Action Aid Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has inaugurated a Child-Care Centre at Nangodi in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region to create a learning environment for children.
The Centre would reduce the time mothers spent in caring for children and enable them to engage in productive activities to support the family. It is expected to accommodate 20 to 30 children and valued at GH¢38,000.00 with an office and furniture, a specious classroom, mats, five student mattresses, carpet, teaching and learning materials and a lavatory. The initiative was part of a five-year project on Promoting Opportunities for Women Empowerment and Rights (POWER) mainly aimed at contributing to the economic empowerment of 6000 rural women in Ghana. It is also to support them to increase their income, be self-reliant, reduce the drudgery of unpaid care work, and promote credible and sustainable livelihoods. Addressing stakeholders at the inauguration ceremony on Saturday, Mr Alhassan Sulemana, the Upper East Regional Manager of ActionAid Ghana, said women and girls living in poverty sometimes forgo their basic human rights to education, decent work and leisure time in order to attend to daily household activities, referred to as unpaid care work. He said such works perpetuated gender inequality, reinforced inequitable gender norms, and kept women and girls in poverty. “Unpaid care work is a major human rights issue which needs to be reviewed,” he said. Mr Sulemana said: “Policies must recognise the role of women and girls in the provision of unpaid care work, taking into account the need to reduce the drudgery of unpaid care work and redistribute it to include men and other family members, thus laying the basis for true gender equality.” ActionAid is social justice organisation which strived to empower people living in poverty and exclusion to organise themselves into groups, networks and social movements to drive the change they desired. Forty-three women groups in the Region with membership of 32 women in each group, empowered by ActionAid, had been able to shift power and redistributed gender roles in their households, which had consequently freed 1,376 women who were presently engaged in productive resources such as petty trading, dry season farming and weaving, Mr Sulemana said. He said ActionAid Ghana had also supported the Region with five child-care centres and renovated one in the Talensi and Nabdam districts, and called on the Government to support in providing more child centres to support women and urged the Ghana Education Service to assist in their effective running. Mr Joseph Tei Amesimeku, the Nabdam District Education Director, in a speech delivered on his behalf, said the project was of primary concern to the Education Directorate, because it would serve the purpose of a nursery and groom the children for kindergarten. He said it would reduce the workload on teachers and commended ActionAid Ghana for its effort, while appealing for similar structures in some of the deprived areas in the District. Naab Asaaga Yelzoya II, Chief of Nangodi, thanked ActionAid Ghana for its contribution to the development of the area.