Home / News / News archive / 2011 / March 2011 / SOS Ghana support communities through organic farming

In the wake of economic growth, many Ghanaians now enjoy improved living standards. For poor children, however, life is tough and life chances limited. That's why we support fragile families provide care to children with no one else in three locations in Ghana. … more about our charity work in Ghana

SOS Ghana support communities through organic farming

A young woman on the SOS organic farming programme in Tamale
A young woman on the SOS organic farming programme in Tamale

In the deprived region of Tamale in Ghana, SOS Children are currently running training courses in organic farming practices, so that young people can support their families through food self-sufficiency.

Tamale is located in the north of Ghana, around 800 kilometres from Accra. A predominantly rural region which has around two million inhabitants, it is one of the poorest in the country. Characterised by low economic development and persistent ethnic tension, many people migrate from the region in search of work, while those staying behind find it very difficult to make a living and provide for their families.

SOS Children have been working in Tamale since January 2010. A Children’s Village provides a new home for 120 orphaned and abandoned children, and a nursery and school provide an education for many more.

SOS Children are also supporting the local community through a Family Strengthening Programme in the Tamale region in the suburbs of Guunaayili, Kambonayili, Dungu and Datoyili. The programme is specially designed to support, strengthen and empower families and communities, so that they are able to care for vulnerable children. A lack of income and available food is a key cause of child abandonment in such deprived areas. By supporting communities to provide for their needs, SOS are helping families to stay together.

So far, SOS Children have trained more than 180 young people on this eight-month long accredited programme. The course is based on the Junior Farmer Field and Livelihood School model developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). A representative from the FAO, Mr Mark Ofei, praised the programme and recognised that it would go a long way to reduce poverty and enhance food security in the local communities. Young woman farming, FSP Tamale, Ghana

Following the end of the course, SOS continue to support the trainees to put the teaching they have received into practice. They are supported with inputs and loans to start their own farms and work towards food security in their communities. The training therefore increases young people's local employment prospects, reducing rural to urban migration, which deprives many communities of valuable workers and damages the prospects for future economic development.

Anthony Owusu Gyamfi, head of the Family Strengthening Programme explains why the programme is important. "It is no longer enough to deal only with the consequences of child abandonment and destitution by giving children a better future, but it is imperative to tackle the causes that leads to child abandonment and destitution in the first instance."

In addition to three Family Strengthening Programmes in Ghana, there are four SOS Children’s Villages, primary and secondary schools and medical centres.