Newsletter 03 SCP Special Edition

Emergency Relief ProgrammeEnsuring no child is forgotten during COVID-19 

This edition of our Newsletter is a special one as it covers a rare period in history, when the world battles with a pandemic and life is lived under abnormal atmosphere and work undertaken in unusual manner. We hear such words as working from home, social distancing, masking up before leaving the house, stay home, wash hands regularly. Amid fuss of the pandemic, Street Children Project is committed to the protection of children/persons in street and other vulnerable conditions as a priority...

Ensuring no child is forgotten during Covid-19

This edition of our Newsletter is a special one as it covers a rare period in history, when the world battles with a pandemic and life is lived under abnormal atmosphere and work undertaken in unusual manner. We hear such words as working from home, social distancing, masking up before leaving the house, stay home, wash hands regularly. Amid fuss of the pandemic, Street Children Project is committed to the protection of children/persons in street and other vulnerable conditions as a priority. Where we can safely and responsibly work within national government guidelines around social distancing, movement and isolation we are continuing to deliver essential care and support to the extremely vulnerable in the society. Our staff safety is also top on our priority scale and so, we operate within the prescribed precautionary measures under well-defined work protocol.

As indication of our commitment to our target group and partners, Street Children Project has developed a plan of support to strengthen resilience during the Coronavirus, Covid-19 crisis. We recognise the uncertainty that this crisis presents to our target group and are resolute to support them to better adapt to the impacts and mitigate the risks. Thus SCP has developed the following interventions: 

Emergency Relief Fund

We duly recognise that in times of crisis, organisations need financial support to respond tangibly to practical needs of target group, including but not limited to, access to food, personal protective equipment, remote learning and transportation. For example, we procured materials to produce safety equipment such as protective cloth masks. This Emergency Fund has also been set up to support activities which safeguard the children, parents and communities we serve.

We are incredibly grateful to our old and new donors for their incredible support and flexibility, allowing us to respond to the greatest needs, as soon as they are identified. 

Advocacy

Currently, millions of people globally are living in highly vulnerable situations, lacking access to life-saving services. Extended lockdowns have had significant impact economically and socially, further limiting access to health care, food and education. Within a context of conflicting priorities many children find themselves lacking safe space to live and access to basic necessities. The situation is further exacerbated for girls and children with disabilities. Advocacy can be a powerful tool to influence key decision-makers to strengthen access to services for the most vulnerable. We believe it is our duty to advocate for those with no voice and to ensure that no child is forgotten or left behind.

Organisational Development

The crisis has left our organisation as many others with significant gaps in our operations, caused by the ever- evolving nature of the crisis and restrictions taken by international and national authorities. Led by this impacts, we have identified key priorities and developed a phase based intervention crisis response plan so our beneficiaries and SCP as an organisation are better able to adapt and respond to the covid and hopefully, a post- covid context. We are currently exploring how to respond to the multifaceted needs of our target group in this confusing context. Although, we have been focusing on provision of relief materials, Street Children Project will utilise its internal expertise as well as calling on networks to provide bespoke strengthening. 

We know that this is an unprecedented situation and the impact will be far- reaching, not just on our work but on many who share our passion and commitment to ensuring that no child is forgotten. During the COVID- 19 outbreak, the most vulnerable in all societies across the world will be hit the hardest. We need support now more than ever before to ensure our future support to those children already left behind. We want to take this opportunity to thank our partners and supporters for the ongoing friendship and generosity. during this time, we truly appreciate it. 

EMERGENCY RELIEF PROGRAMME

How we are supporting vulnerable children, families and other persons during COVID-19

As COVID- 19 continues to spread globally across the countries, extended lockdowns and other government measures have severely disrupted the vital work we do with the most vulnerable children and their communities. Without access to services that meet their needs, marginalised groups in society are suffering disproportionately. Many children find themselves lacking safe space to live and access to basic needs. For girls and people with disabilities, the situation is even further exacerbated. A few weeks after the first cases were recorded in Ghana, the Government adopted preventive measures to curb the spread of the virus, which include the implementation of lockdowns in cities classified as 'hotspots', all schools being closed from mid-March, no public gatherings and other directions of the WHO. Recently some restrictions have been eased. People are able to leave their homes and the lockdown is not as strict as in other countries.
Through our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund we've been working with our team and partners to help provide vulnerable children, families and others with needed support. Starting from the 2nd of April we've been able to support thousands of street connected children, mothers, families, mentally ill persons affected by the lockdown and virus in different locations of Kumasi. We have been providing PPE (including soap, sanitisers, toilet rolls and facemasks) and cooked food and dry food packages. We're working hard to ensure that no child is forgotten. We have also increased our efforts to ensure that outreach teams are still on the streets daily to educate our target group on the pandemic and how they can protect themselves. We also continue our vital work to reunite children in street situation with their families.  Read on to find out more about our response in Kumasi and beyond. 

CATERING FOR THE COMMUNITY
How we are responding to the coronavirus outbreak

As earlier mentioned the situation in Ghana is particularly challenging and changing daily. Our dedicated response team is doing whatever they can to keep supporting the children and families. We have identified the greatest needs of vulnerable children and families as food, medical support, emergency shelter and PPEs. Schools have also closed, meaning many children are no longer getting the one meal a day they could rely on from the school feeding programme.
On the 2nd of April 2020, Street Children Project set itself the ambitious goal of reaching out to more than 400 street connected children and others by providing meals. These persons have been hit hard by the lockdown, lost their source of income and have no access to food, information on how to keep themselves safe, etc.
In the beginning phase of the catering for the community project, the meals were prepared on daily basis and distributed to the children and people in the various communities. At the moment we have been able to reach out to more than 5000 street connected children, families and others.

Former street girls trained into the skilled vocation of Catering
Aside catering for the community, this project also aims to train 5 street connected girls who expressed the need to become a caterers. The training intends to provide skills and knowledge in the Hospitality industry focusing on catering. They will learn about Food service, Menu planning, Use of kitchen equipment. These girls will further acquire basic entrepreneurial /managerial skills.

They had already started with the Introduction program and since the outbreak of the Covid-19 they transited to the 3 months practical training to obtain work experience under supervision. They have been challenged to cater 150 -200 meals for 5 days a week. After these three months of practical training they will continue with learning the others skills as earlier mentioned. Day in day out they have been preparing nutritious meals to serve to the children and people in need. We believe that they will obtain three months of intensive work experience, which will serve as a solid basis to start their own business in the future. 

Succes story 

Meet the mask heroes of the lockdown!
The fresh guidelines issued by the Government of Ghana, makes wearing of masks mandatory for anyone stepping out of home. Shortly after the first cases were recorded the surgical masks were running out of stores. The Vocational Training Centre started producing their own handmade re-usable masks made from assorted quality Ghanaian fabrics. The masks have been distributed for free to the children in situation, whiles also sold to individuals and other organizations. Currently the dressmaking trainees have sewn over 5000 masks. Now they are also getting orders from outside Ghana. The first order of 150 masks has been send to Canada.

The sell of the nose masks has led into a big success as well. They have been able to procure a handpump at the VTC. These girls originally vulnerable from the streets now contribute to addressing to most critical issue facing the entire globe. The power is indeed in them. 

Contact us to order your own face mask now! STAY SAFE 

Media Advocacy 

Street Children Project has been in the news lately, advocating for the thousands children living and working on the streets with no access to food, shelter, sanitizers etc. during the outbreak of Covid-19. This pandemic has shown us no more than ever that we need structural changes and that the rights of these need to be uphold.

  • Interview with Sr. Olivia Umoh on the Emergency Relief 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVlj9dTDn9g&t=320s  
  • Letter to the President of Ghana
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxXe2FJm-Mg&t=22s
  • Easter message from Most Rev. Gabriel J Anokye
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5IjPAa0sxA
  • Donation to Children and vulnerable people in the society
    https://youtu.be/yTuDQOxvHG8

Highlights from the last period

§ Supported a number of beneficiaries with educational support and skill training in Kumasi and their various communities

§ A workshop on Social Pedagogy was held for children at the Drop- In Centre

§ Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University had internship with SCP

§ Collaboration with the Ghana Health Service continued. Nurses came every second Thursday of the month for weighing and immunization of the children of mothers on the street

§ Girls resumed at the VTC their various trainings in hairdressing, dressmaking and catering

§ Family investigation and integration of beneficiaries staying at the Vocational Training Centre

§ Day Care Staff participated in workshops on various topics

§ Staff of Street Children Project facilitated a two- day workshop for street connected children and mothers on Human Trafficking and Human Rights. 200 participants attended the workshops.

§ AFDOM Tamale carried out a successful follow-up in the North

§ We resumed in January with a one-day retreat for staff, workshop on Teambuilding and the evaluation of 2019

§ Staff appraisals being carried out by Unit heads and supervisors

§ Graduates from the VTC have been successfully set up by the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Logistic Manager and a volunteer. The girls received sewing machines, materials and certificates.

§ Management working on the staff manual

§ Visit from the Bishop of Osnabruck/ FDA