Latest update

As of July 16, Ghana is averaging around 244 cases of COVID-19 per day, a significant increase from the average of 31 recorded in June. The country has administered over 1.2 million doses of the vaccine to its 29.3 million people, enough to fully immunise 2% of the population, which is up from 1.4% in May. Hospitals in Ghana do not have the capacity to serve their communities, so the pandemic has hit the country’s health infrastructure hard.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Ghana?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    The majority of Compassion child development centres in Ghana are meeting in small groups to hold classes on a rotating basis, take updated photos and write letters, while a few have been able to resume normal activities.

    Some centres have been able to work with local radio stations to air curricula for students at home. Others make home visits and phone calls to check on children and their families. Staff continue to handle health screenings, emergency medical care, child protection interventions and disaster response for children as needed. So far, staff members have been able to provide more than 233,000 food packs and 216,500 hygiene kits, as well as medical support to 98,000 individuals.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in Ghana, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Ghana. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to caregivers, where appropriate. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Ghana who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that each child would experience God’s love in a life-altering way.
  • Pray for the physical, emotional and spiritual protection of each child.
  • Pray that God would provide the right volunteers to serve and care for the children in their communities.
  • Pray that God would bring peace and discernment to the leadership team in Ghana.
  • Pray for the continued healing and quick recovery of those who have been feeling unwell.
  • Pray for God’s continued peace for the nation of Ghana.
  • Pray for Ghana’s leadership as they actively work to utilise resources to support and care for the Ghanaian people.
Success for a survival project in Ghana

Success for a survival project in Ghana

When Comfort fell pregnant at 17, she not only faced fear and confusion at the prospect of being a parent, but her family disowned her. “My father had plans for me to further my education, but he was disappointed in me for getting pregnant. He washed his hands of me and did not care what became of me,” says Comfort.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, many Compassion child development centres have started inviting children and youths back in small groups for classes on a rotating basis, to take updated photos and to write letters. Some centres remain closed to group activities.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Ghana

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 11 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours on Saturdays.
  • Children aged 12 to 14 attend the centre for eight hours per week and serve as peer mentors to younger children for two of those hours.
  • Students aged 15 and older attend the centre for four hours every Saturday.
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Compassion Program Activities in Ghana

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Compassion assisted children in Ghana typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Ghana.

9:00am - A time of prayer and devotion and breakfast. A typical breakfast usually consists of maize porridge, milk, sugar and bread.

9:30am - Spiritual lessons, when children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time, when children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch and social time. A typical lunch generally consists of rice with sauce and either chicken, fish or meat, with seasonal fruit. Food is usually provided as children don’t always have access to nutritionally balanced meals at home. Parents are educated to provide nutritious food for their children, and highly malnourished children are given extra support, including a package of nutritious food such as eggs, milk, beans, rice and oil, once a month.

1:00pm - Health lessons, in which children learn practical health and hygiene tips including how to prevent malaria and HIV.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Older sponsored children also take part in skills training workshops such as bead and batik making, soap preparation and basket weaving. Parents and caregivers are offered health education classes as well as quarterly training on children’s rights, parenting, and business and financial management.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Ghana

375

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Ghana was the first sub-Saharan nation to throw off colonial rule and the first to halve its extreme poverty rate. It continues to be a leader in West Africa as more children pursue their education and living conditions improve. Yet growing inequality means that the poorest are falling further behind.

Ghana has changed significantly in the past few decades. More people are moving to live in urban areas; more children have the opportunity to stay in school longer; the economy is diversifying away from subsistence agriculture (although agriculture remains an important source of employment and income) and it continues to grow.

Despite fluctuations in the economy, millions of Ghanaians have risen out of poverty, particularly from extreme poverty. Between 1991 and 2012, the poverty rate dropped from 52 per cent to 21; the extreme poverty rate fell even more sharply, from 37 per cent to nine. The under-5 mortality rate in Ghana has also come down in that time.

But economic conditions have worsened in the past five years and these gains are under threat. A gap is widening between the richest and poorest. Those left in rural areas bear the brunt of low incomes but the people crowding into expanding cities face the problems of rapid urbanisation: greater congestion, dangerous pollution, lack of access to safe drinking water and other basic necessities.

Nana Akufo-Addo won the presidential election in December 2016 and recently declared that his nation would be a “shining example” when it came to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and lifting people out of poverty. He also announced 2019 to be the “Year of Return”, marking 400 years since African slaves were taken from their homeland and shipped to the USA—and encouraging the African diaspora to return to Ghana.

At the coming 2020 election, President Akufo-Addo will face off against the opposition party’s John Mahama (himself a former President) for the third consecutive time. A key issue will be who has the stronger plan to restore a faltering economy and help the most vulnerable Ghanaians to overcome the challenges of poverty.

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