Accra Ghana

Accra Ghana

Accra, Ghana is the capital city of Ghana. Accra, Ghana is also the largest city in Ghana with a population of more than 2.2 million. While Accra, Ghana is a well developed city filled with people from all regions of the country, there are also incredibly deprived communities that lack all of the most basic needs. In Accra, Ghana the contrast between the rich and the poor is startling - just one street can be the difference between a wealthy neighborhood and abject squalor.

Ghana Urban Region

The Location


The Population


The Religion

Christian faiths

The Weather

  • Accra’s shantytowns are hazardous environments that threaten the well-being of the children who live in them. Ghana People in Street in Shantytown
  • To make up for the deficiencies of the schools in Accra’s city slums, Compassion provides extra tutoring and academic lessons for assisted children. Ghana Boy Writing in a Notebook
  • Children living in city slums are often malnourished. At their Compassion center, these children receive nutritious meals on a regular basis. Ghana Boys Eating
  • Compassion’s Water of Life program provides water filtration systems to assisted children and their families. Ghana Boy with a Compassion Safe Water System
  • These girls, in beautiful traditional dress, enjoy performing cultural dances at their Compassion center, where they are encouraged to be proud of their heritage. Ghana Girls in Colorful Traditional Dress
  • At their Compassion-assisted child development center, these boys play with friends and have fun just being kids. Ghana Boy on a Swing

Overview: Urban Ghana

Nearly 24 million people live in Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast), and English is the official language. Accra is the capital city and while it is a well-developed city filled with people who have come from all 10 administrative regions of the country, just a wall or a street can divide prosperity from incredibly deprived communities that lack almost all the basic amenities of life.

Ghana’s constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right. Ghanaians enjoy folklore and popular music. Highlife — a dance with a strong, syncopated beat — also is popular.

With more than two decades of peace and democratic political stability, as well as a growing economy, Ghana has emerged as an economic leader in sub-Saharan Africa. But despite this relative prosperity, poverty remains pervasive for nearly one-third of Ghana’s population living below the poverty line. A recent energy crisis coupled with a humanitarian emergency caused by severe rains and flooding have exacerbated the situation.

Guinea worm, a parasitic infection largely attributable to drinking unsafe water, continues to plague Ghana. And while numbers may be under-reported because of stigma, the HIV prevalence rate seems to be stabilizing in Ghana.


Culture Corner

Ghana Culture


This traditional Ghanaian dish is typically served with yams and fruits such as papaya or mango.


  • 3-lb. chicken, cut into eight pieces
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 or 4 green chilies


Brown the chicken in melted butter.

Add the onion rings and sauté until soft. Add the broth, nutmeg, salt, pepper and chilies and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. For a complete experience, serve over rice cooked in gravy — Jollof rice!


Life in Urban Ghana

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. These impoverished neighborhoods lack almost all basic amenities, such as potable water, sanitation, and electricity. Homes are built of whatever materials can be found – scrap wood, corrugated metal sheets, concrete blocks, or discarded packing cases from the port. And as in most city slums, schools here are inadequate and crime is rampant.

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.


Community Issues and Concerns Community in Ghana

Many who live in Accra have also 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 also a major issue. Internet fraud is also on the rise in Accra, and more and more youths are getting involved.

Local Needs and Challenges

In Accra’s shantytowns, children have a tough time growing up. The crowded, unsanitary environment is filled with hazards that threaten their physical well-being. Lack of clean water 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. Also, 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 Education in Ghana

On the outskirts of Accra are numerous secondary schools. But 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. Also, 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 elementary 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. These children also spend time writing to and praying for their sponsors.


Working Through the Local Church

As in every country where Compassion ministers, in Ghana, our program of holistic, long-term child development is delivered through the local church. Compassion believes the church is God’s chosen vessel to bring hope to the hopeless and justice to the poor and oppressed. Also, it is the local church that is uniquely qualified to understand the needs of the community and reach its impoverished children. The local church has been working in the community long before Compassion comes along, and it will be there after Compassion’s mission is completed. And in Ghana, the church has proven to be a more effective agent of development than political, educational or other institutions.

How Compassion Works in Ghana Compassion in Ghana

Compassion's work in Ghana began in 2004. Currently, more than 45,300 children participate in 195 child development centers.

Compassion partners with local churches, helping them provide Ghana’s children with a long-term program of physical, educational, social and spiritual development. Through this partnership between Compassion and local churches, children in need have the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.

The Role of a Partnership Facilitator

As the link between Compassion’s country office and the individual partner churches operating child development centers, Partnership Facilitators play an important role. Each Partnership Facilitator in Ghana oversees 12 Compassion centers, helping them be the best they can be at meeting the needs of children in poverty.

One of these dedicated staff members is Samuel Okoampa. He always finds visiting the centers interesting and challenging. To reach some centers, he sometimes has to wait in line for a taxi for three hours, which is then crammed with up to 12 people.

Nevertheless, Samuel enjoys his job as a Partnership Facilitator. It gives him great satisfaction to arrive at a center and see the children filled with joy because of Compassion.


Prayer Requests

  • There is an increase in separation and divorce among the caregivers of children in the child development centers. Please pray that parents will develop healthy marriages and model them well for the children.
  • Please pray for more job opportunities in Accra.
  • Please pray for the Holy Spirit to minister to parents of the children at the centers.