Our partner community Klave is a rural Ghanaian village located along the Togolese border about 100 miles northeast of the capital Accra. Home to little more than 600 people, it’s a warm and hardworking community but one faced with a crippling lack of basic infrastructure and economic opportunity. While schools are under-resourced, access to healthcare is limited and subsistence farming is a way of life – the people of this community are resilient.
Education including primary school only exists in name. While facilities have been built the lack of sufficient resources, teacher training and parent engagement makes obtaining a real education nearly impossible.
Access to healthcare is limited by distance and quality. The closest clinic is over an hour away by foot and is only marginally supplied to treat acute and chronic health concerns. Maternal and child healthcare is limited and preventative medicine is non-existent.
While residents are encouraged and able to contribute thoughtful feedback on community issues local leadership lacks focus and accountability. Regional and national governance is corrupt and organic civil society is in its infancy.
Access to viable economic opportunity in the community is nearly non-existent. Petty trading, cracking of stone and subsistence farming are the primary means of survival. The average individual daily income hovers at about 34 cents per day, and it is common practice for children to contribute to the family's economic well-being.
Waste management and public sanitation systems have not yet been developed. There is limited electricity, particularly during the rainy season, poor transportation networks and minimal public services available. The community does however, have access to clean, affordable water.
Access to food in Klave is not the primary issue as the vast majority of residents are subsistence farmers. Rather residents lack diverse food sources, are under-nourished and the school food program that is supported by the government does not regularly operate.
The community regularly participates in local soccer matches, cultural dance competitions, and drumming displays. However there is a lack of diversity in options, limited space available, and no financial resources to ensure a high quality experience.
The first step in our process is to thoroughly assess the strengths and needs of each community condition. Involving community members and local leadership from the beginning opens dialogue, and builds trust. Our team conducted a house-by-house survey of the community, personally interviewing nearly every household. We met with the village Chiefs and Elders, teachers, parents, students, local clinic staff, and regional health, government and civil society leaders. What we learned in these conversations and in data collected produced a comprehensive picture of daily life in Klave, and formed the blueprint for our long-term partnership.
During our initial assessment of community need, many residents noted a lack of participation in the National Health Insurance Scheme because they did not fully understand the opportunity, the advantage of the services provided, or because transportation was too challenging. We addressed this critical gap with a three step process:
• Educating the Public: Representatives of the local NHIS office and clinic staff held and open forum and answered questions more than 450 people from Klave and surrounding villages.
Subsidizing Registration Fees: For the average resident of Klave the cost of the annual registration is roughly equivalent to a week’s income. To assist the most vulnerable segments of the population we paid 75% of the registration fee for children and seniors. To date we have help more than 200 people afford primary health care, many for the first time.
• Providing Access: Even for those who understand the benefits of NHIS and can afford the registration fees, enrollment in the scheme requires two separate trips to a regional NHIS office, which can be an insurmountable obstacle. We mitigated this problem by arranging for the NHIS District Office to conduct registrations in Klave, and sending our team to pick up the completed registration cards and deliver them directly to residents.
In order to help fill a critical gap in resources, we provide the Shia Clinic, which serves Klave with the supplies needed to provide basic care. We supplied gauze, bandages, syringes and gloves as well as items for their on-site laboratory. This small project acted as the building block for further collaboration and more robust programming in the future.
Since 1990, the village of Klave has had a mechanized central well, maintained by a local water committee; but the water that flowed from it was unfiltered and prone to frequent contamination. Unreliable access to clean water for drinking, cooking and basic hygiene has led to a wide spectrum of public health problems especially among Klave’s children and elderly. Together with community residents we installed the equipment, monitored testing, and trained the local water committee in its upkeep. The new chlorine filter cleans the water of toxic bacteria as well as other dangerous contaminates like nitrates and copper. As of March 2015 the system has yielded over 50,000 liters and counting of potable water.
While Klave has schools, the small group of motivated teachers lacks the basic supplies that make learning possible. What few textbooks they have are outdated and worn; maps, art supplies and recreation equipment are non-existent; and even paper and pencils are either prohibitively expensive or completely unavailable. By working with school leadership to assess resource needs based on curriculum and collect baseline data this project will provide students with backpacks full of the supplies they need to learn, and their teacher with what they need to properly equip their classrooms.
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Join the School Resources Campaign
An element in a child's development that is often overlooked is the need to play, develop relationships and problem solve in a safe and productive space. By providing community schools with recreation supplies, especially soccer supplies, children will have the ability to play, exercise and learn life lessons that will help carry them into adulthood.
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Join the Team Building Campaign
Building the conditions for communities to overcome poverty
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