Volta Programme Unit
Area: 20,570 sq. km
Population: 1,635,421 (2000)
Districts and communities: 2 districts, 20 communities
Sponsored children: Around 700
The Volta region is located along the eastern border (Ho district) of Ghana, which it shares with the Republic of Togo. About 72% of the population are economically active with the majority working in agriculture. A census in 2000 showed that an increasing number of children aged 7 and above are entering the work market - ,presenting a serious child labour issue .
Plan Ghana’s Volta Programme Unit started operations in October 2007 and currently works in 20 communities in the Hohoe and South Tongu districts. Most of our programmes are grant funded.
Plan’s health programme in Volta works to ensure access to community-based health services, particularly for children and mothers. Plan supports the ‘roll back malaria’ programme through the distribution of impregnated mosquito nets to mothers with young children and other vulnerable groups.
We also support the Ghana Health Services in the control and treatment of neglected tropical diseases such as Bilharzia, Oncho and soil-transmitted Helminthiasis.
Sustainable livelihoods – Village Savings and Loans project (VSLA)
Plan Ghana supports community-based Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), which help rural women to access credit at lower rates so that they can invest in their own businesses and meet the needs of their families. So far 67 groups have formed across 20 communities with a total of 2,088 members.
The members also use VSLA meeting days to discuss social issues such as health, sanitation and child care.
Dorothy Dagadu, a VSLA member, said: “The project enabled me to have access to loans… Now I have expanded the shop, increased my stock and the diversity of my products.”
Quality basic education
Plan Ghana has supported the construction of community and school libraries and new school blocks, resulting in increased enrolment and retention. This means that fewer children are left to enter the work market prematurely and be exposed to child labour.
What’s more, the new libraries mean that children are keen to read, and dedicate more of their time to books. This is expected to increase their ability in English. We have also established a scholarship system to give more children access to secondary education, and we train school management committees to ensure better community participation in the management of their schools.