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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
Dorothy and Candy in their uniforms
Dorothy and Candy in their uniforms

“Meeting Self-Help has brought something big to my family. It has really taught me the value of useful advice; help comes in many ways apart from money. The advice from SHI has indeed brought joy to my family.” - Charity

Many African youth have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in search of greener pastures. Often, their families are left wondering about their fate. “My husband may be a victim and I lived in constant fear," said Charity, a twenty-eight year old mother of two.

She lamented, “Poverty and hardship have engulfed my family and life has been so unbearable. The father of my first child denied responsibility for my pregnancy and my current husband left home and I have not heard from him since February 2016.

Charity has two lovely children, Dorothy and Candy, aged 10 and 5 years respectively, in Class 2 and Kindergarten 1 at Ama Badu D/A Primary School. Charity tells Self-Help that after Dorothy’s father abandoned them she became traumatized and dejected. She was able to pull herself together through counseling from family members and friends. “After putting that ordeal behind me, I later met Ofori and we gave birth to Candy, my second child. He took good care of us until one day he decided to travel to Mali,” she told SHI. “He used to send us money for the first six months after he traveled and suddenly I lost touch with him.” After not hearing from her husband she went to her in-laws but they had no information about him either.

Ofori was a carpenter and would carve stools for Charity to sell. “My only source of income was from the sale of the stools, so when my husband left I was doing virtually nothing that could fetch me money to keep my family. I was feeding my children from my mother’s purse.” Charity said that after attending a meeting organized for the women of Ama Badu she was motivated and decided to start her own business of selling food at Ama Badu D/A School. At the meeting, she heard Self-Help staff talking about the need for parents to work hard to send their children, especially daughters, to school.

Until that meeting with Self-Help, I had decided that Dorothy would not go back to school the next academic term but I had a change of mind at the meeting.” Charity told us that she had been hoping that her husband would come to their aid, but after meeting Self-Help at Ama Badu she decided to take matters into her own hands and began to support herself independently. She started a small business by selling prepared rice to schoolchildren during their lunch break since there is often nothing for them to eat at that time, even if their parents send them to school with lunch money. Though she was afraid the business would not be viable, she was encouraged by the advice she got from SHI. She is grateful that her daughter Candy gets breakfast at school each day through Self-Help's School Feeding Program, so Charity doesn’t have to worry about what Candy will eat in the morning. She feeds Dorothy some of the rice, and sells the rest to students during lunch break.

Charity tells SHI that her household is food secure and her business is doing quite well. She said, “Prior to the meeting all I was looking forward to was to get money from someone to buy clothes and sell. I never thought of starting a small business like this because I did not know this could be of great assistance to my family.”

Thank you for your support of children like Charity's this year! Happy holidays to you & yours!

PS: Still shopping for a last minute gift for your loved ones?  Consider making a gift in their honor!  When you support this project, you can download and print off a gift card to give to your loved one so they know exactly what a difference you're making in their honor this season!

Charity sells rice at the school
Charity sells rice at the school
Candy, 5, Charity, and Dorothy, 10
Candy, 5, Charity, and Dorothy, 10
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“I started ‘galamsey’ in Wasa when I was a teenager. One day I went out to do ‘galamsey’ with my best friend and unfortunately, she fell into a pit and did not survive. I saw my best friend crushed into a deep galamsey pit and died. I was traumatized, devastated, and confused as I watched her die helplessly in the pit. From that day, I vowed never to do galamsey again,”  Leticia told Self-Help International (SHI).

‘Galamsey’ is the term used to describe illegal gold mining in Ghana. It is very destructive and dangerous. Many youth have been lost, and farmlands and water bodies have been destroyed by the associated pollution. Unfortunately, galamsey is a financially attractive option for the youth due to high unemployment rates and a ready market for gold. Due to it’s harsh environmental impacts, it is also  a threat to Ghana’s food security.

When Leticia quitpracticing illegal mining, she relocated to Opanin Adusei village near Ama Badu to live with her husband, Tawiah.  

Leticia tells SHI that her husband does not have a land of his own and depends solely on friends for land for cultivation to feed the familya situation which makes it difficult for him to cultivate large acreages. Leticia and Tawiah have four children of their own, and are also caring for two of Leticia's nieces and one orphan from a nearby village who all live with them. Four of the children are currently benefitting from the SHI School Feeding Program at Ama Badu D/A Basic School: their son, Clement (8 years old, Class 1), daughter Erica (6 years old, KG1) and nieces Doreen and Sarah.

Leticia shared that the feeding program has been very helpful to her entire family. “Getting money for these children to go to school every day would have been difficult for ourfamily. The porridge they consume in the school has been a driving force and a motivating factor in the lives of the children. Whether I am able to provide them with money [for lunch] or not, they are eager to go to school. My children are always happy, although the distance from our community to the school is far, they do not want to miss school and the porridge.”

She again said that her children even want to go to school when they are sick because they don’t want to miss the breakfast porridge. Anytime the children return from school and porridge was not served, she could tell from their facial expressions. They would look moody, tired and agitated. On the other hand, if they returned playful and jubilant that they had received a healthy breakfast porridge that day. “My family is very grateful to Self Help International for assisting poor families such as ours.

Leticia is a school dropout, a situation she bemoans always. She laments,I attended school up to primary three (third grade). I become worried anytime I see my colleagues who were fortunate to continue their education to higher levels and the kind of life they live. I have decided to work hard to ensure that my kids go to school to the highest level. I do not want any of them to end up in a village like myself. I want them to mature and be proud of us,-- their parents. Although their father never went to school, he is ever ready to assist in their upbringing. I am thankful for having a caring and understanding husband.

Thank you for your support of the school feeding program, which ensures that children like Clement, Erica, Doreen and Sarah get the nutrition they need to learn in school now, and develop healthy brains and bodies to earn the education Leticia dreams of for them. You truly give mothers hope and children health.  Thank you for all your support!

 

Mark your calendar to increase your impact: on Tuesday, November 28, all donations will be matched all day long! The match runs from Midnight - 11:59pm Eastern (11pm on Nov 27 - 10:59pm on Nov 28 Central) and will apply to gifts of up to $1,000 per person! See complete terms & conditions here. 

 

Leticia with her children
Leticia with her children
Clement and Erica
Clement and Erica
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Fatima excited to go to school early
Fatima excited to go to school early

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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's future
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's love
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
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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
$40,130 raised of $55,000 goal
 
739 donations
$14,870 to go
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