As a result of your continuous support towards the SOS Children’s Village in Asiakwa, Ghana our children are all doing well and I am happy to inform you about the current developments and activities of the Village.
The SOS Village and the Youth Homes currently have a total number of 160 children and youth. They are all of school going age. This is made up of the crèche, nursery school Junior High school, Senior High, Vocational and Technical institutions and the Universities.
This year, three (3) of our youth have graduated from various Universities in the country. A female and two (2) males graduated in the following fields; B.Sc. Medical Sciences, B.Sc. Business Administration and B.Sc. Land Economy.
Three (3) Senior High students and three (3) Junior High students completed their education. They are all awaiting results and are presently engaged in various voluntary programmes at the nursery school and the SOS Schools.
A transitional education programme has been organised for youth both in the SOS Village and the youth homes. Topics treated were on Family Health issues. The youth were well involved and asked series of questions.
A Youth forum was also organised for SOS Youth of the Tema and Asiakwa Villages. The forum was attended by a total number of 57 youth. The ‘role play’ method was used and the youth themselves served as facilitators. Discussions were held on Relationships, Handling Finances and Attitudes which was a follow up on the weaknesses from the 2008 SOS Youth Day Celebrations. It was a fruitful meeting and the Youth made huge benefits out of it.
This year’s Easter celebration was full of activities for the children. They participated in church programmes, received various visitors at the SOS Village and on the Monday they also played football match competitions between the SOS Youth and Staff. The SOS Youth and Youth from other churches in the Asiakwa town also played, the children had fun and our Youth won the day’s competition.
The SOS Village choir and the brass band continue with lively performances. So far the two groups have been used for various programmes within and outside the SOS Village and their performances are very good. The SOS Village is soliciting for assistance from well wishers to purchase a set of instruments to enhance their performance. The children are so excited about this idea and are ready to climb higher platforms.
A technical support session was organised for the pedagogical team in the SOS Village. The pedagogical team is made up of the Village father, social worker, mother representatives and the National Pedagogical Advisor. This training for the team was to help them understand the children and other SOS concepts. This programme has been fruitful as the team is implementing all the new techniques involved in the exercise.
The SOS Village in Asiakwa has hosted some visitors since the beginning of the year. The Village had visitors from SOS Sweden and Netherlands. A group of students from the American University in Washington also visited the SOS Village and spent time to play and interact with the children. The National association of Anglican Clergy Wives also visited the Village and made presentation of food items.
Children who have academic challenges and learning difficulties continue to visit the clinical psychologist. They are all taking their medications and other support requested by the psychologist. So far most of them are showing gradual improvement in both their academic and social performances.
Tamale & Kumasi Villages
The SOS Children's Villages in Kumasi and Tamale will soon be operating. The Kumasi Village will begin operation by the end of August this year whilst the Tamale Village will start by February next year.
Twenty-eight (28) mothers/aunties have been recruited for both Kumasi and Tamale SOS Villages. A three (3) month training session is in progress for the newly recruited aunties. They are currently undergoing practical training in Tema and Asiakwa SOS Villages. The new aunties’ presence at the SOS Village in Asiakwa has brought excitement in the Village as the children have adjusted well to them. Their practical session would end in July, 2009.
Family Strengthening Programme (FSP)
The Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) which aims at extending an arm to deprived families has embarked on a new programme named Farming and Livelihood improvement Programme (FLIP) in the SOS Children’s Village Asiakwa and surrounding communities.
A workshop was organised to educate those who were selected to manage the programme. They were taken through various topics such as: Organic agriculture and its importance, effects of agro chemicals on the environment and our health, Agriculture as a viable business, link between life skills and other related topics. Participants were made of staff from the SOS Children’s Village, teachers, Agricultural extension officers and other related members.
The Farming and Livelihood Improvement Programme (FLIP) is anticipated to reduce poverty, teenage pregnancy, child abandonment, school drop-outs etc. Youth within the communities between the ages 10 to 25 have been selected and are under going training in organic agriculture.
Ghana’s economy has seen some difficult challenges as a result of the change in government and the general global recession. The new government is confronted with how to tackle the widening deficit on fiscal performance and is yet to come out with its own budget. The global financial crisis “credit crunch” has affected the economy making Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as external borrowing from international capital markets more difficult to obtain. As a result of this, there has been an increase in inflation as well as reduction donor inflow. The exchange rate to the Ghana cedis depreciated at the beginning of the year. As Ghana is dependent on crude oil, the escalation of crude oil prices has affected the fuel prices in Ghana resulting in recent hike of 30%. The country is at the moment facing challenges in utility services which is affecting businesses in the country.
In spite of all these challenges in the country your generous sponsorship over the past years for our charitable work in the country has made it possible for the children to have homes, education and a better future.
Thanks for your support and best wishes to you and your family.