Founded in 2002, AfriKids has been changing the lives of children and families in Northern Ghana, where four in five people live in poverty and one in sixteen children die before their fifth birthday.
AfriKids is a small charity on a mission to change the face of aid in Africa. Founded in 2002, the organisation has been changing the lives of children and families in Northern Ghana, where four in five people live in poverty and one in sixteen children die before their fifth birthday.
All of this work is led by local people and can be sustained without the need for ongoing charitable support. AfriKids' work includes projects in education, healthcare, child protection, livelihoods, rights and advocacy and social enterprise. AfriKids support around 200,000 vulnerable children and their families every year.
Projects like the School of Night Rabbits, which provides night school to street children, and programmes like it are finding ways to address some of the most complex issues in poverty to protect and promote the rights of all children.
What makes AfriKids different is their commitment to local sustainability. They are working to make their UK office redundant by building the capacity of their local organisation, AfriKids Ghana, to manage 100% of their operations independently.
Support from players is enabling AfriKids to build on their decade of experience educating rural communities to change harmful attitudes and practices, this time to end child marriage. The charity's extensive work in education, healthcare and resettling street and working children has revealed that violations of girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights is impacting their health, ability to access education and to have an adequate say in the major decisions affecting their lives.
50% of women aged 20-24 in Ghana's Upper East Region report having been married before they were 18 years old. In a region where nearly 80% of women had never been to school, the rights of girls continue to be neglected and even unknown by many. This has resulted in high levels of child and maternal mortality as well as a lack of education and opportunity for many girls to become economically productive adults and help their communities break the cycle of poverty.
AfriKids' work to tackle this, with your support, will include:
- Educational talks in communities with health professionals and community members affected by issues including maternal health, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and unplanned or challenging parenting. This will help to address the traditional practices which see girls treated as property, and encourage people to see them as individuals with their own rights and the ability to make their own decisions and contributions to society.
- Sex education resources will be produced for schools and AfriKids' Child Rights Clubs, supporting teachers to educate young people about their health and rights and to encourage children to exercise their voice and choice over these issues.
- Youth clubs in partnership with Ghana Health Service will be resourced and promoted as safe places for young people to access advice on their sexual and reproductive health and rights safely and without stigma.
- Young women deemed to be 'at risk' of dropping out of education and/or being forced into early marriage will be supported though microfinance loans or vocational training to create an independent source of income for themselves which can be used either to support their continuing education or create economic independence.
Amy Parker, Chief Executive of AfriKids said, “AfriKids is empowering the next generation in Northern Ghana to lead their communities out of poverty and into a brighter future for everyone. By securing the rights of children today, giving them a voice and supporting them to secure their own livelihoods when they grow up, we are breaking the cycle of poverty for tomorrow, and ending perpetual dependence on aid.
"Support from players of People's Postcode Lottery will transform the lives of some of the poorest children and families in the world, providing education, healthcare and ending child marriage for a better society for all.”