Kassena's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

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: 

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.
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.

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.

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.
Child Protection
  • 5 children took actions to help end violence against girls and boys, raising awareness in the community about protecting children from harm and abuse.
  • 4 child protection meetings and advocacy initiatives were led by community members, helping to inform the government on ways to keep children safe.
  • 37 community groups and individuals worked together on advocacy efforts, encouraging the government to address child protection and safety issues.
  • 2635 adults learned how to access services and information to keep children safe, helping them understand how to build a safer community for children.
  • 6 advocacy initiatives about child safety and protection were led by women and children, empowering them to change their community for the better.
  • 1022 parents better understand the harmful impact of physical discipline on children, so more boys and girls can be raised in safer and happier homes.
  • 250 parents better understand the harmful impact of physical discipline on children, so more boys and girls can be raised in safer and happier homes.
  • 1493 parents learned how to nurture their children holistically, creating families where girls and boys can grow physically, emotionally and socially.
  • 3 planning activities were carried out with community partners, co-ordinating the work of local groups and organisations to focus on helping children.
  • 1 training opportunity was provided for community partners, equipping them to improve the lives of children.
  • 610 members of the community were reached through education awareness campaigns, helping them learn why all children should go to school.
  • 80 local volunteers have participated in literacy training, improving how they support children learning to read and write.
  • 1850 preschool-aged girls and boys are enrolled in early education, so they can be better prepared to enter primary school.
  • 10 reading clubs have been started for boys and girls, helping to improve their literacy and reading habits.
  • 1000 books written in the local language were given to schools, providing students with reading materials that are age-appropriate and in their own language.
  • 122 people took part in interfaith events, helping members of different religions to build understanding and work together to improve children's lives.
  • 118 boys and girls took part in faith-based activities, deepening their understanding of God's love for them, others and nature.
  • 25 parents participated in learning opportunities to support the spiritual nurture of children
  • 6 churches and faith-based groups are involved in planning and running child-focused activities, helping improve the well-being of boys and girls.
  • 41 savings groups are active, providing community members with a local place to save money regularly, earn interest and access loans.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 50 adults learned to sell products or services to sustainably maintain local water sources and hygiene, earning an income while helping their community.
  • 6 advocacy groups worked to address issues related to water, hygiene and sanitation, helping to create a cleaner living environment for children.
  • 16 faith leaders learned about hygiene, sanitation or how to affect change in a person's actions, so they can be better-informed role models for youth.
  • 20 faith leaders learned about hygiene, sanitation or how to affect change in a person's actions, so they can be better-informed role models for youth.
  • 5 new boreholes with hand pumps have been constructed, providing children and families access to clean drinking water.
  • 18 local communities were trained in proper sanitation and no longer had people defecating in open spaces, helping protect more children from diseases.
  • 2990 students who attended health and hygiene training now actively practise good hygiene habits, so they can better protect themselves from diseases.
  • 2883 households can now store safe water in clean and covered containers
  • 18 communities were educated on appropriate food handling and processing practices
  • 24 food vendors were trained in hygienic food handling and processing
Health and Nutrition
  • 10 school health education clubs were formed, activated and trained
  • 6 school health education activities were undertaken
  • 15 food vendors were certified by district health management teams
  • 6 advocacy networks, coalitions and platforms were supported

*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019 in partnership with other World Vision offices.

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

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.

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 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,  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.