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On July 10, 2024, CIWED Ghana commissioned a newly constructed six-unit classroom block for Kpatiya and its surrounding communities in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region. This project, which began in November 2022 and concluded in December 2023, was funded by the Embassy of Japan in Ghana.

CIWED Ghana’s vision was to create an environment where every child in Kpatiya and neighboring communities can access quality education and where parents feel comfortable sending their children. The newly inaugurated six-unit classroom block, equipped with modern amenities, symbolizes hope and opportunity. It provides a conducive teaching and learning environment, enabling children to pursue their dreams and realize their full potential.

In addition to the classroom block, auxiliary facilities have been constructed to ensure a holistic educational experience. These include a staff common room, a library, and sanitation facilities, all designed to create a nurturing and supportive atmosphere for both students and teachers.

This project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of many individuals and organizations. CIWED Ghana extends its deepest gratitude to the Embassy of Japan for their financial support, which was crucial for the construction of these facilities.

The new educational infrastructure will have a lasting positive impact on the community, ensuring that every child has access to quality education.

On April 29, 2024, CIWED Ghana organized an immunization campaign and educational outreach in the Zoonayili community to emphasize the importance of immunizing children. The topics covered during the outreach included:

  1. Immunization schedule
  2. The PENTA 3 vaccine
  3. Measles
  4. Rubella
  5. Outreach efforts
  6. Immunization for children from 6 to 10 weeks

The outreach officer Mohammed Ziblim (MZ) observed that caregivers often stop bringing their children for immunization after the initial doses, particularly the 14-week immunization. During the session, the officer stressed that immunization does not end at 6 weeks and that children need to continue receiving vaccines until they are five years old to be fully protected.

Caregivers were informed that children who only receive immunizations between 6 and 10 weeks are not fully immunized and remain vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. To be fully protected, children must receive all scheduled vaccines, starting from BCG and OPV.0 up to Measles-Rubella (2), with the final dose at 18 months. Full immunization protects against diseases such as Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae, inactivated polio vaccine, measles, and yellow fever.

The outreach officer also educated caregivers on the potential side effects of immunizations, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and pain at the injection site, which can vary from child to child. Management of these side effects was discussed, including using lukewarm water and a towel to soothe a fever, starting from the child’s feet to the head.

Mr. Baako Abdul-Fatawu, the Executive Director of CIWED Ghana, urged women to be proactive in seeking good healthcare for their children, emphasizing that the future leaders of the community must be protected at all costs. He highlighted that good health is essential for a good life and education, and the absence of these elements can lead to dire consequences for society.

The outreach concluded around with a Q&A session. One caregiver asked how to manage swelling after immunization. The officer advised using a cold compress by wrapping ice in a clean rag and applying it to the swollen area until it subsides.

The outreach officer expressed gratitude to CIWED Ghana for supporting and facilitating the event and the immunization session.

In a concerted effort to address the water scarcity issues faced by the Kpatiya community in the Central Gonja District of the Savanna Region of Ghana, CIWED Ghana, with funding support from the Embassy of Japan in Ghana, successfully constructed a new mechanized borehole facility. This initiative forms part of our ongoing commitment to improving access to clean and safe water for underserved communities.

The Kpatiya community has historically struggled with inadequate access to potable water, impacting health, hygiene, and overall quality of life. Prior to this intervention, residents primarily relied on distant and often unsafe water sources, which posed significant health risks and time burdens, particularly for women and children.

CIWED Ghana extends its deepest gratitude to the Embassy of Japan in Ghana for their generous support and partnership in this vital project. We also acknowledge the cooperation and enthusiasm of the Kpatiya community, whose involvement was crucial to the project’s success.

The construction of the mechanized borehole in Kpatiya is a testament to the positive impact of international collaboration and community-driven development. CIWED Ghana remains committed to fostering sustainable development and improving the livelihoods of vulnerable communities across the region.

On April 18, 2024, CIWED Ghana hosted an orientation for community health volunteers focused on GAVI PSR 2 immunization services. The aim was clear: to empower volunteers in mobilizing communities and utilizing community registers to gather data on caregivers and children. Their mission? To ensure caregivers and children receive immunization services and to assist CIWED in organizing immunization campaigns and education at markets and lorry stations. Throughout the sessions, volunteers were introduced to the community register for immunization and trained on its effective administration and utilization.

On 26th March, 2024, CIWED Ghana initiated the execution of the GAVI-Program Support Rationale (PSR) for CSOs Cash Based Support Project (Year 2). Commencing with a community entry procedure, the project engaged in dialogue with the health directorate to fortify collaborative efforts and strategically identify target communities for project intervention.

The community entry process was successfully conducted, although the absence of the district health director delayed certain crucial decisions. The officer leading the initiative preferred to wait for the director’s input before finalizing the selection of five communities or health facilities where CIWED Ghana planned to implement the program. Unfortunately, due to multiple postponements, the meeting was rescheduled twice, ultimately pushing it to the first week of April and causing delays in starting program activities. Once the district health director was available, a meeting took place with the health director of Nanton and the district diseases control office. Together, we finalized the selection of communities and facilities for the program.

On the 26th February, 2024, at Zoagu, a community in Nanton District, CIWED GH held a durbar of youth, and women to educate and empower them on positive gender norms, roles, and responsibilities concerning their Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health and Nutrition (SRMNCAH+N). The durbar was organised in collaboration with the district directorate of the Ghana Health Service. Facilitating the sessions on positive gender norms, the research fellow of CIWED Ghana Mr. Issah Aminu Danaa put more emphases on equality, respect, and empowerment. He also tailored his discussions on the need to stop harmful stereotypes and promote healthy behaviors related to SRMNCAH+N especially SRHR related issues. The engagement witnessed encouraging and active participation, where youth shared experiences and perspectives on gender dynamics in their communities. They shared their view that, role-playing fostered understanding of respectful communication, consent, and shared decision-making.  The representative of the community health facility in Zoau, also made oral presentation touching on family planning, maternal health, and gender-based violence prevention. Participants were equipped with practical resources to promote informed decision-making and healthy practices. During an open forum session, participants were encouraged dialogue between youth, community leaders, and health experts to address concerns and identify solutions. Stakeholders collaborated to devise strategies for promoting positive gender norms and advancing SRMNCAH+N outcomes.

The event increased awareness and understanding among over 200 youth regarding positive gender norms and their relevance to SRMNCAH+N. They were also empowered to challenge stereotypes and advocate for gender equality within their communities. The community were also strengthened towards improving SRMNCAH+N outcomes. Knowledge and capacity was enhanced among youth to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

In conclusion, the youth-focused durbar organized by CIWED GH served as a pivotal platform for promoting positive gender norms and empowering youth to champion SRMNCAH+N in Nanton Districts. By fostering dialogue, collaboration, and education, the event contributed to building a more equitable and healthy future for communities.

CIWED GHANA on the 23rd January, 2024 organized and hosted regional-level capacity learning and sharing sessions aimed at empowering Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with the capacity to use Net Mapping as a social accountability tool. The initiative was also designed to enhance the capabilities of CSOs in leveraging this innovative method for better community engagement and advocacy. As part of our PAI project activities, a regional level capacity learning and sharing session brought together over fifty (50) participants from Ghana Health Service, District Assemblies, Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Youth Leaders, Community Leaders, Media and Sister CSOs in the two implementing districts. The stakeholders expressed their sincere gratitude for the work CIWED is doing and made commitments to support the utilization of the tool when develop.

Explaining to participants, gender equality and social inclusion manager of CIWED-GHANA Miss Bashiru Mardia in her presentation mention indicated that, the primary goal of the sessions was to equip CSOs with the knowledge and skills necessary to utilize Net Mapping as a strategic social accountability tool. Net Mapping, a visual representation of relationships and connections, provides a unique approach for CSOs to analyze power dynamics, identify stakeholders, and map community assets and challenges. Participants were introduced to the core principles and techniques of Net Mapping, emphasizing its applicability in social accountability initiatives.

The sessions served as a platform for CSOs to establish connections, fostering potential collaborationsand partnerships for future initiatives. Some partners called for documentation of the net-mapping procedures to further engagements. Fortunately this is part of the activities of the PAI funded initiative.  

The regional capacity learning and sharing sessions on Net Mapping represent a significant milestone in CIWED GHANA’s commitment to empowering CSOs. The organization remains dedicated to fostering a culture of continuous learning and collaboration, recognizing the transformative potential of innovative tools like Net Mapping in advancing social accountability efforts across the region.

In commemoration of the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence in Digu community, the CIWED-Ghana team, led by Executive Director Mr. Baako Abdul-Fatawu and Gender and Child Protection Manager Miss Bashiru Mardia, engaged with the VSLA women group of the community in an important conversation. This event, held on December 5th 2023, aimed to shed light on gender-sensitive issues and emphasize the significance of economic independence and self-reliance as potent tools in reducing or preventing Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The session commenced with opening remarks by Mr. Iddris Amba, followed by an insightful speech from Mr. Baako Abdul-Fatawu stressing the crucial need to prevent GBV and all forms of violence against women. He highlighted the impact of previous economic empowerment projects within the community and across the district, emphasizing their role in countering and preventing violence against women. Acknowledging the ongoing pandemic, he urged adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, underlining the importance of these precautions in preventing infections.

Mr. Abdul-Fatawu also encouraged the women to enhance their skills, empowering them to support their spouses in household responsibilities. He emphasized the importance of educating children regardless of gender, breaking stereotypes associated with household roles.

In her address, Miss Bashiru Mardia urged the community women to take their involvement in the VSLA project seriously. She emphasized the need for organization among the groups, enabling them to engage policymakers, hold them accountable, and demand the fulfillment of commitments.

Mr. Abdul-Fatawu concluded by advising unity and collaboration among the women. He emphasized the importance of peaceful coexistence to maximize their participation in VSLA and other economic empowerment projects.

The gathering witnessed the participation of over 35 community women, with other VSLA members expressing their support and gratitude for CIWED-Ghana’s initiatives. They pledged continued support for ongoing and future projects.

On Wednesday, October 25th 2023, CIWED-GH hold a radio discussion at Gbangu fm in Tamale which has coverage and mass listenership in Savelugu and Nanton districts to discuss possible ways of filling the gap of inadequate inclusion of youth on social accountability mechanisms that affect their access to SRMNCAH services. The radio discussion features the Project team of CIWED-Gh, two state actors (health personnel’s) and one non-state actors each from Savelugu municipal and Nanton district. The radio program lasted for an hour and had people from Savelugu, Nanton and other districts including Tamale metropolis calling in to add up to the discussions, commend CIWED-Gh for this initiative and also adding suggestions to enrich the project implementation, outcomes and impacts going forward. The program explained the purpose of the project, the goal, objectives and a detailed account of the net-maps developed in Savelugu and Nanton districts by both State and Non-state actors. The discussions were made clear and imaginative and pictorial form and could be perceived as to how the net-maps were developed and what the net-map actually represented.

Questions about accountability and the rising gaps and apathy of the youth towards health initiatives and projects were adequately discussed. This was to ensure the discussion was representative and was cross-cutting of all aspects and facets of the project. It is worth indicating that, the radio discussion was held mainly in Dagbanli which is the dominant language in the district and speak by all in the region.