SOS Children’s Village Kumasi is situated in the centre of Asokore Mampong, a suburb of Kumasi, the capital of the region and the second most populated city in Ghana.
Kumasi is the commercial centre of Ghana and many people move here from rural locations with the hope of finding a job. With increasing migration and social and economic uncertainty, slums are multiplying and the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is rapidly increasing. Children suffer the most, yet facilities to care for children in need are vastly inadequate. It was for these reasons SOS Children decided to build a new Village in this area.
In November 2010, the SOS School was the first facility to be open on site, welcoming 55 children. The school has seven classrooms, a library, a craft room and a canteen, and will provide an education for 210 primary age children when it is full to capacity.
A week after the SOS School first opened, the first SOS mothers and their children arrived at the Village and moved into their family homes. After having a celebratory dinner together, the new families moved into the 12 family houses and began to unpack their luggage and settle in.
The next day, life in the Village properly began. The Village Director visited all of the family homes to support the mothers and make sure the children were settling in well. Whilst the SOS mothers unpacked, SOS ‘aunts’ (family helpers who support the mothers), played with the children and helped with the cooking in the evening. The children had an exciting day, and enjoyed exploring their new environment.
The following morning, a church service was organised for the whole community. The community have also established a representative forum to ensure a smooth governance of Village life and activities. The SOS mothers and aunts have each elected a representative, to talk through any issues which may arise, and to arrange fun events and days out for the entire community.
An SOS Social and Medical Centre is currently still under construction in Kumasi. As well as providing comprehensive medical treatment and a pharmacy for the local community, the centre will offer counselling and parenting advice to support vulnerable families to stay together. Once complete, this service will benefit 12,000 children and families every year.
At present there are three SOS Children's Villages in Ghana, two SOS Youth Facilities, four SOS Nurseries, seven SOS Schools, two SOS Vocational Training Centre, five Social Centres and four SOS Medical Centres.