Accra is a modern city but poverty and other issues are still prevailing. If you are looking for a legit NGO in Ghana you can make a donation to or even dedicate part of your time/expertise to, this article is for you. We are not giving you a list of NGOs but rather dedicate this article to one NGO in particular with whom GreenViews also collaborates: Chance for Children.
What is Chance for Children?
Founded in 1999, Chance for Children (CFC) is a Ghana based NGO that aims to give street-connected children and their families a chance for a better future.
CFC uses an integrated approach model in their work with children. The model is based on the psychological stages of child development and fits the needs of each individual child. With such an approach they manage to focus on health, emotional and social development, formal education, vocational training and skill- building to improve livelihoods, and family reintegration, when appropriate.
Currently they support over 2000 children each year through their 4 different locations in Ghana: Accra, Hebron, Tamale and Kumasi, and of course with the support of their team – 66 passionate individuals who are social workers, street workers, care givers, teachers and psychologists.
Through street work, their drop-in centre, family support, residential homes, youth programs and vocational training, CFC is making a great impact that you could also be part of.
The story of CFC
The story of CFC wouldn’t be complete without introducing Daniela, the founder and executive director of this NGO. Daniela worked as a primary teacher in Switzerland and from a very young age, loved working with challenged children. This, alongside her curiosity for Africa, is what brought her to Ghana in 1997 for an internship teaching at the Nima German International School.
She returned to Switzerland, but her experiences in Ghana brought her back and together with Co-founder Amon Kotey they established Chance for Children in October 1999.
The story continues onto 2001, which is when the first major achievement came with the construction of the first boys’s home in Hebron, a small village on the outskirts of Accra. In 2008, a drop-in centre in Jamestown was created and in 2011 a girls’ home was also opened in Hebron. 2020 saw another big step which was the opening of two new branches in Kumasi and Tamale.
Current situation of street-connected children in Accra
The situation of street-connected children in Ghana is not improving, but rather growing in different cities. This is due to poverty, broken families, the search for money and the quest for freedom. As published by the Department of Social Welfare, there has been a major difference in the population of street-connected children between 2011 and 2014 in Greater Accra.
2011 saw more than 60,000 street-connected children with an estimated growing number of over 90,000 children in 2014. The number keeps growing. The closure of schools in the year 2020 has contributed as well. This is why the work of NGOs like CFC is so necessary and crucial for Ghana.
As mentioned previously, Chance For Children uses an integrated approach model in their work. Let’s have a brief look at each one.
From Monday to Friday, street workers go out on the streets of Agbogbloshie, Kokomba, Railways and Abossey Okai in Accra as well as in Kumasi and Tamale, with the aim of empowering street-connected children.
The first step is trust building which is done through interaction. When necessary, they also visit the child’s family in order to intensify the relationship and better understand their situation. After the assessment period is over, the children are either re-integrated into their families, referred to their Drop-in centre or recommended to other NGOs.
As of their results in 2021, they contacted 1088 children, referred 147 new children to their Drop-in centre, educated 139 children on topics related to health & education and had 80 adults attend diverse workshops.
Each day they receive up to 40 referred kids in their drop-in centre. From morning to evening, kids are given a hot meal, they take part in various educational classes and workshops, they can wash their clothes, take a shower or just rest and play.
Social workers are present throughout the day looking after the children. All the children are monitored and if one of the kids doesn’t come around for a couple of days, they will go and visit their family to find out what is going on.
In coordination with the Department of Social Welfare, CFC works together for the best solution for each particular child – reintegrating the child into their family, taking them to one of their homes or referring them to another NGO.
As of 2021, 697 children benefited from their drop-in centres, 25 children moved to their homes in Hebron and 9 children reunited with their families.
Homes in Hebron
These homes are provided for kids who are not able to reintegrate into their families and CFC assesses that they are still in need of support/empowerment. These homes provide the possibility for children and youth to grow up in a family-based setting, receive an education in a school nearby and develop to their full potential.
The main objective is to prepare them to go back to their family or to live independently and be able to build a future. As of 2021, 74 children resided in their homes throughout the year, 63 children completed the school year, 3 Young adults attended an apprenticeship and participated in the TVET Program and 6 Children were reunited with their families.
Vocational Training (TVET program)
The main aim of the Technical Vocational Education and Training Program is for young adults to learn a profession so they can build a better future for themselves and improve their quality of lives.
Alongside other multinational companies based in Accra who are part of the recently launched Business Club in the premises of Green Views, the program offers a dual track of 80% work-based learning in the companies, and 20% tailored support and knowledge transfer by CFC.
With the dual track approach, not only will they be trained in the company directly to gain the necessary skills, but they will also be introduced to a set of work values, which would keep them motivated and add that extra layer of skills and knowledge that will shape them into great professionals. Green Views also offers 2 apprentices a chance in learning a great profession.
How can you collaborate with CFC
Now that we have introduced Chance for Children, their story, and all their programs, you may ask yourself, ok so how can I collaborate?
Donations are always welcome – anything from clothes, furniture, stationeries, etc If you are part of a company, or know of a company that you believe would love to collaborate with CFC in offering apprenticeships to its youth, they would love that!
Or if on the other hand, you as an individual have a specific expertise you think could help CFC in its development, and would like to dedicate some of your time to a beautiful cause, they are also very keen on this! Additionally, CFC produces their own handmade products – beads, adinkra cards, batik fabrics, and a few other items.
You are welcome to visit their drop-in centre to purchase any of these products or their online store or also visit the Green Butterfly market, one of the most popular markets in Accra, as they do sometimes showcase their products there as well.
Why should you collaborate with CFC?
Now you may ask yourself, so how do I know this NGO is reliable or why should I collaborate with them and not any other? Here are a few reasons:
- An NGO that exists over 23 years
- It is a growing organization, they are planning to open two new branches by 2023
- They have a foundation in Switzerland which governs the NGO here in Ghana
- Both the founder and co-founder are based and live in Accra
Need any more reasons? You can always visit the Chance for Children website which is full of detailed information about all their programs and more.