Jirapa's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 2016

The Jirapa community is home to almost 90,000 people, many of whom live in poverty and earn a living through farming. Erratic rainfall, drought, and infertile soil mean that families often do not produce enough food. Almost 13% of children in the area are malnourished. For survival, families often resort to harvesting other natural resources, such as trees and charcoal. This practice is not sustainable, however, and if continued will quickly destroy Jirapa's natural resources.

There are few health clinics and staff available to care for children and families. Waterborne infection and disease are common due to improper sanitation and hygiene. Most schools do not have drinkable water or proper washrooms. Youth often drop out of school to earn money for their families, and some girls drop out as a result of early marriage and teenage pregnancy. Women cannot own land and have little control over their income and livelihood, and therefore must depend on their husbands or male family members.
  • 100 children and youth learned about their rights, how to voice their opinions, and ways to protect themselves from harm.
  • 10 community groups are engaging with local authorities to advance their rights and create positive changes for children.
  • 546 children received the resources they need to learn including school fees, supplies, books and uniforms
  • 4 clubs are in place for children and youth to improve their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities.
  • 1,276 parents and caregivers learned about proper feeding practices and how to keep their children well nourished.
  • 256 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses.
  • 705 children and adults are members of savings groups, helping families meet their financial needs and access small loans.
  • 27 adults received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income.
  • 545 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their children and families.
  • 20 individuals including children are better equipped to protect themselves from disasters and respond to emergencies.
  • 23 community groups are teaching children and families to prevent disasters and protect themselves in times of crisis.
  • 1,250 children are developing vital language and motor skills at pre-school, setting the foundation for their education.
  • Community members are working to protect children and youth through workshops and formal programs like birth registration.
  • 2 district hospitals received essential medical equipment and health promotion materials.
  • 10 child welfare supervisors attended training to better equip them to monitor the well-being of children.

Explore Jirapa

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Jirapa

In Jirapa, children lack access to quality education. The classroom environment is very poor, with outdated teaching methods, inadequate facilities and classrooms, and instructors who need more training. Most children do not have basic school supplies or materials. There are hardly any kindergarten teachers, and the lack of basic benefits makes teaching in general an undesirable job in the area. This often results in teacher absences. School supervisors don't check in regularly, and issues are rarely addressed.

These challenges have led to a high number of students who skip school or drop out altogether. Many leave the classroom in order to take up jobs and make money to support themselves and their family. According to a recent report, 64.5% of boys finished junior high, whereas only 46.5% of girls accomplished the same. Part of the reason for this large gap is because some girls drop out due to early or forced marriages and teenage pregnancy. This group of mothers has little or no skills and cannot fend for themselves or their children. Often their own children do not have their basic needs met, and grow up to repeat the same cycles of poverty and under education.

A key concern in Jirapa is the lack of nutritious food available year-round. Environmental issues such as unpredictable rainfall, bad soil, and drought affect harvests. Poverty limits famers ability to use better techniques to increase productivity and improve storage options. A lack of knowledge also keeps families raising livestock from earning as much income as they could if they received improved education. Additionally, families lack sustainable alternatives to farming and have turned to depleting the area's natural resources, like forests and charcoal, to provide for themselves.

Child Protection
In Jirapa, the community lacks understanding and support of child wellbeing. Without community leaders who are invested in promoting child rights and child protection, and encouraging participation, children remain voiceless and devalued.

One of the most prominent issues is the migration of parents looking for work because of poor harvests and ongoing poverty. Traveling away from home to find employment can often leave children vulnerable to unsafe situations and bad peer influence. Additionally, poverty can push community members to promote early marriage for girls as a way to ensure they are cared for. Early marriage is not only harmful to children's wellbeing, but it also leads to teenage pregnancy, creating health risks for young mothers and their babies.

Community Leadership
Another issue is the community's struggle to bounce back from natural disasters including drought and windstorms, which regularly destroy farms as well as houses. Community members need help to identify the early warning signs of these disasters and to create plans that will help manage the impact.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Jirapa, Ghana is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.