First of all, where is it? Ghana is a small country located in the western part of Africa.
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!
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!