Newsletter 02 SCP

Warm greetings from Street Children Project as 2019 is gradually coming to an end and we are entering the festive season. This is always a good time to take the opportunity to pause and reflect on important things around us. It is a time we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead of us. Looking back, I can say 2019 was a year full of achievements for Street Children Project. You can read about some of this achievements in our newsletter.
Looking forward I can also say that 2020 will be another year full with events such as the International Day for Street Children, the 15- years anniversary of the project and many more is yet to come. Al of this would not have been possible without you! We wish to thank every collaborator, partner, volunteer, and individual who has contributed to the immense success of all what we have achieved in 2019. It is with your kind gestures and warm heart we are able to reach out to all these children and beyond.

All staff at Street Children Project are wishing you a Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. May your hearts be filled with warmth, peace and happiness. We look forward to collaborate with you in 2020 again! ~ Edna Brouns, M&E Officer 

DOWNLOAD THE PDF VERSION HERE 

Human Trafficking: The modern slavery of today

"If I do not sell at least 6 bags of water and bring back the money to my aunty she will beat me up". This was narrated by a 9-year-old girl who has been enslaved for 4 years and living and working on the street in Kumasi. According to her, her family gave her out to her aunty, who promised to send her to school. Instead of going to school she was sold to another lady who is working in Kumasi. Since then the girl has been working for this lady whom she calls aunty and has never gone to school.
This is just one of the many examples of Human Trafficking we come across on daily basis at Street Children Project. Human Trafficking involves recruitment, harbouring or transportation of humans into a situation of exploitation through the use of deception, violence or coercion. Once they arrive at their destination, they are stripped of their autonomy, freedom of movement and choice and are forced to work in precarious conditions. Victims often face various forms of physical and mental abuse. It is a process of enslaving people into a situation with no way out. People are being trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as forced labour, forced begging, criminality, prostitution, organ removal and forced marriage. Human Trafficking doesn't necessarily mean that you transport someone across the border it happens domestically as well. A person who has been trafficked may: have no access to their earnings, be unable to negotiate working conditions, have a false identity or travel documents, have limited contact with their families or with people outside of their immediate environment, show signs that their movement is controlled etc. Victims from Human Trafficking have suffered trauma and require psychological rehabilitation.

Human Trafficking affects every country in the world, but it's not talked about enough. Street Children Project as an advocate for vulnerable and enslaved children sees the need to talk about it more and act accordingly. Sr. Olivia, Project Director and Ghana coordinator of Talitha Kum therefor went in the course of the year to Italy, Rome, to share information and define priorities to support anti- trafficking efforts for the coming period in collaboration with other bodies who are also fighting against trafficking.

Talitha Kum is an International Network of consecrated Life against Human Trafficking. As network they facilitate collaboration between organisations and countries and interchange of information between consecrated persons in more than 90 countries around the globe. Both programs Sr. Olivia attended were very successful. You can find more information about Talitha Kum on www.talithakum.info 

DID YOU KNOW? Facts about Human Trafficking

§ 75% of identified victims of trafficking are woman and children

§ 81% of them are trapped in forced labour

§ 43% of the victims are trafficked domestically (within national borders)

§ Many people who fall victim of trafficking want to escape poverty, improve their lives and support their families.

§ 63% of identified traffickers are men and 37% woman

§ You can actually do something to STOP Human Trafficking

                     SPOT IT! STOP IT! REPORT IT!

Mitigating the risk of Human Trafficking
A two day workshop for woman and children in street situation by SCP

An important aspect of the mission of Street Children Project is to prevent children living on the street and fall victim of exploitative relationships. In order to achieve this SCP embarks on activities such as street corner education, value- talk, counselling, support in vocational skill training and education and advocacy and awareness creation.
An activity we embarked on under Advocacy and awareness creation is a two- day workshop on Human Trafficking on 24 and 25 October with the theme Mitigating the risk of Human Trafficking for woman and children in street situation. This programme was meant for the mother and young boys and girls living and working on the street of Kumasi. The workshops were organised with the aim to create awareness and educate the children and mothers on the terrifying reality of trafficking.
The program was facilitated by two skilled staff of SCP in the persons of Ibrahim (field- officer) and Akwasi (Administrative assistant). An introduction was given to the participants with the use of video- presentations. After the presentations a reflection session was held for the participants to process what they had seen. The program continued with focus- group discussions. During this activity the participants were asked to form groups and discuss on how trafficking can be stopped or prevented and present this to the other participants. The mothers and children as well were able to give out tangible reasons on how to stop and prevent this criminal acts. Recommendations were the following:

*Prevention of children coming to the street
* Send children to school to avoid streetism , thus trafficking
*Don't give your child out to someone else
* Help us to go home and start a business
* People suspects who buy/sell children should be reported and prosecuted
*Stop abuse and maltreatment in the families

Participants also pledged to advocate for an end to forced marriage, and make and to stop reproduction if you can't take care of the children. Representatives from the Anti- Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Department of Social Welfare and Department Gender also shared their concerns on Human Trafficking and gave brief presentations on how to stop human trafficking in Ghana. Both programmes came to an end with the closing remarks, and a closing prayer. Group pictures were made and some of the participants were invited by the media to share their story on Television. You can find the program online on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqVeKgACzXs   

Higlights of the last period 

§ The Management team has developed a ten (10) years sustainability plan for the project

§ A workshop on Social Pedagogy was held for children at the Drop- In Centre facilitated by two professors from Germany.

§ The Project welcomed two (2) volunteers in the persons of Carla and Rahel from Germany who will be working at SCP for one year.

§ Collaboration with the Ghana Health Service has commenced. Nurses will come every second Thursday of the month for weighing and immunization of the children of mothers on the street and educate them on how to take best care of their children.

§ 2 staff of the project represented SCP at a training on After Care and Online Safety organised by Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) in collaboration Abuse Relief Corps (ARC)

§ Donations have been made to the project by different individuals

§ Day Care Staff attended a one-week training on the new curriculum

§ Representatives from Friends of Africa, Ireland and Yakoro Youth Development Centre, Tamale visited the project.


§ Sr. Olivia, Ibrahim and Akwasi facilitated a workshop on Human Trafficking for Positive Action for Porter Girls in Accra.

§ Successful implementation of the Procurement Policy 

§ The Management team followed a training on Project Management facilitated by Step Up Business school Accra

§ 2 new staff have been recruited to enforce the staff strength

§ A good number of students are benefiting from the educational sponsorship

§ The first Open Day was held at the Day Care Centre, Abinkyi. Children were all dressed up in their native clothes. The program was well attended by parents and other visitors

§ A new specialized industrial machine has been purchased for the VTC to boost the products making

§ More than 15 children and youth visited in their various training centres during the follow- up visit to the North in July

§ 4 former beneficiaries joined the project as Change Agents in the project, educating their peers on benefits of education. 

Safeguarding of children

Succesful review of the Child Protection Policy

All organisations that work with or come into contact with children should have safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that every child regardless of their age, gender, religion, ability/disability has a right to equal protection from any type of harm. Setting up and following safeguarding policies and procedures means that children are safe from adults and other children who might pose a risk.

What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm. Safeguarding means:

  • Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • Preventing harm to children's development or health
  • Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes
  • Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care.

Child Protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

Street Children Project as an organisation is fully committed to the safe guarding of children; ensuring the well-being of the child is paramount. For children to feel that they are able to do their best and achieve their true potential, it is important that they feel safe and supported in our environment. Everyone working within our organisation, whatever their role, is acutely aware that issues to do with the protection of children are the highest of possible. The parents of our children entrust the care of their children to us and together we are responsible for their well- being.

In relation to safeguarding, Street Children Project aims to 'prevent', 'protect', and 'support' all children by addressing child protection in the policies, activities and the management of the organisation, and also by empowering and enabling staff to be vigilant for vulnerable children through regular, ongoing training and dissemination of information every year.

In June 2019 a workshop was held to review the Child Protection Policy. All staff made their contributions and all the inputs were later compiled to a handout document. It is our tool that protects both children and staff by clearly defining what action is required in order to keep children safe and ensuring consistency of behaviour so that all staff follow the same process. Our Child Protection will be made available on the website and other necessary platforms.  

In the Spotlight

Every newsletter we would like to introduce you to the people behind the success and achievements of Street Children Project. It is with their efforts, commitment, love and care for the children that the project is able to reach out to all these vulnerable children towards a better life. We kick- off 'In the Spotlight' with the one and only 

Sr. Olivia Umoh DC, Project Director 

Mentor, Social Worker, Mother, Sister, Project Director, Encourager, Leader, and many more. That is Sr. Olivia for many people. Sr. Olivia has been the Project Director for a good number of years now and has put her heart and soul into developing the organisation into a professional and well- established and known institution in Ghana and internationally. Combining the management of the organisation with a Masters studies, meeting with visitors, staff or other institutions, attending and facilitating workshops on burning issues like abuse, human trafficking, child marriage etc. Sr Olivia is always busy and on the move. Nevertheless, she always finds time to attend to children around her with a caring, patient and loving heart. 

Products for sale 

Are you looking for a nice gift for a family member, friend, collegue or just for yourself? Don't look further! Get a handmade product from the VTC and support these girls towards economic indepence. We will open a webshop soon on our website. We take orders. For enquiries or if you want to place an order send an email to ednabrouns@hotmail.com

Upcoming events 

SCP plans to undertake the following activities:

  • End of year outing with children from the Day Care Centre
  • Christmas break for girls in the VTC
  • End of year staff meeting and staff outing
  • Resumption with workshop for staff in January 2020
  • Launch of 15 years' anniversary activities
  • Business Summit organized by Step Up Business School Accra
  • Open our doors again for many children who need our help

Season greetings