While many local, national, and international efforts struggle to contain the AIDS crisis in Africa, a generation of children has been slipping through the cracks. They remain largely unwanted, uneducated, and at high risk of being infected by the virus themselves. The United Nations has observed that children whose parents have died of AIDS face a loss of family, stability, education, as well as economic uncertainty, emotional insecurity, and stigmatization. While various aid groups fight the spread of the disease and mitigate the stigma attached to AIDS, these children need someone now. By empowering orphans and vulnerable children through education, our initiative will have long-lasting effects, not just on our students but on future generations, the region as a whole, and the world.
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Ghana’s educational system has matured and developed immensely over the past half century. Education currently accounts for 28%-40% of the national budget, and since 1987 the educational budget has increased by 700%. However, many school aged children are not receiving the benefits of these improvements. The complete program includes six years of primary school, three years of junior secondary school, and three more years of senior secondary school. However, although 1.3 million children are now in primary school, only 107,600 are enrolled in secondary school. Additionally, children orphaned by AIDS are much less likely receive adequate care and support for schooling.
Find more information on Ghana from the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA).
The Manya Krobo area of Eastern Ghana was chosen for the Every Child Program because it has one of the highest concentrations of AIDS and children orphaned by AIDS in Africa and the successful leadership of the Queen Mothers Association.
The Every Child is Our Child Program resulted from meeting directly with the Queen Mothers, learning about the community issues and having joint planning session to prioritize their requirements. School fees and health care were the highest priorities. Though the Ghana government spends over 22% of its budget on education, school fees are still required. With the high cost of living and inflation, many of the families who take in additional children are not able to provide the required school fees and access to sports, book bags, school uniforms, notebooks, stationary supplies and science resource centers. Funding school fees is critical to provide the education required by this vulnerable group of children.
Learn more about the Queen Mothers Association.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
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