In Urban Ghana
Geography & Climate
The climate in Ghana is tropical, with two rainy seasons, April to July and September to October. During the dry season (December to February), dusty winds from the Sahara blow. Called harmattan winds, they are often strong and damaging.
About 51 percent of Ghana’s population lives in cities, as in the capital of Accra, where Compassion’s urban child development centers are located.
In this sprawling city of 2.2 million, the contrast between the rich and the poor is startling. Just one street can be the difference between a wealthy neighborhood and abject squalor.
Accra’s shantytowns are ever-expanding as people move from other regions – and even other countries – in search of work and a better way of life.
Children at Home
Shantytowns at the city’s edges are where the majority of Accra’s ever-expanding population can be found.
Homes in the shantytowns are mud huts made from any materials their owners can find, like sticks, palm fronds, plastic, wooden planks, corrugated metal sheets, plywood pieces, concrete blocks, or discarded packing cases from the port. They are crowded and cramped.
Issues and Concerns
- Many who live in Accra have emigrated from other countries in search of jobs. Yet jobs are scarce.
- Since many people are looking for accommodations, the rent for a decent flat or room is very high, and owners exploit this situation. Some are very restrictive with rental terms.
- Crime — especially armed robbery — is a major issue.
- Internet fraud is on the rise in Accra, and more and more youths are getting involved.
Local Needs and Challenges
The crowded, unsanitary urban environment is filled with hazards that threaten children’s physical well-being.
Lack of clean water
This lack frequently leads to diseases, some of which can be life threatening. But few parents can afford to pay a doctor when their children become ill.
Urban schools are usually overcrowded and poorly equipped. This problem is reflected in the fact that one-third of Ghana’s people age 15 and over cannot read or write.
Schools and Education
- Although primary and junior secondary education is tuition-free and mandatory, most of Ghana society is largely undereducated.
- Many children must walk through dangerous slum areas to get to their schools, and most classrooms lack basic supplies and materials.
- Access to each successive level of education remains severely limited by lack of funds and, in some cases, facilities.
- Only about 30 percent of junior secondary school graduates are able to gain admission to senior secondary schools, and only about 35 percent of senior secondary school graduates go on to attend a university.
- Some children must drop out to work and supplement the family income.
Compassion Ghana works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and we provide additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.
At the Compassion Child Development Center
Child development centers in urban communities provide registered children with a place to learn, grow and study.
Sponsorship allows staff to provide Bible teaching, medical exams, health and hygiene instruction, educational tours and classes, social events, tutoring, and life-skills and vocational training.
Centers offer opportunities for involvement for the parents or guardians of sponsored children.
Children also spend time writing to and praying for their sponsors.
What Compassion Sponsorship Provides
In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing help and hope to rural Ghana’s children in need, providing:
- regular nutritious meals and snacks
- health checkups and medical care as needed
- the support needed to attend school
- caregiver education that helps them make informed decisions, love their children, provide for them, support them and be there for them
- income-generating activities for parents so they can better provide for their families
- educational and physical activities in a safe environment to help keep children engaged and learning – and off the streets
- support for local church partners to address issues affecting children spiritually, socio-emotionally, mentally and physically
- country-appropriate curriculum that helps restore children holistically