Kassena

Kassena'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 Kassena community is located in the upper east region of Ghana, near the Burkina Faso border. The area is rural, consisting mostly of grassland with scattered trees and shrubs. The rainy season is from May to October, with an average annual rainfall of 950 mm. During the dry season, the north-east trade wind blows; a dry and dusty wind that originates from the Sahara Desert. Daytime temperatures are high, sometimes recording 42°C, especially in February and March. Nighttime temperatures are as low as 18°C.

About 90% of the homes in Kassena are simple structures constructed from mud. Most of them are roofed with thatch or mud and wood, although some are roofed with corrugated iron sheets. Agriculture is the source of income for 80% of the population. Most families struggle to make a living off the land, and many do not produce enough food or income. 90% of households live below the poverty line. Average household income is only $60 per year. 43% of the population is younger than 15 years old. There are virtually no sizable industries in the district. With no income opportunities, during the off-farming season many youth migrate to cities in the south seeking temporary work.
  • 3 community groups are engaging with local authorities to advance their rights and create positive changes for children.
  • 5 schools were renovated or furnished with educational materials to provide a better learning environment for students.
  • 200 teachers and volunteers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children.
  • 2,985 parents and caregivers learned how to provide proper nutrition to their children and protect them from diseases.
  • 2,985 parents and caregivers learned about common childhood illnesses and how to protect their children's health.
  • 13 water sources are providing access to safe water and protecting children and families against waterborne diseases.
  • 2,935 individuals including children have safe water for drinking and cooking thanks to new or repaired water sources.
  • 2 latrines in the community are providing improved access to sanitation for children and families.
  • 394 children are benefitting from latrines and have better access to sanitation.
  • 2,985 children and adults learned about the importance of water safety, proper sanitation and hygiene to stay healthy.
  • 10 people were trained on how to repair and maintain water sources, ensuring safe water access for children and families.
  • 61 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses.
  • 1,220 children and adults are members of savings groups, helping families meet their financial needs and access small loans.
Education
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Organize refresher training for teachers.
  • Recruit and train volunteer teachers to combat the shortage of teachers in schools.
  • Train school management committees and parent-teacher associations in the effective management of community schools and pre-schools.
  • Construct and furnish classrooms, supply desks, and provide teaching and learning materials.
  • Conduct community-wide education on children's rights, including the right to education, especially for girls.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Educate families on nutrition, including eating vegetables and locally available nutritious foods.
  • Work with the health department in the prevention and treatment of common diseases.

Food
To ensure parents in Kassena can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Train farming families in improved techniques for crop production, post-harvest management, and livestock keeping.
  • Provide farmers with livestock, equipment, and seeds.
  • Support vulnerable families to start income-generating activities.
  • Train farmers and community members in disaster preparedness.
  • Train farmers in natural resource management.

HIV & AIDS
To combat the spread and repercussions of HIV and AIDS, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Educate community members of all ages on the spread and prevention of HIV and AIDS.
  • Support community-led care for orphans and people living with AIDS.

Water and Sanitation
In partnership with families and sponsors, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Install wells and pumps to provide better access to safe drinking water, and construct improved latrines.

Explore Kassena

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 Kassena

Education 
Schools in Kassena are short of teachers, so class sizes are large, sometimes with as many as 74 pupils to one teacher. There are not enough classrooms to accommodate all the school-age children. Desks, curriculum, and learning materials are also in short supply. School management is inadequate to address the issues affecting the quality of education.

The majority of the community has had no formal education, and parents don't always appreciate the importance of education for their children. School enrolment and attendance are low, especially during the farming season when boys miss school to help out with the family's farming. Families prioritize educating their sons over their daughters, so more boys are enrolled in school than girls. Girls are expected to help with household chores or babysit their younger siblings so their mothers can work in the fields.

Health Care
30% of children under the age of five are underweight due to malnutrition. These malnourished children are more susceptible to disease, and many children in Kassena die from preventable diseases, including measles, tuberculosis, and diarrhea. The risk is further compounded by the lack of safe water sources and latrine facilities, which leads to the spread of waterborne diseases. Again, children are affected the most by these conditions.

Food
More than 90% of the population depends on a single season of rain-fed agriculture to produce their food for the year. Climate change has affected the rainfall pattern, however, leading to unexpected droughts and floods. As a result, families have great difficulty producing enough food to last year-round. Declining soil fertility and high post-harvest losses have also contributed to low food supplies and general low incomes for farming families. The average household's income is only $60 per year.

HIV & AIDS
HIV prevalence in Kassena is high. There are many orphans who need support, and people living with HIV and AIDS who require care. Since the resources of families in the community are already spread thin to cover their own basic needs, it is often difficult to provide for those who have been affected by the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Water and Sanitation
Only 58% of people in the district have access to clean water. Many in the community rely on traditional hand-dug wells, but most of these are easily contaminated because they are not covered. Some wells dry up during the long dry season, forcing families to collect unsafe drinking water from dams, rivers, and streams. In addition, 84% of households in the area do not have a latrine or toilet. The inadequate water and sanitation conditions lead to the spread of waterborne diseases.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Kassena, 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.