Thursday, 4 February 2016

Welcome to Create Change


Picture this scene, where a vulnerable child in a very remote community wakes up early in the morning, and is being greeted by many chores to do before even having any thought of where the next meal will come from and would have to walk for miles to find water. It’s the unfortunate reality that many disadvantaged children in rural areas in Ghana are suffering so much due to the lack of good food and water security. And as a result most if not all of these children simply will not have the time to worry about pursuing their education because they are too busy trying to meet their basic needs which they are fully entitled to as everyone else in the world should be. The fact of the matter is, that an estimated 101 million children are not in school in the world. And over half of that number, are girls.

So that is what Create Change are working towards, a rights based approach to development. To champion this course, we a group of eight volunteers working under the British umbrella corporation; International Citizens Service are working specifically with International Service – a sub-organisation of ICS, which works with various project partners here in Ghana.

Create Change focuses on empowerment, with a focus on women empowerment and ensuring the number of young girls who attend primary education go on to secondary as well as tertiary education. It’s the sad truth that in Ghana education attainment is very low. With massive gender and rural to urban inequalities. In rural areas for example, 29% of women are literate in comparison to 52% of men – a huge disparity. The trend of there being a massive divide in wealth and services in third world countries and newly industrialising countries (such as the BRIC economies) is still continuing and is and will continue to be one of Ghana’s main challenges in reaching some if not all of the Sustainable Development Goals. And reaching overall an improved level of development, both economically and socially.

With Create Change in the picture, we are a group comprised of four Ghanaian volunteers – Doris for example – who has just completed her secondary education here in Ghana and has plans to go onto study at university and four British Volunteers - all from across the UK. Led by our two team Leaders – one Ghanaian (Fredrick Balsab) who has a background in social work and one British (Yasmin Safder ) of whom teaches languages in the UK, as a group of volunteers we have such a passion to make sure that girls in such remote areas of Northern Ghana have equal access to education.
But it’s important to note, education isn’t the only way Create Change tries to better people’s lives in the northern region, it also focuses on providing school equipment such as pens and pencils and providing long-term access to some basic amenities such as providing tanks to collect clean drinking water during the rainy season, food and shelter, amongst others.

We as volunteers who are willing and eager to make a difference to those less fortunate hope to firstly; - increase the retention of young girls in school staying on in transition to higher forms of education, help with the continual effort of closing the gap between the less advantaged people living in the rural regions to those living in more prosperous urban areas and along with that, making access to education, amenities and simply rights more equitable than they currently are for people. Lastly we hope to make it clear to as many people as possible the importance of education being the key to escaping poverty in all its forms around the world.

A quote from the ultimate role model for Create Change – Malala Yousafzai, who fights for female rights to education, which we are strongly working towards whilst on placement is – “One Child, One Teacher, One Pen, One Book can Change the World”.

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