AfriKids - Ghana - 2009
AfriKids is a Child Rights organisation working to improve life for Ghana’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
Their work covers children’s projects including foster homes, schools and street child centres, child trafficking, child labour and the spirit child phenomenon.
Due to the credit crisis a major sponsor pulled away from one of Afrikids most crucial projects - combatting the problem of illegal child labour in the small scale Galamsey gold mines of the Talensi Nabdam District in northern Ghana. The ALMT was proud to help establish Project Sunlight to remove children from illegal sale labour.
The district is rural and poor with no urban centre and very little infrastructure. Mining communities are not recognised as permanent settlements so the government is not obliged to provide them with schools, clinics, power or water. The gold deposits in the district are not enough to attract investment from the major mining companies down south but the illegal shafts, dug over 80m deep into the ground, produce enough to enrich a few local mine owners and are a magnet for the poor, the desperate and the orphaned of the region.
Children are cheap labour and are in the mines because they need to support themselves and their families. This destructive convergence of circumstances has meant the growth of child labour was inevitable, but the Angus Sunlight project is proving that it need not be intractable. In the project's first two year phase it achieved the following;
-155 children from illegal labour in gold mines removed and integrated into school and vocational training
-Child rights clubs established in eight communities with a membership of over 475
-Community child rights committees in ten communities, public recognition by mine owners that child labour should end
-Micro finance and goats for rearing provided to all 155 families
-National Health Insurance provided to all 155 families
-Ghana Education Service successfully lobbied to build a school a new school in a mining community
-Recognised by the International Labour Organisation as the example of best practice for child labour programmes in Ghana