Project Share is active in the health and education sectors. In both areas, the project cooperates with regional and national authorities and other relevant organizations.
In Ghana, a country in West Africa, about 37 million people live. Although the country appears to enjoy some prosperity compared to neighbouring countries, the average national child mortality rate is 11.2 % and the infant mortality rate is 6.8 %. It is precisely in this area of activity that our partners are committed, in the isolated district of Gushegu, in the north of the country. About one in three children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition – even though there is no famine. Malnutrition is generally not a problem of poverty, but above all the result of a lack of knowledge.
Neesim Nutrition Centre
The Nutrition Centre of Project Share opened in September 2009. About 400 children have been given a a second chance thanks to the Nutrition Centre.
Children treated are generally between one and three years old. Mothers spend an average of about six weeks in the Nutrition Centre until the child has recovered.
In addition to rehabilitating children, mothers are taught,in a concrete and practical way, to improve their children’s nutrition and health in a sustainable manner through locally available food and resources. In addition, basic hygiene measures are taught. The main priority of Project Share is the sharing of knowledge. Thus, future malnutrition can and must be prevented. Women are encouraged to share the knowledge they have just acquired in their neighbourhood so that many other families can benefit from it.
When Adisah’s* mother died in childbirth, the baby was handed over to the care of his grandmother. Unfortunately, she was overwhelmed by the situation. Adisah was nine months old when his grandmother took him to the Nutrition Centre. At that time, he weighed only 6.5 kg. At the centre, Adisah first received a specific milk diet, then “Plumpy Nut” – a very nourishing paste made from peanuts and other ingredients – until the day when he was able to get used to locally available foods. Two months later, he weighed 8.4 kg.
* Name changed to protect identity
Although the situation in the Gushegu district has slowly improved, there is still a great potential for improvement in the education sector. The north is generally behind in terms of development. School is compulsory, however, hardly half of the school-aged children in the district go to school. Many children drop out of school, especially girls. Given the low quality of education, about 80 % of pupils are not able to read fluently at the end of primary school. There are no tuition fees, but parents have to pay for books and school supplies. However, rural families, often poor, cannot raise the necessary funds. In addition, there are not enough trained teachers.
Project Share opened a primary school in December 2009. The school is located a little outside the town of Gushegu. The majority of the children attending this school are from three surrounding villages where there was no school before. The school started in a small way with the infant class and the first class. It has grown, however, and other classes have been added up to sixth class.