Ghana

Ghana

Salesian missionaries are opening new doors for children and families in Ghana, where 45 percent of the population must survive on less than $1 a day. Special programs are bridging cultural differences between Christians and Muslims and the gender inequities between boys and girls. Efforts are also underway to reduce class sizes, which are typically 100 students for every teacher.

While Ghana’s economy has shown dramatic improvements, inequality has worsened. What’s more, children suffer greatly from drastic income differences and are significantly more likely to live in poverty than adults, according to UNICEF’s 2016 “The Ghana Poverty and Inequality Report” which examined living standards in the country.

More Missions In Ghana

Build primary & secondary schools

Salesian programs open new doors for youth in Ghana who might otherwise be left behind. Children find hope through basic primary education and support. Older youth take part in programs designed to help them remain in their home regions as they develop skills to earn a living — benefiting both them and their communities.

As more children attend primary school in Ghana, classrooms are facing massive overcrowding, according to UNICEF. In rural areas, one teacher may be expected to handle up to 100 students. Since arriving in Ghana in 1992, Salesian Missions has grown to meet the educational needs of children and youth through the development of primary and secondary schools and the Don Bosco Vocational and Technical Institute where older youth learn employment skills.

Salesian Missions helps makes education a reality for all children — even those in areas where no government schools are present.

Provide technical & vocational training

Salesian missionaries in Ghana focus on education and the growing demand for skills training to help youth gain the skills needed to find and retain stable employment. A Salesian training center was opened in 1992 and has been developing new programs to meet the needs of local youth ever since. Early on, the center expanded to include training in a wide range of skills from carpentry and metal work to graphic arts. Salesian missionaries have also developed a credit program to aid training center alumni in financing new businesses.

In addition to the training center and credit program, Salesian missionaries run agricultural programs in the country. Through these programs, students learn about vegetable gardening, cooking, annual crops and the business of farming.

Build orphanages & shelters for homeless youth

Salesian missionaries in Blessed Artemide Zatti province in Ashaiman, a large town in the greater Accra region of south Ghana, have developed the Don Bosco Child Protection Center to provide services to victims of child trafficking. The Center is part of a collaboration between missionaries, the local police department and Ghana’s Ministry for Social Welfare.

In Ghana, child victims of trafficking are among the most neglected by society. Many are children who have been abandoned or sent by their parents to live with relatives in the city with the promise they will go to school but instead are put to work. Others are children who have been sold by their own family for a monthly fee. Instead of spending their childhood studying and playing, these children work full-time on plantations or in illegal mines, risking their lives. Other trafficked children suffer sexual abuse and prostitution.

The Child Protection Center offers shelter, counseling and education to help children make the transition out of trafficking and into long-term recovery. Often arriving at the Center injured and with low self-esteem and little hope for the future, many become comfortable and settled into their new surroundings within a few weeks. Academic classes are offered in the morning after which students are able to participate in group activities with their peers such as theater, music, dance, sports and games. Through the program, participants learn life skills, gain confidence and prepare for a happy, healthy future.

Empower girls & women through education

The Don Bosco Child Protection Center in Ashaiman has started a new program called Empower Women of Ghana. The program is for young women between the ages of 18 and 23. It was started with the help of the Don Bosco mission in Turin, Italy.

The program is designed to assist young women who face many adversities and challenges, and are vulnerable to migration and human trafficking. Almost all are living in conditions of poverty and have been deprived of basic education, with little or no support in learning to become independent young women in society. The young women in the program have been rescued from various vulnerable situations from all over Ghana.

Once in the program young women are able to take part in group and individual therapy and behavior management—all focused on helping these women gain better self-esteem and feel empowered to take back control in their lives. There are also workshops that address personal hygiene, self-love, the importance of relationships and etiquette in a professional setting.

After young women complete that stage of the program, they are able to advance to vocational training, which is designed to help them learn a skill for stable employment. Skills-training is provided in such areas as hairdressing, catering, beads-making and fashion design.

Provide youth centers & safe activities

In Ghana, a special sports camp brings together Muslim and Christian children to learn about each other in an open atmosphere. The Zongo Holiday Camp features sports, education and leadership activities so that children can interact with each other and simply become friends. The Camp was named after Zongo, a community, which has grown from a garbage dump. Many children in Zongo are immigrants from the countryside who come from various backgrounds of tribes and languages, as well as religions. The Camp is organized with Salesian missionaries, the Imam and other community elders.

Provide clean, safe water

Salesian missionaries operate four centers across Ghana that serve poor youth who are at risk of child labor and human trafficking. There are two centers in the urban area of Accra, a new center in the town of Tatale and a center in the city of Sunyani, the first place Salesian missionaries launched programs in the country more than 25 years ago.

A Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” recently provided funding for water projects in Sunyani and Tatale to give residents access to clean drinking water. Many had been using creeks and waterways for drinking water which can lead to sickness and waterborne diseases. In total, four boreholes have been dug and a water tank provided, resulting in clean drinking water for residents. An additional five boreholes are still needed and Salesian missionaries await additional donor funding to cover the expense.

Deliver essential equipment & supplies

Salesian missionaries at the St. Francis de Sales Community in Ashaiman completed a project to restore a Toyota Hilux truck in order to provide greater logistic capabilities at the Salesian center. Funding allowed them to purchase a functioning second-hand engine and other parts to put the truck back on the road. Having an accessible vehicle at the center benefits the more than 700 students at the school, as well as staff and management.

The Toyota Hilux truck was initially purchased in 2006 and has been used for various activities within the center and in the community for both social and pastoral activities. After trying two different second-hand engines, an engine in good condition was identified, purchased and installed. All the other accessories requiring replacement were also purchased and fixed as needed. The truck is on the road and continues to serve the Salesian community. It is significantly helping with logistics of the center and in transporting youth from the different programs, including from the hostel where they live to the technical school. It has even been utilized to assist in connecting with street children and bringing them to the youth center for activities.

Images

From Ghana

From Ghana

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