DOCUMENTS WHICH COULD BE HELPFUL TO STUDENTS
NATIONAL GENDER AND CHILDREN POLICY
NEWSLETTER 71 OCTOBER 2016
70 newsletters from CAS
NEWSLETTER 72 DECEMBER 2016
Newsletter 74 June 2017
THE HISTORY OF HOPELAND
THE HISTORY OF CAS
CAS has signed several agreements with volunteer organization as well as with universities in Ghana and abroad to allow students and volunteers to be and work with the children.
CAS only provides the working opportunity, the volunteers has to pay for:
•The flight to Ghana.
•The Vaccinations and medical insurance.
•The accommodation and living costs.
In case the student need the support of a supervisor, CAS asked for some financial support.
The volunteers, usually under goes an orientation period of one month. The volunteer visits, the field, the various departments of CAS and partner organization in the City.
Together with the supervisor a decision will be made in which department the volunteers will work. This does not prevent the volunteer to contribute in other departments.
CAS requests the volunteer to stay for a period of 6 months. The reasons are:
•It takes time to learn how to live in the new environment.
•The staff as well as the children have to know the volunteer before any meaningful contribution could be made.
•The time is often too shored for both parties to adjust.
"Akwaaba, Welcome. My name is Kwame, I am 16 years old and I was born in Ho. I am the firstborn and I have a younger brother. Soon after the birth of my brother my father left my mother, and of course she had to work hard to support us. At the market she sold food while I hung around the market. Six years ago, my mother remarried. Her new husband was not kind to my brother and me. He sent his own children to school, while we had to wait at home doing all the chores and jobs for him. His children were not nice to me, for instance one I had washed the clothes they would throw them in the sand so I would have to start again.
They were always lying about me to their father. In the end the situation got out of hand, so I decided to leave and move to Accra. I was thirteen then. Some boys had told me "there is always work to do in Accra". They had forgotten to inform my about the number of street children, who all struggle to make a living on a daily basis. The jobs that you can do in Accra are not nice: you have to work very hard to earn very little. I made friends with a group of shoeshine boys. At times when they decided to rest they allowed me to use their shoeshine box, and eventually I was able to save up for my own shoeshine box.
My brother soon followed me to Accra. He started selling plastic bags at the Kaneshie market. This job earns even less that shining shoes. I would help him and when we combined our earnings we were able to eat two meals a day. But it was difficult to make ends meet, the older and bigger boys would often bully us and take our earnings. It is always smarter to give part of your money to them immediately rather than wait until they fight you and take it all. It's very unfair because we worked hard for the money. Sometimes my friends and I (most of us are still small and young) even pay another group of bigger boys to fight for us, so that these guys will leave us alone.
My brother and I usually sleep with 30 others on the streets near the Railways. Even though we sleep in the open air, we have to pay some money to the leaders of the area, to be allowed to sleep in that particular spot. I hate the rainy season. They I get sick and I don't get enough rest at night, we have to look for another place to sleep as the ground is muddy. All the other street children have the same problem, so it normally takes time and many quarrels before I find a better place to sleep
More than a year ago I met two fieldworkers from CAS on the streets. They invited me to the House of Refuge. Usually I get up early and start my day with shining shoes, around noon I try to visit the Refuge. At this time the literacy classes start. I follow the classes and I learn a lot. I had the chance of going to school for the first time in my life. That's why I call the Refuge my school. In the demonstration department I have learnt to make wood carvings and then I will learn how to weave. I also rest at the Refuge or play games with my friends. Then, later in the afternoon, I return to the streets to continue shining shoes. My brother likes the Refuge too, he is getting very serious in learning how to make ceramics. I am proud of him, he is getting on well.
My wish for the future? To become a good carpenter! Then I can move off the streets and make a reasonable living. I'll first help my brother. wish that I can get on CAS sponsorship. And save some money so we can visit our mother. It is a long time since we saw our mother. Apart from paying for the bus to get to Ho, we cannot visit my mother and step father empty handed. Maybe, after what I have told you about my street life, you will realize that it is very difficult to save money. Just recently I met somebody from Ho in Accra, who told me that my mother is fine. That was good news! By the way I do not mean to make you 'depressed' by telling you my story. I am having a lot of fun to, at the refuge with my brother and my friends".
Penyin is now 18, he was born in Sekondi and began his life living with his parents in Sekondi. He started at school, but before long found he had to drop out because his family simply could not afford him to continue. He also had the chance of learning to become a fisherman. Through his friends he learnt he may have more opportunities in Accra and he left Sekondi and made his way to Accra after being a fisherman for a while and raising the money for his travel.
On arriving in Accra, Penyin remembers his frustration of street life. He tells stories of being robbed of his money and molested by street adults. He was 13 years old. During the following weeks, he struggled to feed himself. Finally he got a job as a rubbish carrier for an average income of about 15,000 cedis per day (75 pence). During his time on the street, he would do anything he had to in order to survive, he admits that he even stole from other street children.
After almost a year on the street, CAS discovered Penyin during their fieldwork in the city and introduced him to the House of Refuge in July 2003. Here, Penyin joined the demonstration classes and showed a keen interest in ceramics and candle making.
In 2004 Penyin's mother died, and he increased his time in the classroom. However, he was too far behind in schooling and therefore asked to be placed in the Auto Mechanic sponsorship program. He was sent to Hopeland training centre for a year of preparation before being enrolled in the three year scheme.
Penyin followed a three year training program in mechanics at Ashaiman and completed it successfully in 2007. After the training, CAS has asked Penyin to train some of his peers so that they can set up a mechanics workshop at Lashibi on a pilot basis. This opportunity exposed Penyin to handling different vehicles and honing his skills. After a period at Lashibi, he left to find a job in Accra, but it did not last. CAS has employed Penyin to be in charge of the Hopeland vehicles and as an assistant supervisor for the candle unit in the demonstration department. He is thankful to CAS for giving him a chance to live away from the streets.
Over the years CAS has conducted a lot of research into the background of street children. Some have been published and others are yet to be published. Below is a list of the research papers:
1.Some Mothers and Babies of Konkomba Market Shanty, a preliminary survey report, Match 2006 (Unpublished)
2.The Ghanaian Street Child Book, 2003 (Published)
3.The state of the Ghanaian Street Child CAS perspective
4.A Report on the Current Situation in Particular Areas of Accra City and Ashaiman.The Census report.
5.History of Some Street Children Project, 2000 (Unpublished)
6.Civil Society Forum for West Africa Anglophone and Francophone on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Street Children, Consortium, 2003 (Published)
7.The EXODUS – The Growing Migration of Children from Ghana's Rural Areas to the Urban Centers, CAS/UNICEF, December 1998- March 1999 (Published)