Monday, January 7, 2013

Country Feature: Ghana

Today is a big day. It's my half-birthday and the first day of spring semester. I'm going to make a strong effort to blog a lot this semester! Today I want to talk about Ghana.

First of all, where is it? Ghana is a small country located in the western part of Africa.
In the Compassion program, Ghana is an AIDS-infected region. According to Compassion, 45% of the population lives in extreme poverty.

In the Fall, 2006 issue of Compassion Magazine, Leanna Summers wrote about Ghana in her article "Preserving Ghana's Gold: It's Children"

"Formerly known as the Gold Coast, the West African country of Ghana was built by slaves  who mined the country's supply of gold and other resources. But despite Ghana's rich reserves, more than 70 million Ghanians, 45% of the population, live in extreme poverty - poverty so debilitating that some desperate parents have even sold their children to those who end up exploiting them. 

"Forced labor, prostitution and armed conflict are among the most horrific ways children - many as young as 5 - are exploited. According to a recent report from UNICEF, West African countries have the highest rate of child labor in the world: an alarming 41%.

"Sadly, more than 11 million children worldwide die from an even deadlier enemy: preventable illness. Diarrhea - easily treated with medicine and fluids - can be fatal for these children. Without intervention, ill children in Ghana will continue to die needlessly.

"The tremendous needs of children in Ghana moved Compassion to open child sponsorship programs in 2005 and more than 2,400 at-risk children are now receiving customized care for their needs. 

"Each child in Compassion's program is ensured a safe place to learn, and through sponsor's donations Compassion has provided school fees for more than 130 Ghanian children whose parents could not afford to send them to school. Children in Ghana also receive health care, including checkups, hygiene training, nutritional supplements, medicines, surgeries, and other critical care at local hospitals.

"Compassion also works to rekindle children's dimmed spirits - to tell them God sent His Son for them. Compassion president Wess Stafford explains: 'Poverty is a mindset, a spirit that tells its victims they do not matter. We then move from this state to despair, apathy and finally fatalism. WE can change this by telling the little ones that to God they matter. They start to gain courage and confidence and then start to change things. When a child moves from 'I don't matter' to 'I can fix this', we have won the battle.'"

The following two young men in Ghana have birthdays today and have been waiting for sponsors for a long time. Make this their best birthday yet and give them the gift of hope!

Meet Nathaniel!
Nathaniel is nine-years-old today and lives in Klo-Agogo, Ghana. He has been waiting for a sponsor for 372 days! Nathaniel lives with his grandparents (both are sometimes employed) and one sibling. Most adults in this area are farmers or market traders and earn about $31 per month. Nathaniel helps his family by helping in the kitchen and running errands. He enjoys playing soccer and group games. End his wait and change his story today!

Meet Emmanuel!
Emmanuel is thirteen-years-old today and lives in Madina, Ghana. He has been waiting for a sponsor for 291 days! Emmanuel lives with both parents (both are sometimes employed) and four siblings. Most adults in this area work as traders and earn about $30 per month. Emmanuel helps his family by washing clothes, helping in the kitchen, and running errands. He enjoys playing soccer, singing, and art. End his wait and change his story today!

There are many other children in Ghana that are waiting for sponsors and would love to know you! Change a story today!

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