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Project Spotlight


Empowerment through the SOS Family Strengthening Programme, Ghana

How is SOS Children helping in the fight against HIV/AIDS?

Jenny Townsend, our former project co-ordinator, left SOS Children UK late last year to be with her husband whose work had taken him overseas. Based in Nigeria, Jenny was determined to continue her work for AIDS orphans and now volunteers at SOS Nigeria.

Located in West Africa, Ghana is a beautiful country with friendly people, incredible scenery and long golden beaches. But it is also home to over half a million people who have contracted HIV/AIDS - and that number is growing rapidly.

SOS Children has pioneered Family Strengthening Programmes, or FSPs, to work directly with families affected by HIV/AIDS and to provide a long term quality of life to orphaned children and the most vulnerable members of the family. This model ensures that children are not removed from their familial background or local culture, and we strengthen and empower the extended family and communities.

G4 supporting our work in Ghana, March 2006

In Accra, Ghana’s capital city, SOS Children’s FSP is working closely with local committees to identify those most in need. In this way we earn the respect of the people we are there to help, and with them we develop practical solutions to their problems. And we are making progress. We are reducing the number of children who are homeless and working on the streets.

Mr. Kojo Mattah, National Director of SOS Children Ghana explains: “The Children’s Villages will remain the core of our work, but the number of children and families needing our support far exceeds our Village capacity. But we are a dynamic organisation and we develop solutions to the main problems women, children and men have to face in their day-to-day lives.”

Patience is 28 years old. She lives in a four square foot wooden shack with her mother and two children. She is HIV positive and unemployed. Her eldest son Junior, who is seven, has never been to school.

But now she is being supported by SOS Children. We are providing her with money for food and rent and have found a place for Junior at school. This is a start. If Patience responds well to this initial assistance we will follow up with more long-term support. We will help her to find a new home and training for a job. We will provide money for her to buy medication which will suppress the onset of AIDS.

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Relevant Countries: Ghana.

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