Asesewa Programme Unit
Upper Manya Krobo District
Area: 885 sq. km
Plan assisted communes: 51
Ethnic groups: 4 ethnic groups
Sponsored children: Around 6,700
Asesewa is in the Upper Manya Krobo district, in the Eastern Region of Ghana (Koforidua). Farming and fishing are the primary areas of work, whilst animal husbandry, trading, hunting and alcohol distillery are other key occupations in the district. According to the Ghana Statistical Service, 76.7% of the population is economically active (2000), yet monthly income ranges from just US$18 - US$27.
Children’s academic performance in the district is poor compared to their counterparts from other districts, and with little access to family planning services, fertility rates are higher than average.
Plan started operating in Asesewa in 1996, and currently works with 51 communities and with the support of 500 volunteers. Plan Ghana works with partners in government, agencies and civil society organisations to improve the lives of children, youth, their families and communities. Programmes and projects are carried out in the areas of training, health, adolescent reproductive health, education, water and sanitation, child rights and protection and microfinance.
Increasing access to healthcare in communities
To promote and strengthen sustainable healthcare for communities, Plan Ghana works with the Ghana Health Service to implement a number of health care interventions, including:
- training health professional and community health volunteers
- carrying out immunisations against early childhood diseases, such as tetanus, measles, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis and hepatitis B
- counselling and testing on HIV and AIDS
- balanced nutrition and food demonstrations
A number of health centres and units are in place which are giving community members access to this healthcare and helping reduce the infant and child mortality rates.
Quality basic education
Plan Ghana works closely with the Ghana Education Service to improve teaching and learning in schools. Teachers are supported on a regular basis to go through in-service training with recognised teaching institutions.
To involve the community in running the schools, community members take turns to participate in the school management committees. Plan Ghana also provides schools with sanitation and rain catchment facilities which collect and store rain water for use during the rest of the year, libraries, text books as well as teaching and learning materials, all of which significantly contribute to improving children’s academic performance.
Child participation and protection
Plan Ghana regularly carries out awareness raising activities on child protection issues to enable children in the district to reach their full potential. This process also aims to ensure that children have adequate support and protection to actively participate in decision making in their community.
Plan Ghana has been using football to aid girls’ development, helping to educate, reorient, and train them. Football is a game that appeals to girls and boys, men and and women of all age groups in Ghana, and by boosting their confidence and self-esteem, girls can become champions for children’s rights in their communities.
Hygiene and Sanitation
The Asesewa Programme Unit is working with the community water and sanitation team to implement the Community Led Total Sanitation project. This helps community members understand, appreciate and practice good hygiene and sanitation. Artisans and community water and sanitation committees have therefore been trained in order to acquire the knowledge and skills on proper solid and liquid waste disposal, construction of latrines using locally available materials and maintenance of water facilities, enabling them to promote safe hygiene in their communities.