ON OUR WAY TO HOPETOWN



As advocates of children’s rights, nothing makes us happier than seeing that children that were hitherto prevented from enjoying some of their basic rights due to certain circumstances are able to enjoy them through the concerted efforts of people willing to make a difference. On the 8th of February 2019, the Barimayena township was happy to welcome the CRI team into their fold.

The community had for years been riddled with the problem of a kindergarten school block that was incapable of providing the needed amenities that supports the process of teaching and learning. We, at CRI staunchly believe that children everywhere have the right to quality, free basic education and could not look on unconcerned, knowing that there were children in a community who needed our help to make this a reality for them. We were spurred into action to support the building of the kindergarten block when we saw the efforts of parents in the community who willingly contributed levies that went into the building of a junior high school block. We could not turn a blind eye to such reassuring acts of consolidated communal efforts for positive development. Seeing how invested parents in Barimayena were in their children’s education, it was evident that they were cognizant of the benefits not only their children but the community as a whole would garner from providing the prerequisites needed to guarantee access to education. This is where CRI in collaboration with Mondelez Cocoa Life Program, stepped in to contribute to resolving the problem by contributing fifty cement bags and ten iron rods towards the construction of a kindergarten block in the Barimayena community.


An elated headmaster, thanked CRI for the contributions and help we have provided to the community since the introduction of the organisation to the community three years ago. He was beyond joy at the prospect that finally teaching and learning could be done in a safe and secure environment. Delighted that an appropriate classroom block was no longer one of his worries, he hoped that next, the school would be provided with needed teaching and learning materials such as furniture, textbooks amongst others which were not readily available to both staff and students. Speaking to the Patron of the CRI Club in the school, he spoke off how community members were unhappy that their wards had to travel to another community to attain JHS education. He explained the distance between the two towns was another hurdle both parents and children were unhappy about and that was what led them to collect levies put towards the building of a JHS block in the town. He disclosed that since CRI began collaborating with the community on projects, so many had been undertaken and completed. This has paved the way for teaching and learning to be infinitely easier for both teachers and students. He could remember a time when the only structure on the school compound was a rundown shack that inhibited the teaching and learning process, looking around he could already see the improvements that had been made and looked forward to what future cooperation between the community and CRI would bring with gusto.


It was truly enjoyable being in the presence of a community filled with so much positivity and hope for the future, the smiles on the faces of children of the Barimayena D/A when we arrived reminded us of why we do what we do at CRI. By involving ourselves in this project we are aware that the impact felt will not only be community-wise but also affect future generations. We understand that educating the younger generation not only places them on stepping stones to take charge of their own stories and destinies but also enlightens them. This communicates the importance of education to them and ensures that they in turn educate their children. It is a ripple effect capable of causing a tsunami of change, the CRI team is ready and waiting to ride that wave into a better future where education is truly a right enjoyed universally by all children, and we do that one beautiful community at a time. We are especially grateful to the members of the Barimayena community for giving us the chance to effect positive change and will always be available wherever the need calls. Now more than ever, we look forward to seeing the completion of the project undertaken and cannot wait to see lessons take place in a setting filled with the hopes and aspirations of a community that wishes to see their children become the best versions of themselves.


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TIME WITH PRESIDENT OF MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL, EUROPE

On November 5th, the Executive Director of Child Rights International and other partners on the Mondelez International Cocoa Life Project met with the Europe President of Mondelez International, Mr Hubert Weber for a short interaction on the roles of partners in achieving the goals of the Cocoa Life Project.

Also present was the country lead for Mondelēz International #CocoaLife Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi, who facilitated discussions.

Mondelez International Europe President, Hubert Weber, with Ghana County Lead, Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi

Mondelez International Europe President, Hubert Weber, with Ghana County Lead, Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi

The session was attended by project partners including World Vision, Cocobod, Abantu for Development , Agro Eco, Representatives from Farmer Cooperatives among others.

Mr Weber expressed his gratitude to partners for their commitment on the project and requested a briefing from partners on the current state of project implementation.

Partners took turns to share updates on their project areas and made recommendations on how activities can be improved to make #CocoaLife even more responsive to the needs of the communities.

Executive Director of CRI, Bright Appiah shares updates on child protection

Executive Director of CRI, Bright Appiah shares updates on child protection

The Country Lead, Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi expressed her gratitude to partners for their commitment to achieving results on the project and urged that partners continue the beautiful cooperation that has led to such impressive results.

Project Partners share updates on their projects

Project Partners share updates on their projects

The engagement ended with exchanges of symbolic gifts from partners to serve as a reminder to Mr Weber that the goals and purposes of the #CocoaLife project and still in pursuit.

Presentation of gift by Ghana Country Lead, Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi

Presentation of gift by Ghana Country Lead, Yaa Peprah Agyeman Amekudzi

Gift presentation by CRI Executive Director, Bright Appiah

Gift presentation by CRI Executive Director, Bright Appiah

Presentation by Goaso Mondelez Farmers Cooperative, Nana Sarpong

Presentation by Goaso Mondelez Farmers Cooperative, Nana Sarpong

LIVE FOR CHANGE INSPIRES CHILDREN TO BE NURSES

Meet Change Maker Juliana Bentil, a nurse at the Tepa Government Hospital  who volunteered to support our Live For Change programme. The #Live4Change is a Mondelez International Cocoa Life initiative which aims to bring children into contact with mentors in their immediate environment.

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Nurse Julie volunteered to share her professional and social experience with members of the Child Rights and Reading Club because she simply wanted to encourage children to pursue their dreams in spite of difficulty.  

At the Fawoman D/A Basic School, she shared stories on her childhood and how hard work and perseverance helped her to achieve her dreams. Her session ended by advicing the to children to never stop learning because even as professionals, they will need to learn in order to rise to the top of their career.

At the end of her session, five girls at Fawoman D/A Basic were inspired to never let go off their dreams of becoming nurses.

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“Meeting Nurse Julie today has encouraged me to follow my dream of becoming a nurse. Now I know that after JHS and SHS, I have to go to Nursing and Midwifery School and study hard so I can become a nurse. My mother has invested so much in my education. I want to become a nurse and make her proud.” Genevieve Ntiriwaah.

Angelina (left) and Jefferys (right) in a pose with Nurse Juliana Bentil

Angelina (left) and Jefferys (right) in a pose with Nurse Juliana Bentil

“No one is a nurse in my family; I want to be the first! It is my dream and today Nurse Julie has encouraged me to keep following my dreams in spite of difficulty. She also encountered some difficulties, so I know I can make it too.” Dufie Angelina.

“I have always wanted to be a nurse so that I can educate people on health practices so that sickness is reduced. Nurse Julie has taught me today that to be a nurse, I should go to school and take my education seriously. I should never give up.” Antwi Jefferys.

Konadu (left) and Rita (right) in a conversation with Nurse Juliana Bentil

Konadu (left) and Rita (right) in a conversation with Nurse Juliana Bentil

“I dream of being a nurse because I want to look after sick people. When my friend Eva was sick, I just went to the pharmacy and bought her medicine. I couldn’t do anything to help her, but if i become a nurse like Madam Julie I will be able to help sick people.” Konadu Ernestina.

“I admire it so much when I see nurses attending to sick people. I have my own ailment and so I visit the hospital often. When the nurses help to ease my pain I become happy. Nurse Julie has taught me to avoid bad friends and to never to look down on myself.” Asaani Rita Jnr.

Nurse Juliana Bentil ended her interaction with club members by encouraging them to be conscious of their health because in the absence of good health all efforts to achieve their dreams will be futile.

COCOA LIFE IMPACTS ON FAWOMAN COMMUNITY

The word “Cocoa Life’’ is a cocoa sustainability program verified in strengthening cocoa communities and inspiring the next generation of cocoa farmers. Mondelez cocoa life has changed our standard of living. They began their journey with several objectives in mind. What I have seen personally, is an initiative that I would entreat every farmer to be part of it.

Firstly, I have developed my full potential through this initiative. I am very shy when speaking in public but ever since I joined the Child Rights Club, I have learnt a lot and that has given me the voice in the community. Now I can speak in public about child rights abuse cases with confidence. It has improved my learning skills in so many ways.

Secondly, Cocoa life through Child Rights International has taken me to a place I never dreamt of it. Through the child initiative forum I have been able to visit some tourist sites without paying any amount. Places such as Takoradi Naval Base, Takoradi Technical University among other exciting areas. I have really benefited for being a child rights club member.

Lastly, Mondelez Cocoa Life has helped some children in my community with free educational scholarships to study in some of the top ranked senior high school in the country. People in my community face challenges when it comes to putting their wards through second cycle education.

Cocoa life has indeed brightened my life. My life has been transformed ever since I joined this club in my school. The above raised points are the unique reasons why I would endorse cocoa life any day and time.

Story by Adams Moro (Child Rights Club Member)

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COCOA LIFE IMPACTS ADUKROM COMMUNITY

Mondelez International Cocoa life in partnership with Child Rights International has been able to create change in the lives of farmers and children form selected regions and districts in Ghana.

In 2016, Child Rights International started their project in Adukrom to mainly reduce child labour and to protect children in our community. So far, Mondelez International Cocoa Life has been doing great things in towns and communities wherever they go.

When they came to Adukrom they started their project in the community school. They brought story books to our basic school and created the mobile library system for the school. This was done in the year 2017. This has helped us acquire knowledge and skills in reading.

In July 2018, the Adukrom community received a mechanized borehole due to the community’s full participation in the projects outlined by both organizations. Child Rights International has given some students in our school, uniforms, exercise books, school bags, note books and mathematical set. The organization has been able to support another person with a sowing machine to learn a trade and to support herself.

Furthermore, Mondelez cocoa Life has been teaching the farmers good farming practices to maintain their cocoa farms, and this has increased their yields.

The Child right’s club formed in the school also selected students from Mondelez communities in every school in the district for an excursion.

The Child Right’s club has been very helpful too. They have educated us on how to prevent child labour and child abuse. It has also helped lots of children know their rights and responsibilities.

Story By Abass Augustina (Child’s Right Club Member, Ahafo Ano North)

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MONDELEZ JOY AMBASSADORS VISIT ONWE AND NKWANTABISA COMMUNITIES

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The Mondelēz International Foundation’s Joy Ambassador program invites employees to serve and learn in cocoa-farming communities which are part of the Cocoa Life program in Ghana. This two-week skills-exchange journey, in partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), gives Joy Ambassadors first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in securing a sustainable cocoa supply. The ambassadors share their diverse business skills with cocoa farmers - from marketing, manufacturing, finance, law and more - to help accelerate the impact of the company’s cocoa sustainability efforts.

As part of this year’s visit, some members of the Joy Ambassador team and some staff of Child's Right International visited selected “cocoalife” communities in the Ahafo Ano North District.

The team visited the Onwe and Nkwantabisa Communities. These two communities share a common public school because they are closely located. Onwe community has no school so children from Onwe are enrolled in the Nkwantabisa D/A Basic School. It is one of the schools where the Mondelēz Read to Lead library project was established.

The headmaster of the school could not hold his joy and gratitude for Mondelēz International Cocoa Life’s provision of a mobile library in his school. He lauded the efforts of Childs Right International and Mondelēz Cocoa Life for the library project and shared that it had greatly enhanced children’s reading skills and provided teachers with additional textbooks for teaching.

He added that the nomination of the pupil who participated in the 2018 Child Initiative Forum was of great impact to all pupils because the CIF participant was made to share his new experience and knowledge with the whole school.

The Joy ambassadors were elated to hear of such positive impact of the “CocoaLife” project. It left such a meaningful impressions on the hearts and minds of us all in the team. Such stories encourage us to do even better.

Professor Ken Attafuah - Child Initiative Forum 2016

Each year, Child Rights International invites children from all across Ghana to participate in an event that encourages and empowers them.

Child participation is a right according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children must be encouraged and have the opportunity to engage in matters that have an impact on their lives and the lives of the children around them. 

To learn more about the Child Initiative Forum, click here.

A Child's Journey | Ghana @ 60

Two weeks ago, Child Rights International shot a video celebrating and honouring the great country of Ghana for the Ghana @ 60 celebrations. 

Our short film centres on children of Ghana, who take a journey from a humble beginning, overcoming trials and tribulations, to the country Ghana is today. We are a strong, proud, great nation, but we must always strive to be better. Community, support and love have helped Ghanaians to follow our dreams and build the country we want. 

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Through the film, we see Ghana's spirit of community, our commitment to hard work and determination. When a child falls down, someone will always be there to help them back up.  

"60 years ago, Ghana embarked on a journey to determine her future. Since 1957, our forefathers have bought battles and taken bold steps. They were steps of change, steps of hope, steps of aspiration for our children and our country. Through trials and triumphs we have stayed strong. Mother Ghana is built on commitment, loyalty and nationalism. Here we are to continue the journey of sustaining Mother Ghana. God bless our homeland Ghana."

Join CRI in celebrating 60 amazing years in Ghana and looking forward to many more!


Watch our film in English:

Watch our film in Twi:


Thank You!

Thank you to the Child Rights Club members and assistant patron Michael Affah Annan at Kotoku M/A JHS for all your help and support in filming this video!

Cast:

Jennifer Samiafo Adzu

Emmanuel Agboise

Maureen Ankrah

Lucy Appau

Clinton Osei Berko

Johnson K. Dorfenyo

Justice Kusi

Ivy Lamptey Mills

Elizabeth Odame

Daniel Sewornu

 

English Voiceover: Elizabeth Okletey

Twi Voiceover: Justice Kusi

Music: Rebecca Gerster

Video: Rebecca Gerster

Training Social Welfare Officers and Partners on GCLMS and Child Labour

CRI Executive Director Bright Appiah leads a training session

CRI Executive Director Bright Appiah leads a training session

On the 24th and 25th of January, CRI was privileged to kick off its first activity for the UTZ Project. This project is a partnership between UTZ whose vision is a world where sustainable farming is the norm and KooKoo Pa, an organisation formed to support smallholder farmers to promote the adoption of sustainable farming practices in achieving economic and social well-being of its members.

The aim of the project is to reduce child labour in the operating districts of KooKoo Pa by creating and promoting a bottom up, cost efficient and gender sensitive child labour prevention, monitoring and remediation (GCLMS) approach.

The activity was a workshop on child labour and GCLMS for partners, including officers from Social Welfare in the operating districts of KooKoo Pa who will be playing major roles in the implementation of this project.