AfriKids & AfriKids Ghana
AfriKids & AfriKids Ghana – AfriKids, a charity headquartered in London, and AfriKids Ghana, an NGO headquarted in Bolgatanga, Ghana, support poor communities in northern Ghana to give their children the brighter future they want for them. They promote the rights of all children, 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 UK and Ghana are independent organisations that “work as one”, enjoying a strong and cordial working relationship underpinned by robust policies and procedures, with a formal MOU in place, plus documented protocols on official matters including financial and risk management. Decisions are made within a governance and leadership framework.
AfriKids was founded to empower people in remote communities who are often disenfranchised from public services and the support of mainstream NGOs. The approach is based on the simple idea: listen to local people and empower them to make sustainable changes themselves. This continues to be their mantra; with all projects designed and delivered by local Ghanaians, working respectfully and collaboratively with their own communities.
AfriKids’ Theory of Change (ToC) recognises 3 interconnected drivers threatening child rights: means, motive and opportunity. It works with a coalition of local stakeholders to address these barriers and unlock opportunities for change. In its education programme, this means:
- empowering families to lift themselves out of poverty, ensuring they have the means to keep their children in school;
- educating and empowering communities to value and uphold the right of every child to quality education;
- working with schools and education duty bearers to improve the quality of education they provide and strengthen school management and governance structures for continuous accountability and improvement
Since 2002, this model has achieved transformational change, including improving 837 schools and supporting 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 attitudinal and behavioural change across a diverse range of stakeholders. For example, they have helped 58 communities eradicate harmful traditional belief in “spirit children” and estimate this has saved the lives of 1,320 children, many of whom are handicapped, who would otherwise have been killed for being different.
Their current strategy, ‘1 Million Smiles’, is aligned to the SDGs and supporting Ghana to realise its 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.