AfriKids has been named a Top 10 finalist for the Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prizes 2022, a set of three awards each worth CHF 200,000 ($208,000) that honor outstanding achievement and practice in advancing quality education.
AfriKids promotes the rights of all children in Ghana, with a focus on their rights to be healthy, safe and learn – rights that many children do not enjoy. Over 600,000 of Ghana’s children are out of school, 94% of them experience violence, and child labor, child marriage, poor access to quality healthcare and high rates of mother and child mortality and morbidity are commonplace.
AfriKids empowers people in remote communities who are often disenfranchised from public services and the support of mainstream NGOs. The approach is based on listening to local people and empowering them to make sustainable changes themselves. AfriKids’ education program empowers families to lift themselves out of poverty while working with schools and education stakeholders to ensure all children have access to quality basic education, especially the most marginalized.
Since 2002, this model has helped improve 837 schools and support over 300,000 children to learn. AfriKids’ locally-led approach has achieved unprecedented results on some of the most complex issues children face – especially those that require a long-term commitment to attitude and behavior change across diverse stakeholders. For example, it has helped 58 communities eradicate a harmful traditional belief in “spirit children” and estimates this has saved the lives of 1,320 children, many of whom have disabilities, who would otherwise have been killed for being different. AfriKids’ current ‘1 Million Smiles’ strategy is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and supports Ghana’s commitment to ensuring the rights of every child. AfriKids is expanding its projects into more “demonstration districts” of northern Ghana, generating evidence for national and international advocacy to influence policy and wider change.
The three recipients of this year’s Best Practice Prizes will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on 30 September 2022. For the first time, the 10 finalists will convene for a co-creation event, taking place on 1 October 2022. They will exchange knowledge and ideas on advancing learning, and will have the opportunity to partner with other shortlisted applicants to develop proposals for new projects. Two concepts will receive follow-on funding of up to CHF 150,000 ($156,000) each.