A child who does not perform well in school or behaves deviantly is accused of laziness or witchcraft in Ghana, since there is little information about learning disabilities. Special Attention Project (SAP) Ghana supports these children and wants to improve their lives by standing up for their rights to a good education, by providing information, conducting research and offering teachers additional training for specific learning difficulties.
Children who have dropped out of school because they did not receive enough help with their learning difficulties can go to an education center of SAP in Accra. Street children, SAP’s first target group, also receive support with learning difficulties and practical help. From the schooling project for street children with learning disabilities, SAP has been developing materials and learning programs since 2008 and also provides information about learning disabilities to parents, schools and other parties involved, such as the government. It officially introduced inclusive education in May 2016. The basis of SAP, the children’s program, is a research and development project that is increasingly influential and contributes to a growing awareness in Ghanaian society.
Help Ghana donated €860.00 to SAP for information materials. The largest part was used to print new information booklets about learning problems and two information leaflets, one for general use such as fundraising and policy advocacy, and one for parents of children who no longer attend school but who do come to the SAP education centre. The aim is to have those children go back to school and also to prevent school drop-out of children with learning difficulties who still go to school. Parents need to be well informed about their children’s learning difficulties in order to better understand them and accept them back home with the ultimate goal of returning them to school.
The donation was also used to purchase plastic bracelets for promotion and fundraising. And especially for an information day for parents of children with learning disabilities. In the program ‘Sharing Stories’, parents were introduced by a traditional storyteller who emphasized the strengths of children who are ‘different’ in her stories. Afterwards, the participants could talk to other parents in order to learn from each other. After the in-depth conversations, several of them came to the conclusion that they had to guide their children differently. The children received a separate program with group discussion about school experiences. All participants received an information pack about learning difficulties.
SAP is very grateful for the support and involvement of Help Ghana and says on behalf of the children: “Thank you very much!”. We are of course happy to pass this on to our donors.