On Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th February 2013, to celebrate 25 years of Red Nose Day three bloggers are heading to Accra, Ghana with Comic Relief to visit projects and see where money raised by Red Nose Day has changed lives – the good work done.
The bloggers are Tanya from Mummy Barrow, Penny from The Alexander Residence and Annie from Mammasaurus and here’s where they will visit – you can follow their journey and experiences via their blogs.
Project no. 1: Virtuous Women and Children International
Unemployed women in struggling community band together to launch profitable bakery enterprise.
The Virtuous Women’s Bakery, part of AWDF, is an organization dedicated to empowering women through the economic independence within their community.
The Women’s Bakery- based in the Mamprobi region has been running for 7 years, operating six days a week.
The traditional fishing community is particularly deprived and many families find it difficult to make a living. Unemployed women in the local community were struggling to find a sustainable income to that would both support their families and suit their lifestyle.
Skilled in traditional baking, a group of those women banded together to form The Bakery. Making traditional breads, cakes and pies, the women grew to establish their own industry providing bread to local retailers as well as hawking their wares on the local streets. These entrepreneurial bakers now train other women in the community who are interested in learning baking skills.
As well as creating this business, profits also feed into running a nursery for their children. Local to The Bakery, it’s an educative place where the women can leave their children with peace of mind whilst they go to work.
Project no. 2: African Outreach:
Project bringing training and skills into hard to reach members of deprived slum community
The population of the heavily populated Agbobloshie faces many complicated issues around sanitation, poor housing and overcrowding.
With the local SISS project [part of African Outreach], the community is being given practical skills that will help them find ways to improve their lives and prospects.
In various centres around the slum, African Outreach provides vocational skills training including IT training, craft-making, cooking, literacy, business planning and advice towards employment opportunity and education. As part of their work, they train local people as community representatives who go on to help others in local organization’s schools and centres.
They focus particularly on hard-to-reach groups who traditionally are un/underemployed and trapped in a cycle of poverty, like women who are working as porters and young people living on the streets. They also run targeted work with sex workers who face exploitation and stigma, by helping them gain more skills and exploitation to finding jobs in the workplace.
African Outreach are helping a local school deliver education and schools equipment [books] in the slum. The school was originally just a wooden shack, pioneered by a local woman. With help from African Outreach the school has been transformed into a fully-equipped building that formally teaches children from the local area. African Outreach volunteers help deliver some sessions.
Throughout, African Outreach are running public workshops and radio programmes providing information on a range of issues including property rights, domestic violence, and sanitation issues. They also work to mobilize the community to better represent themselves in issues around civil rights and infrastructural improvements.
Project no. 3: Vaccination Clinic
Details to be confirmed
Project no. 4: Basic Needs UK Trust
In Ghana mental illness is often very misunderstood. People with mental health problems are amongst the most marginalised in society – triply disadvantaged by illness, poverty, and stigma.
Basic Needs UK Trust is an organisation that works in Ghana’s capital Accra to make sure that people living with a mental illness have access to the drugs, facilities and support required to improve their quality of life.
The project has already supported 19,000 people in the country, helping those affected and their carers to obtain the medication, employment opportunities and peer support they need, particularly at a local level.
In addition, the organisation tackles the issue of stigma and discrimination by running campaigns to raise awareness and educate communities on the issue of mental health.
This includes the formation of a National Association to represent the interests of people experiences mental ill health. Now thanks to the project, they finally have the opportunity to get their voices heard at a local, district, and national level, enabling them to combat stigma and demand the support services they need to improve their lives.