The Republic of Ghana has a population of over 30 million and is a very ethnically diverse country.
Ghana has a relatively high rate of economic growth and political stability. The country has taken tremendous steps towards poverty reduction.
However, a considerable proportion of Ghanaians still live in poverty, especially in rural areas. Furthermore, many people are affected by HIV/AIDS and cannot afford treatment.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Ghana since 1974.
While the situation surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic is improving, many people still face hardships related to the disease – and children are particularly affected. An overwhelming 26 000 children are living with HIV.
And even if not directly affected by the virus, around 220, 000 children have lost parental care due to HIV/AIDS, leaving them particularly vulnerable to poverty, undernourishment and lack of education.
About 80 per cent of children do not go to primary school, which means that one of five Ghanaian children are deprived of a basic level of education. With hundreds of thousands of children of primary school age not enrolled, many are illiterate and their future prospects are limited.
In addition, although the Ghanaian government has taken steps to ensure gender equality at primary school level, the number of girls who get a secondary education is still low.
Despite Ghana’s recent economic growth, nearly 10% of people are still extremely poor. The poorest groups of the population are mainly small-scale farmers, who have limited access to food that is rich in nutrients or safe drinking water.
The growth and development of future generations of children is affected. In fact, due to inadequate nourishment, one child in every five experiences growth issues during the first thousand days of life.