Une mission bénévole
Une mission bénévole posté par Friends Without Frontiers
Publié le : 8 janv. 2013
FWF's main focus currently is the support of children whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS and many other related accidents. In the Greater Accra Region, there are many children who have no one to look after them after the death of their parents. These children are forced onto the streets, where they collect rotten food and beg to survive. On the streets, they no longer possess the right of being treated when they get sick, of obtaining an education, or of sleeping under a roof on a full stomach. FWF provides orphans and street children with these basic rights.
At the orphanage, children are taught how to read, write, garden, work with wood, and play sports. They are given a chance at a better life. The orphanage is based in the Teshie and Osu, not far from the city centre. The orphanage currently supports 90 boys and girls between the ages of 2 and 16. Of these, 38 live at the orphanage, and the rest live with grandparents or other people in the local community who are willing to provide them with shelter. When funding is available, support is also provided to other orphans in the other regions of Ghana.
Due to a recent food shortage, orphans in Osu are not receiving the support they need from the community. Therefore, the orphanage has recently accepted children who were living alone without access to food or medicine. There are still more children in these same conditions that FWF had to turn down due to lack of space. Currently, money is being raised to fund a 3-room addition to the orphanage so that these children can also have a home.
Besides giving the children clothes, food, and shelter, FWF provides supplementary lessons at the orphanage for its children as well as children in the community. International volunteers teach classes in English, mathematics, social studies and science a day.
As a result of these classes, the children score better on their national examinations than their peers. FWF hopes to put an end to the poverty cycle by seeing that all of its children attend secondary school or vocational training.
Electricity, though installed, will only continue as funding is secured. An outside squat toilet is available on a neighbor's land behind the orphanage. Although the facilities are inadequate for the number of children, current volunteers are working hard to build more bunk beds, install ceilings, and paint the children's bedrooms. Overseas funding is also being sought for a complete redevelopment of the site with every part of the new building accessible to disabled children. In June 2005, a plot of land adjacent to the orphanage was purchased with funds raised by international volunteers to provide room for this redevelopment. Some of the land has been converted to a vegetable garden, the produce of which will be eaten and sold by the orphanage
Volunteer's Tasks Children go to the local, free, government primary school from the age of 7. However, the classes there contain around 100 children and the teachers can be poorly motivated. Furthermore, due to lack of space and teachers, children only attend school for half a day.
The primary role of volunteers is to teach supplementary lessons twice a day to orphanage and community children. Lessons are centered on the subjects of English and Mathematics with grade levels paralleling those at school. There are also opportunities to teach Ga, Science and Social Studies, and the textbooks can prove very useful for lesson plans in these subjects.
Additionally, volunteers provide activities and teach pre-school children aged 2 to 6 and as a result of these lessons, the FWF children tend to do better than their peers in the national examinations.
Volunteers also work on developing creativity, fine- and gross-motor skills. At the weekend, volunteers have organized mini-Olympics, obstacle courses, sporting games, and various outings for the orphanage children.
FWF does not require any particular qualifications from volunteer teachers, although anybody who is teacher-trained, or nursery nurse-trained for the pre-school children, would undoubtedly bring particularly valuable skills. The reality is that all the children are desperate to learn, and anyone who has completed their education at school or college in a developed country can make a valuable contribution.
Although 6 hours of a volunteer's day are typically tied up in lessons, the schedule for the rest of the day is quite flexible. Volunteers can decide their schedule based on their interests and skills. Past and present volunteers have taught in the local schools, designed and built playground equipment, built beds and assisted in other construction, provided therapy and support for a disabled child, and created a vegetable garden. Several other volunteers are assessing the needs of FWF and its projects.
For example, volunteers are currently working on creating sexual education packages, researching the value of FWF's role in micro-finance projects, and finding support locally for the orphanage. There is always opportunity for volunteers to start new projects.
The working week is Monday to Friday with the hours being determined by whether the children are at school or on holiday. Normally, the start time is 9 o'clock and lessons finish around 6 with a long lunch break during which you will have time to go home, make your own meal, have a siesta, or make a quick visit to Art Centre in Accra where Arts & Crafts are exhibited and sold.
If you wish you to stay at the orphanage and eat the meal which the children have – beans with gari or rice, Kenkey and Fish. Saturdays and Sundays provide time for clothes washing, a more relaxed visit to Accra for shopping and emailing, or just reading and lazing about. You may also take a trip to the Volta Region of Ghana and visit places like Tafi Monkey Sanctuary, Wli Water falls or Tagbo ancestral cave. Volunteers are generally social, and weekends provide opportunities for hiking, swimming, and eating out.
Caring for infants and children Caring for infants and children who are at-risk or have limited resources can have a lasting impact on a child's development and is one of the most rewarding placements available for volunteers. The children are delighted to see new and smiling faces, and love the games, songs, and rhymes that volunteers help to organize. Simply holding infants, sharing your affection, and providing individual attention is important to their future well-being. The staff appreciate the help with daily routines such as feeding and clothing of the children and playing with them.
Whether you have a background in childcare or simply enjoy caring for young children, a smile or hug can be a meaningful and long-term contribution. The most important attributes needed for these placements are an open heart and a love of spending time with children.
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