month on November 3rd, the school feeding program staff, Nancy and Jesse, visited the community of  Bedabour for monitoring and met with Jasmine, a farmer and a mother of four whose children are active in the local school feeding program.

It is unusual for parents in rural communities to visit their children during school hours. Parents usually spend daylight hours hurrying to visit their farms or the market. They leave their children under the care of their teachers, sometimes without breakfast. Jasmine had come to the school that day to meet with her daughter’s teacher to inquire about her academic performance. Her daughter, Nadit, is in KG2 (kindergarten).

According to her teacher, Joana, Nadit is healthy and active in class. Joana spoke well of Nadit, noting that she has been more positive and happy in class. Jasmine was just so happy that the feeding program was available at her daughter’s school. Nadit now comes to school early and excited to learn because of the breakfast served.

Jasmine also mentioned that the benefits of quality protein maize (QPM) in her daughter’s breakfast is a household topic for conversation.  Nadit’s older sister Rahama, a junior high school student in a nearby school, also is familiar with the benefits. She took an interest in her sister’s health.  Rahama told Self-Help’s staff that, "Since Nadit started consuming porridge made from quality protein maize, she has blossomed. Due to the high protein content of the maize her body growth is excellent. Because of the porridge served at her school, Nadit is never absent and hardly falls sick.”  

Nadit's mother Jasmine confirmed that change in Nadit's health saying that now she is strong and healthy, and has not needed to visit the hospital in the past twelve months.

Rahama went on to say that the school feeding program is so encouraging because it not only increases school enrollment and attendance, but also generates household discussions focusing on the growth and development of children. She noted that families now recognize the importance of feeding QPM and other protein-rich food items to the entire family - including children - and is improving the lives of Nadit and hundreds of children in their village.

In rural communities where access to meat and fish is a challenge due to economic challenges, cultivating and consuming proteinous crops such as QPM, soy beans, cowpea and groundnut are key to the health of growing families. With support from people like you, we will continue to educate and support many rural Ghanaian families to grow and consume more protein. This program will continue to promote the growth and development of children, reduce incidents of diseases and malnourishment, and minimize hospital attendance, which reduces medical bills for families. With a healthy family, parents will have adequate time for their businesses and make more profit to take care of their families, thus creating long-term, sustainable and positive change. 

**Help expand the school feeding program and improve nutrition in more communities in rural Ghana by making a donation on #GivingTuesday!  In honor of this global day of giving back, GlobalGiving will match 50% of your donation. That means that your gift of $55 feeds not two but three children a healthy daily breakfast all of next semester!

This match begins at 11PM Central on Nov 28 and runs through Nov 29 while funds last, so set yourself a reminder to donate as early as possible to maximize your impact! 
Learn more at http://tools.blog.globalgiving.org/2016/11/01/globalgiving-has-huge-news/

Community members serving Nadit
Community members serving Nadit's school
Nadit
Nadit's class lined up & excited for breakfast!
Martin & Nazareth, pupils at Beposo Islamic School
Martin & Nazareth, pupils at Beposo Islamic School

Ghana is blessed with many natural resource but remains underdeveloped partly because the citizens are overly dependent on the central government. It is therefore heart-warming to see a group of people take their destiny into their hands.

Beposo is a rural community with a population of about 400 in the Atwima Mponua District, Ashanti Region, Ghana. Despite being a farming community, one in three children in Beposo is stunted from poor nutrition.  

It has had one basic school, Beposo D/A Basic School, for over two decades. Then on July 14, 2014, the Islamic Community in Beposo decided to establish a school, Islamic Primary School, in the community to bring about diversity and competition to improve the overall quality of education in the community. It was an uphill task.

On a ¼ acre parcel of land, a wooden hut was built in 2014, and Beposo Islamic Primary school was started with just five pupils: 3 boys and 2 girls. It had no toilet facility, no kitchen, no separation between the three classrooms, and the classrooms were dusty and without cement.

In December 2014, Self-Help began supporting the school by teaching farmers in the area how to grow Quality Protein Maize (QPM) and supporting the school to turn the harvested maize into a high-protein breakfast porridge.  This led to rapid increase in overall enrollment and daily attendance.  Enrollment quickly grew to 89 children: 40 boys and 49 girls. The need for a kitchen and a toilet became very pressing. With local raw materials, the PTA constructed a kitchen and a toilet.

Though encouraging to see that more children were getting a quality education, this rapid rise in population worsened the classroom conditions. The dust pollution was unbearable. It had adverse effects on the health of children as well as on teaching and learning. Children looked dirty all the time, respiratory related cases were rising, and teachers complained about poor environmental conditions. 

The parents, teachers, and pupils never gave up. They stayed and worked together. In May 2016, thanks to your donations, we were finally able to respond to their cry for help with a donation of ten bags of cement to add floors.  The fathers in the community hauled the sand and stone to the site, while the mothers fetched water to cement the floors. The children now study in a dust-free environment.

Conditions at Beposo Islamic School are still not the best – they lack enough desks and chairs and have few school supplies – but the can-do spirit exhibited by the community and the pride they take in their school is comendable.

Beposo is also home to a public school. We offered to introduce the school feeding program in the public school at the same time as the Islamic school, but they public school initially declined the offer.  Seeing the success of the breakfast program at Beposo Islamic, the Beposo public school is now ready to join the school feeding program, and we will bring them on board this semester. Now that there is healthy competition between the two schools at Beposo, it is improving the quality of education for all students.  

Through the school feeding program, parents are taking a greater interest in their children’s education, taking pride in what they are able to contribute to their community, and they send their thanks to you - their friends abroad - for helping make these improvements to their communities possible.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug cautioned us long ago, “We cannot build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery.”  We at Self-Help are working to do our part to partner with all people who wish to fill those empty stomachs and build a more peaceful world. We thank you for joining us in this mission. 

Many more schools are requesting to join the school feeding program than we can currently accept.  When you make a gift of $30 or more, you'll ensure that one more child gets a healthy breakfast every day of this semester! Mark your calendar to make a gift today - Wednesday, September 21 - during the GlobalGiving Match Day! Details on the matching funds are available here

A new latrine improves sanitation in Beposo
A new latrine improves sanitation in Beposo
Dusty classrooms make learning difficult
Dusty classrooms make learning difficult
New concrete floors reduce respiratory illness
New concrete floors reduce respiratory illness
 

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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
$37,592 raised of $43,000 goal
 
680 donations
$5,408 to go
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