They need your help

General information on Ghana

In autumn 2007, 37 years after SOS Children’s Villages Ghana was founded, heavy rainfalls caused terrible flooding in the north of the country. Once more, SOS Children’s Villages was there to help. An emergency relief programme was initiated in order to protect vulnerable children and their families.

Children’s lives are affected by HIV, poverty and lack in schooling.

Ghana is, demographically speaking, a very young nation. Nearly 40 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 14. However, the hardships that many young Ghanaians face are overwhelming. 27,000 Ghanaian children of this youngest population segment are living with HIV. Around 160,000 Ghanaian children have been orphaned due to AIDS and are now facing a life without their biological parents.

At present, an estimated 1.1 million children in Ghana have lost either one of or both their parents. In Accra, thousands of young children and adolescents sleep on pieces of cardboard in doorways, parking lots and bus stations. They beg for money, sell merchandise or engage in petty theft in order to survive. Approximately one third of them are only 10 to 14 years old.

The vast majority of these children do not go to school. Thus, it is not surprising that 7 in 10 Ghanaian street children are illiterate. Some of these children have run away from their family, trying to escape domestic violence and abusive environments. Without a family to take care of them, there is a high risk that they end up in a vicious circle of poverty, drugs and homelessness.

Although Ghana has seen more economic growth than most other countries in the region, thousands of its youngest citizens have not been able to fully benefit from the progress their country has made.

The primary school enrolment rate for Ghana is roughly 80 per cent, which means that around 20 per cent of Ghana’s children are deprived of a basic level of education . 34 per cent of Ghanaian children engage in child labour activities, many of them do so during the hours they should spend at school.

Ghana is also marked by a relatively high infant mortality rate of roughly 49 deaths per 1,000 live births. Nearly half the births in this country are not attended by skilled medical staff

4 a better world is raising funds for Food Clothing Shoes and Books for these children. They need our help.

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