Supporting Education in Northern Ghana
posted by: RAINS on October 31, 2019
Mahamadu Donald is a 17 year old boy. Eager to learn, he studies hard in school and participates in extra curricular activities. After he graduates from secondary school, he wants to study medicine and become a doctor. “There is no health facility in my community,” he explained, “Life is precious, and I want to help my people.”
Thanks to RAINS’ and Hope For Children’s jointly run Childhood Regained Project, with funding from Comic Relief (UK), dreams such as these have become possible for Donald. Before, they might not have been.
Donald lives in Nayorku, a community in the North East Region of Ghana. In many communities of Northern Ghana, the education system faces many challenges: overcrowded classrooms, insufficient infrastructure and furniture, and short supply of trained teachers. With a lack of awareness on the importance of education and children’s rights, there are high dropout rates. Nationally, 30 percent of students drop out of school before entering Junior High School.
To address these gaps in education, RAINS intervened in Nayorku in 2011. For Donald, this meant he now had a school uniform, textbooks, and other school supplies. It meant that his parents were supported with agricultural activities and income generation interventions. Finally, it meant that he was a member of a children’s club, where he learned about his rights and responsibilities as a child and how to advocate for them.
In the clubs, they discussed ways to improve their education, wrote letters to their District Assembly, performed dramas on children’s rights for their community, and curated newsletters. “Doing these activities increased my confidence levels,” Donald said.
In particular, the newsletters improved Donald and his peers self-esteem. Not only did they increase the youth’s interest in learning, but it taught them to appreciate the importance of voicing their opinions in a manner that is respectable and acceptable. “Airing your views to people is not common [in Northern Ghana], like it is else where,” he explained.
With this dramatic improvement in Donald’s education, he now has the opportunities and ability to realize his full potential. To ensure that this is the case for every child in Northern Ghana, it is necessary to continue the work of improving education.