Past Projects

Photo by Rebecca Gerster

Photo by Rebecca Gerster

 

Since we were founded in 1997, Child Rights International has undertaken many successful and impactful projects. Click on one of the projects CRI has done to learn more about the valuable work our organization has accomplished.

 
 

 

TB Partnership

 
 
 

INTRODUCTION

The TB Project was undertaken by Child Rights International in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Control Programme, a program run by the Ghana Health Service. Under the TB Project, CRI organized community and district meetings, as well as capacity-building training sessions.

MEETINGS AND ACTION PLANS

TB coordinators and professionals in Eastern and Central Region Health Directorates, including regional and some district tuberculosis coordinators, were brought together by CRI to form action plans and ensure the training sessions were as appropriate and effective as possible in all communities. These meetings were held at regional health directorates, and helped to ensure the trainings were held in the most affected communities so that the program had the most profound impact possible.

To this end, the action plan consisted of selecting communities based on the register of communities for TB detection. Community health volunteers were trained and then visited adjoining communities for TB case detection. These volunteers focused on contact tracing, as this is a major means through which people are exposed to tuberculosis. 

CAPACITY-BUILDING TRAINING SESSIONS

Child Rights International instituted capacity-building training sessions in order to increase TB case detection in communities, particularly early detection, and to subsequently prevent instances of Multi-Drug Resistant TB. In addition, the training taught volunteers the proper treatment for tuberculosis.

The training sessions were designed to be highly interactive to ensure that all participants had an accurate and in depth understanding of the issues. The educational activities included roleplay, discussions, and Q&A periods. 

CRI observed that the level of participation was very active, and the level of interaction between participants and facilitators was phenomenal, as participants were eager to ask and answer questions throughout the entirety of the training period. This demonstrated a strong commitment to learning about TB identification, prevention and treatment, as well as affirmed the effectiveness of CRI’s training activities.

CONCLUSION

The training sessions were held at regional health directorates, and were highly effective. All training objectives were achieved. Participants acquired the appropriate knowledge and skills needed to perform the assignment, and the interactive and engaging sessions were embraced with enthusiasm by the volunteers and community agents, who found them to be very effective in teaching the materials on TB identification, prevention and treatment.

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Juvenile Justice Program

 
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EASTER SCHOOLS

Every year Child Rights International, in partnership with UNICEF, organizes an event called the Easter School for Children, which provides a dynamic forum for children to actively participate in an open discussion about critical issues that affect their welfare and their enjoyment of their rights. 

The active, voluntary and informed participation of the children is at the core of the Easter School agenda. This even celebrates and promotes children's unique contributions as citizens of the world, and values their voices and personal experiences.

CHILDREN'S RIGHTS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

The theme for the 2011 Easter School for Children was Realizing Children's Rights in the Juvenile Justice System: Seeking Justice for Children, Preventing the Adult Crime of Tomorrow.

The Easter School focused on familiarizing participants with the juvenile justice system in Ghana and providing them with an opportunity to contribute their ideas and recommendations on how to improve the current system for children.

This event was a unique opportunity for children to interact directly with individuals involved in the juvenile justice system, and to learn about the pressing issues facing children in justice institutions.

During the 2011 Easter School, the participants advocated for change in the justice received by juveniles, and the protection and promotion of children's rights in the media in an effort to ensure that the rights of children, particularly the rights of juveniles, are protected.

Among the presenters at the 2011 Easter School for Children were the Vice-President of the Ghana Journalists Association, the Director of the Department of Social Welfare, a Juvenile Court Judge for the Judicial Service and a human rights advocate.

Participants were given the opportunity to interact with all of the presenters, who covered topics such as:

  • Dignity and privacy of children in the media
  • The state of the juvenile justice administration in Ghana
  • Strengths and weaknesses in the juvenile justice administration
  • Rights of children in conflict with the law

In addition to these conversations, children also had the opportunity to go on experiential learning field trips, which provided the children with a comprehensive view of the Easter School's theme.

The field trips included:

  • A visit to the senior correctional home in Accra
  • A consultation session on the development of a child-friendly version of the Juvenile Justice Act, hosted by UNICEF
  • A visit to two media houses, Peace FM and Graphic Group Communications, where the participants interacted with the editor of the Junior Graphic 

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One Laptop per Child

 

IMPROVING EDUCATION WITH INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

In July and August of 2009, Child Rights International had the opportunity to collaborate with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) on a project that provided 100 laptop computers to school in Okorase in the Eastern region for an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) project. This innovative project was also developed and implemented in collaboration with the National Program for the Elimination of Child Labour in the Cocoa Sector.

As part of the project, three student experts from the University of City University of New York, Hunter College, Monroe College, and New York University trained the students on how to use the computers. The objective of the project was to make information technology available to rural children in the cocoa growing areas, to assist them in acquiring critical ICT skills, and to influence the attitudes of parents and children in terms of the value and relevance of education.

The training aimed to empower and enable students to learn about ICT and to utilize those skills in a responsible manner to expand their base of knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, CRI implored parents to actively involve themselves in the project and take an interest in their children's education by supporting the students in the training and ensuring that their children has the opportunity to benefit from the laptops. Teachers were also encourage to take a proactive role in the training, and view it as an opportunity for professional development in the areas of modern teaching and learning techniques.

The exciting results from the pilot project in Okorase demonstrated the great potential the OLPC project has to enhance the quality of education for children in cocoa growing communities in Ghana, to encourage child participation in education and to inspire children to actively pursue new opportunities to learn about their world.

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STAR Ghana

 

INTRODUCTION

In accordance with the STAR Ghana Project, a manifesto on the education of the civil society was published. 

The civil society manifesto has been written with a view that civil society is a critical mass of citizens with the power to construct or call for a rearrangement of any government. In order for civil society to be well informed in its judgement of the performance of any government and to provide constructive input - or, for that matter, to assess critically any ruling party or coalition or alliance that will come to power in Ghana - guiding principles are a prerequisite. 

The Civil Society Education Manifesto (CSEM) was meant to influence public discourse in the run up to the 2012 general elections by providing a national context for discussing education issues, as well as guide the next political administration in prioritizing its education policies for the period of 2012 to 2016.

OBJECTIVES

The main objective of this manifesto is to guide civil society and the Ghanaian public to focus on socio-economic issues and ideologies - rather than personalities - in choosing, supporting and assessing their government.

The objectives of the manifesto are:

  1. To divert popular focus from tribe, religion and personality-based electoral and political campaigns to campaigns focused on development and issues
  2. To provide alternative education policy proposals to the next government
  3. To enable civil society to realistically evaluate the performance of the next government

PROCESS

The Civil Society Education Manifesto 2012 is an embodiment of the aspirations and convictions of Ghanaians on how their education sector should be managed by the next political administration.

This manifesto was developed through consultations with non-governmental organizations, media, education experts and researchers, academia, and parents in Ghana.

The following gives an outline of the processes that culminated in the Civil Society Education Manifesto 2012.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The Education Agenda 2015 Project team conducted a policy mapping and review study to identify, analyze and recommend for consideration by the consultative forum the key policy issue in education and proposals presented by major education sector stakeholder organizations in the past 10 years in Ghana.

The review comprised of communications, resolutions, position papers, aide memoirs, and research reports of civil society groups, trade unions, education researchers and the Ministry of Education.

NATIONWIDE CONSULTATIONS

To ensure a nationwide consultative process on policy issues and proposals for the CSEM 2012, Ghana was zoned into three areas:

  1. Northern Zone: Northern, Upper East, and West Regions
  2. Middle Zone: Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Western and Volta Regions 
  3. Southern Zone: Greater Accra Region 

Consultative workshops were held in all 3 zones to discuss, prioritize and recommend education policy proposals and strategies that should feature in the Civil Society Education Manifesto 2012.

In each zone, unions, 20 parents, 10 teachers and students were directly involved in the consultations. In total, participating civil society organizations and networks represented a constituency of over 2 million members in Ghana.

VALIDATION

A validation workshop was held in Accra to finalize policy and strategy proposals in the draft manifesto. Based on consensus, civil society represented and endorsed the content of this manifesto as the embodiment of the convictions and aspirations of its deliberations on how Ghana's educational system should be directed in the next fours years.

LAUNCH AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE REPORT

The launch of the Civil Society Education Manifesto was held at the Ghana College of Physician and Surgeons on May 15th, 2012. There were a total of 88 participants in attendants, including 48 females and 40 males.

EDITORS FORUM

In order to work with the media in an innovative way, the Editors Forum was convened to generate awareness of, and interest in, the education issues addressed in the CSEM.

This was done in several ways.

  • Serializing key policy positions
  • Using CSEM as a basis for facilitating education discussions in the media
  • Developing policy briefs on policy positions in CSEM to provide the media with periodic education policy information 

These briefs stressed several key factors that made the policy all the more urgent, including basic, secondary and tertiary education, information and communications technology, and management and finance.

BASIC EDUCATION

Due to an inadequate school infrastructure, there are over 2,000 school under trees nationwide. However, improving the school infrastructure is difficult due to its high cost.

Only 60% of the children have access to Kindergarten education, and even when they do, the quality of teaching is low, as 74% of Kindergarten teachers are untrained.

Many teachers are untrained even in preschools, primary schools and junior high schools. The pass rate of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is only 60%. There is hardly any teacher supervision, and there is no transparency in the distribution of textbooks and school uniforms from the suppliers to the schools.

SECONDARY EDUCATION

47% of children drop out of school before attending Senior High School. The high cost of secondary education remains unaffordable to many Ghanaian families.

In addition, the Computerized School Selection Placement System has struggled to operate in a fair and effective way, increasing the disparity of children who have the opportunity to attain secondary education.

TERTIARY EDUCATION

 While some students are able to attend a tertiary education institution, they are faced with high levels of graduate unemployment when their degree is completed. 

Many of the courses offered by universities in Ghana are not marketable in the country's economy, which exacerbates the unemployment issue.

In addition, tertiary education is often provided by private institutions, which increases the cost drastically, and further diminishing the opportunities for children of poor or middle-class families to attend. Student loans are particularly difficult to obtain, and even when they are, the high unemployment rates for graduates makes them difficult to pay off, leading to persistent debt.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

There is a lack of qualified Information and Communications Technology instructors and learning centres in basic and secondary schools. This issue is particularly evident in rural schools, where there is a lack of affordable and sustainable power for computers. 

Furthermore, there is little or no support for disabled students in accessing Information and Communications Technology teaching.

MANAGEMENT AND FINANCE

While the Ghanaian government provides a Capitation Grant for the provisioning of quality supplies and education, the management and allocation of the grant has been fraught with lack of transparency, undue delays, and inequities.

CONCLUSION

Civil society involvement in education planning and budgeting at the local and national levels is particularly weak. The STAR Project implored the government to address all those key issues within their next governing period.

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ILO Action Programme

 
 
 

THE COCOA COMMUNITY PROJECT

The Cocoa Community Project (CCP) started in 10 communities in the Suhum Municipal and Ayensuano District with funding from the International Labour Organization (ILO), and ran from 2012 to 2014. 

The ultimate objective of this project was to contribute to the accelerated progress in the elimination of child labour, with a focus on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) in cocoa growing communities in Ghana.

CRI was the lead implementing agency.

5 IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVES

  1. Target communities will use their increased understanding of child labour to develop and implement action plans to eliminate child labour
  2. Boys and girls in 10 cocoa growing communities will have improved access to relevant quality education, including complementary or alternative opportunities for those out of school
  3. 250 households in 10 cocoa growing communities will have enhanced sustainable liverlihoods
  4. District capacity to deploy the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System to measure progress towards the elimination of child labour through and IAB approach will be improved
  5. Technical and Institutional capacity of all stakeholders in the district to contribute to the implementation of interventions to combat child labour in 10 cocoa growing communities will be enhanced

PROGRAMME STRATEGY: STEPS TOWARDS CHILD LABOUR-FREE COCOA PRODUCTION

STRENGTHENING PARTICIPATION AND NATIONAL/COMMUNAL OWNERSHIP

For the success of the Action Programme (AC) a focus on advocacy and implementation of children's rights child protection interventions was necessary. In addition, the AC included the development and implementation of community action plans to improve community engagement.

REDUCTION IN THE ENGAGEMENT OF CHILDREN IN THE WFCL THROUGH DIRECT WITHDRAWAL OF AFFECTED CHILDREN

The program identified and assessed targeted children, while working on the withdrawal and rehabilitation of those affected, and then supporting their reintegration into their community.

In addition, the program sought to enhance the rights of legally working children and improve rates of youth employment.

POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY AND ENHANCED LIVELIHOODS

The Action Programme provided support for families affected by the WFCL, and supported the development of cocoa and non-cocoa agriculture livelihoods, while simultaneously cultivating non-agriculture business opportunities. These included savings and micro-credit, promoting employment, and providing entrepreneurial training and job placement services.

SUPPORT FOR IMPROVED EDUCATION

The CCP supported to improvement of the quality of education, the removal of barriers to education, and the incorporation of child labour into extra-curricular activities.

SUPPORT FOR IMPROVED MONITORING OF CHILDREN IN THE WFCL/INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT AND PROMOTION OF SOCIAL DIALOGUE

The CCP set up and made operational the Child Labour Monitoring System, referred children for social services and enhance the capacity of local actors in the community.

RESULTS

This project increased understanding of child labour issues in the targeted communities, improved access to education in cocoa growing regions and enhanced sustainable livelihoods in 250 at-risk households. 

All stakeholders in the district saw an increased technical and institutional capacity, which contributed to the continued implementation of interventions to combat child labour in the targeted communities.

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Ghana Transition and Persistence Project

Photo by Rebecca Gerster

Photo by Rebecca Gerster

 

INTRODUCTION

CRI was enlisted to assist Plan Ghana with the Ghana Transition and Persistence (TAP) Project, a program that seeks to increase Junior High School (JHS) enrollment  and completion rates in 13 district in Ghana. To do this, Plan Ghana is increasing the number of available JHS spaces in 156 schools, reducing key barriers to JHS enrollment and retention through strengthening the quality and relevance of JHS education, addressing social and financial barriers, and increasing accountability and ownership of the schools in the communities.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Child Rights International's role is to facilitate Rights of the Child clubs with the assistance of one teacher per school. CRI thus has several responsibilities:

  1. Addressing social and cultural barriers to Junior High School enrollment and completion rates through ROC clubs.
  2. Training children to conduct community service projects to support children not accessing JHS.
  3. Mobilizing children to conduct research to assess the barriers impeding JHS education in their community in support of the SMC sub-committees on cultural barriers.
  4. Providing a broad range of capacity building exercises for the clubs and their patrons.
  5. ensuring that 156 teachers will receive training on ROC, community organization techniques, and peer-to-peer learning practices.
  6. Facilitating the process through which students will be encouraged and supported in the formation of thematic sub-clubs to discuss topics such as mentoring for girls and boys, and health and hygiene promotion.
  7. Providing technical support for the ROC patrons, in collaboration with TAP Community Facilitators, on guidance, counselling, and life-skills lessons to the members of the ROCs.
  8. Inviting role models who will speak with girls and boys about the possibilities available to educated men and women. In addition, the role models will address issues of reproductive health, transactional sex, early marriage, early pregnancy and gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, and hygiene practices.
  9. Providing technical support for patrons to provide information of ARH, HIV/AIDS and other STIs, good hygiene practices, and other health topics. At a minimum, patrons will attempt to have the girls discuss early marriage, transactional sex, GBV, early pregnancy, and any other health outcome that may be impacting attendance at school.

MONITORING

After establishing the student clubs, the second project of TAP was monitoring. The goal of this monitoring was to look into 20 of the communities that have ROC clubs and check-up on how they are progressing.

This monitoring was carried out in 20 Gomoa communities, and used the work plan as an indicator of the success of the training. In the majority of cases all clubs has prepared some type of plan and had elected an executive. The enthusiasm seemed high in all cases, with the exception of one club, whose patron had difficulty directing the conversation, and seemed confused on the concepts.

One effective method of discussing the issues was to translate them into the local dialect, enabling better comprehension. Understanding of the material is key to keeping children involved in the clubs, and those that had a better understanding had completed more activities than those who had difficulty understanding it.

The final observation made was that more children wanted to join the clubs as a result of club members educating their peers on issues discussed in meetings. This is a positive development for the ROC clubs and the TAP Ghana Project as a whole.

Generally, it was observed that most of the patrons have done their best to implement all they learned at the training program.

OUTPUTS 

COMPONENT 1: IMPROVED INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Total replacement of a school block: 7 schools
  • Major rehabilitation: 19 schools
  • Significant repairs: 13 schools
  • Minor repairs: 117 schools
  • TAP will cover 80% of the cost of electrification of classrooms; the District Assemblies fund 20%
  • Up to 39 girl-friendly toilet block, including two handicap-accessible bathrooms per school

COMPONENT 2: REDUCE BARRIERS TO JHS ENROLLMENT AND COMPLETION

TEACHER MOTIVATION

  • 195 teachers upgrade certification through distance learning
  • 176 ICT teachers receive ICT skills-development training
  • 312 teachers (English and math), 156 head master and 26 circuit supervisors trained in child friendly pedagogy 
  • 156 headmasters and 26 circuit supervisors receive management and leadership training
  • 78 teachers receive best male or best female teacher award

MOTIVATION OF CHILDREN

  • 2,600 bikes distributed
  • 1,872 girls participate in Girls' Camps
  • 10 schools linked to US schools through the School-to-School Program
  • 156 sets of supplementary readers distributed
  • 9,360 in-kind scholarships
  • 156 ROC clubs formed and meeting regularly
  • 30 Aflatoun groups formed
  • 78 Girls' football teams formed, sponsored
  • 78 Boys' football teams sponsored

COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP

  • 156 School Performance Improvement Plans developed or strengthened
  • 156 School Management Committees meeting regularly
  • 20 schools receive ICT centres as a School Excellence Award