SOS Children’s Villages Ghana has once again put smiles on the faces of children in the Zuozugu community. Under the "Zuozugu 100 children go to school’’ project, SOS has commissioned a three-JHS classroom block, a computer laboratory and a library in order to make education accessible to every child in the northern region.
Before its intervention, the Zuozugu TI Ahmadiyya School had a three classroom block, the construction of which was facilitated by the member of parliament for Tamale South Mr. Haruna Iddrisu. The three classrooms were shared among the pupils of grades 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, while kindergarten pupils held their classes under trees.
Even though there were a few dual desks, majority of the children sat on the floor to learn and lay on their bellies to write. The school did not have a toilet facility for the children, which led to indiscriminate defecation in bushes around the school. Teachers were not enthused about being posted to the school and even when they were posted there, they did not put up their best because of the deplorable nature of the school.
Paramount among all of these challenges was low enrolment. Only 81 children were enrolled at the time of the SOS intervention. A few years later, the enrolment of children in the school increased as a result of the ‘’100 Children go to school’’ project.
However the existing community school was too small to accommodate all the children and as a result an increasing number of children had their classes under trees or in thatched huts. It therefore became necessary for the existing school facility to be expanded to accommodate the growing number of school children.
Before SOS intervention (Zuozugu TI Ahmadiyya)
After SOS intervention
The National Director of SOS CV Ghana, Mr. Alexander Mar Kekula in an interview with Zaa news emphasized the need for education. According to him, education is the key to the development of a society and must be given the necessary attention. He therefore advised parents to invest in their children’s education especially the girl-child since they are the future leaders.
SOS Children’s Villages began working in Tamale in 2008. Today, the SOS Social Centre provides a family strengthening programme to members of the local community in need of support. The programme ensures that children have access to essential educational, nutritional and health services.
Additionally, it provides guidance to parents in the areas of income generation and parenting skills and strengthens support systems for vulnerable children and their families within the community. Overall, the programme aims to support struggling families so that children can experience a safe and nurturing childhood and will not be abandoned. Around 1,000 people receive social and material support.
BY: LILIAN D. WALTER