A total of 16,141 children have benefited from various educational interventions to ensure their direct access to a safe and inclusive learning environment, needed learning and teaching materials.
The interventions included the provision of infrastructure with the supply of educational materials, training of teachers, the building of institutional capacity, and provision of technical support in early literacy Learning Through Play (LTP).
In all, 112 schools, 16,141 children benefited from these interventions provided in the year 2020 by Children Believe, an international child-centred Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Mrs Esenam Kavi Desouza, Country Manager of Children Believe said this at an end-of-year open day, organised by Children Believe in Tamale.
Mrs Desouza gave a breakdown of the beneficiaries saying; “The children numbered 3,972 in 45 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, 10,552 in 57 primary schools and 1,617 in 10 Junior High schools in 11 districts and three regions in Northern Ghana, precisely Northern, Savannah and Upper East Regions.”
She added that; “A total of 527 ECD centre Teachers/Caregivers, primary school and community level LTP facilitators were also trained in various methodologies, including LTP methodology, improvisation and application of new tools supplied for effective teaching and learning.”
The end-of-year open day was for Children Believe to engage and interact with its stakeholders on its interventions and achievements for the year and its focus areas for the coming year.
Mrs Desouza added that during the year, “Children Believe provided five additional community water facilities more than planned.
Within the same period, 13 rain water harvesting facilities were renovated for schools and health centres in the Janton area. Having fixed these facilities, about 1,450 children will have water in school to use.
In terms of sanitation, two new facilities were built and an additional two renovated in schools. This improves access to single sex sanitation facilities for 797 school children and teachers.”
She also spoke about interventions in the area of health, saying, “In health, we planned to reach 12,552 children and 7,965 women within the ages of 15-49 years, and 15,303 children, a 21.9 per cent increase and 11,100 women, 39% increase within the ages of 15-49 years.
The increased reached was due to the extension of selected interventions like the mass deworming of children to communities within the catchment area, 30-health facilities instead of the 23 initially planned.”
During the year, Children Believe also implemented COVID-19 Response activities in 13 districts in three regions, reaching out to more than 60,000 people through 35 health facilities by supporting them with personal protective equipment, food aid, and renewal of health insurance subscriptions amongst others.
Some of the interventions Children Believe would focus on in the coming year Mrs Desouza mentioned would include Child Friendly Accountability Mechanism programme to ensure that duty-bearers did what was expected of them to protect children.
Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku, Northern Regional Coordinating Director, who was represented at the event, lauded the initiatives of Children Believe for effectively complementing government’s efforts at improving the welfare of children.
Alhaji Issahaku gave the assurance of continued strong partnership between the Northern Regional Coordinating Council and Children Believe to further enhance the work of the NGO.
Some participants called for the strengthening of institutions to adequately protect children as well as support their development.