Mankessim Programme Unit
Area: 1,505 sq. km
Population: 334,319 (2000)
Districts: 3 districts
Communities: 54 communities
Ethnic groups: 8 ethnic groups
Sponsored Children: Around 5,400
Plan’s Mankessim Programme Unit is located in the Central (Winneba) region, where more than 80% of the population lives on farming and fishing. About 2 out of every 5 people earn less than US$1 per day.
Plan Ghana has been working in the Mankessim area since 1994 to improve the lives of children and youth. We work with children and youth, their families and communities, government departments and other civil society organisations to identify problems and implement solutions.
Health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and microfinance are our key areas of work.
Plan Ghana works closely with the Ghana Health Service to improve the health of children aged under 5 in the area, through activities such as training and support for community health workers, immunisations against early childhood diseases, counselling and testing on HIV and AIDS, and food demonstrations. .
We have also improved the infrastructure of a number of community health centres in Mankessim, which have also been provided with equipment to make health care more locally accessible.
Promoting child rights
Children and adults are being trained by Plan Ghana on child rights through community clubs. The children carry out advocacy activities through radio discussions and community meetings. For example, all children have the right to identity - so these clubs raise awareness on birth registration through radio discussions as well as family visits.
Many adults now understand and appreciate the need to register the births of their children – for access to vital health and education services – and more children now than ever before have their birth certificates in the area.There are 26 children clubs with a combined membership of 780 who lead the advocacy process in the communities.
Water and sanitation
Plan Ghana is implementing Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes in the area in collaboration with a local partner to help community members understand and practice safe hygiene and sanitation.
Communities are supported with boreholes while schools are supported with rain catchment systems and latrines. Water and sanitation committees are trained to manage the projects and support their communities.
Improving women's income through Village Savings and Loans
Women are being helped by Plan Ghana to form Village Savings and Loans (VSL) associations, where members make financial contributions and can then get loans. This has helped rural women with little or no collateral to access credit at lower rates, giving them the opportunity to start their own business and increase their capacity to provide for their children. Currently, 20 VSL associations operate in Mankessim Programme Unit, with over 500 members.
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