AfriKids to launch new project addressing child, early and forced marriage following support from People’s Postcode Lottery


AfriKids are delighted that People’s Postcode Lottery has today announced an award of £200,000 from players of the charity lottery  to help end child marriage and promote child rights in northern Ghana.


Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “For the last 10 years AfriKids has been providing incredibly important programmes to children and families in Ghana. We are delighted that as a result of funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery that this fantastic charity will be able to launch a major new project to further promote children’s rights in northern Ghana.”


Through extensive work, AfriKids has identified that early and forced marriage and harmful traditional beliefs and practices like female genital mutilation (FGM) are serious issues affecting the health and futures of girls across rural northern Ghana. The support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery will help to launch a major new project to address this, providing sex education, child marriage interventions, youth clubs with family planning services and community education on the rights of young people.


AfriKids CEO, Amy Parker said: “Lack of education, opportunity and the pressure to marry young and produce children is holding girls back in Ghana’s Upper East Region and putting them at great risk. This is a place where half of all girls are married before 18 and a woman dies for every 125 babies born, so big change is needed and fast. The support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery will enable us to act now, putting an end to child marriage in the poorest communities while supporting them to create better futures for everyone in ways that will continue for generations without the need for ongoing handouts.”

AfriKids is crowned International Charity of the Year


We are very proud to announce that AfriKids was named the International Charity of the Year at the 2015 Charity Times Awards last week! For a small charity like AfriKids, this is a huge accolade and a great opportunity for us to raise our profile and share our life changing work with more people than ever. Of course the true champions are our passionate and dedicated partners, AfriKids Ghana, who work tirelessly every day to end poverty and child suffering in the Upper East Region, and who truly deserve this award.


AfriKids have achieved significant and measurable, positive change in the Upper East Region over the last 13 years, supporting over 921,000 beneficiaries. In one of the most deprived areas of the country we work to tackle key child rights issues that stem from extreme poverty, working at every level of society. To give you a snapshot of why we have won this title we’d like to share with you some of the achievements we have had over the years:



Our innovative approach to international development coupled with our aim to withdraw UK support means that all our interventions are entirely sustainable. Our ‘One Child at a Time’ approach allows us to provide bespoke support to each individual child, family and community that we work with, listening to the specific needs of each child and working to meet these, providing services to build the capacity of the families and communities of our beneficiaries.


We couldn’t be happier to have received this award and we’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of our supporters who have helped us along the way.


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The dawn of a new development era

Fifteen years ago, the most powerful people in the world sat down and made an unprecedented commitment to ending global poverty. Heads of the world’s leading industrial powers distilled a wildly ambitious plan into eight catchy goals to enter the new century: the Millennium Development Goals were born.


This year marks the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the launch of their successors, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). So how did we do and what remains to be done?



The MDGs have driven monumental progress across the global issues of extreme poverty and hunger; education; gender equality; child mortality; maternal health; HIV/AIDS and other diseases; environmental sustainability and establishing a “global partnership for development”. Born out of the United Nations’ Millennium Declaration, the MDGs for the first time set hard targets and timelines for all countries to contribute to the changes we all wanted to see. Achievements include:


  • the number of people living in extreme poverty has more than halved
  • 91% of people aged 15-24 are now literate
  • developing regions have met the target to eliminate gender disparity in schools
  • the global under-five mortality rate has dropped by more than half
  • maternal mortality worldwide has declined by 45%
  • 7.6 million deaths from AIDS were averted between 1995 and 2013
  • 91% of the global population is using an improved drinking water source
  • official development assistance from developed countries increased 66% between 2000 and 2014


But it is no surprise that such an ambitious agenda has experienced challenges, shortfalls and navigated many steep learning curves. As the final UN report on the goals declares, “the work is not complete and it must continue in the new development era.” For all their progress, key shortcomings of the MDGs are cited as: an inadequate commitment to reaching the poorest and most excluded; a lack of recognition of the impact of conflict and violence on development; not enough focus on effective and accountable governance; not ensuring inclusive growth and failing to adequately integrate economic, social and environmental development agendas for genuinely sustainable development. In methodology, opportunities to improve with the SDGs include better and wider consultation across all stakeholders (not least the significantly expanded SDG panel to include heads of developing states); locally-specific targets and solutions over one-size-fits-all approaches; and far better systems for collecting relevant, accurate and timely data to monitor such vast and complex change. Data capture is a major challenge in development work – often outdated and unreliable, particularly from developing countries where the information it can provide is most critical. This was a key learning from the MDGs, which struggled with largely incomplete, inconsistent and unreliable data, explaining why there aren’t simple answers to how they have performed.


Looking forward, the SDGs, adopted by the UN at the Sustainable Development Summit on Friday, mark the dawn of a new development era for 2015-2030. These new goals claim to build on these lessons, with SMART targets that track progress at more relevant levels, and more reliably, with investments in the infrastructure needed for better data collection. It is acknowledged that in forging a multilateral operation, the MDGs focused too heavily on global goals over the individual needs of different countries. For example, while the global target of halving extreme poverty has been met, this was largely thanks to huge economic growth in India and China pushing the poorest people in those highly populous countries over the $1.25 a day extreme poverty level, while overshadowing those states –the majority of which are in Sub Saharan Africa – that have significantly underperformed.


One of the most obvious differences between the MDGs and SDGs is the number of targets. The MDGs consisted of 8 top line goals, under which 18 targets were set. In contrast, the SDGs include 17 goals comprising an eye-watering 179 targets. Begging the question of whether the MDGs’ relative simplicity made for a more accessible and engaging programme. Project Everyone, an initiative of film director and Comic Relief founder, Richard Curtis, is determined to make them more well-known than ever, with a mission to communicate the SDG goals to 7 billion people (roughly the global population) in 7 days, marking the huge advances in communications technology and distribution since the MDGs were launched. Indeed the MDG report boasts mobile phone subscriptions have increased tenfold in the last 15 years and internet penetration is up from 6% to 43% worldwide.


There is no doubt that the SDGs are more comprehensive, better informed and have a more widely consulted strategy than the MDGs, while the original pioneering 8 goals have laid invaluable foundations for a global anti-poverty strategy which should continue now until the job is done. As Hans Rosling’s findings, which we shared last week suggest, ending extreme poverty is no longer a pipe dream but a very achievable reality within the next 15 years. As issues like environmental sustainability, migration and food security become threats which increasingly surpass national borders to become global crises, our world leaders should be more invested than ever and as Project Everyone hopes to achieve, this should be a project we all keep a very close eye on.


For the full list of SDGs, click here:



The School of Night Rabbits exceeds expectations in 2015


The School of Night Rabbits, which supports children living and working on the streets of Bolgatanga, has successfully reached out and supported more vulnerable children this year following expansion. The school now runs night classes three times a week compared to twice in order to provide more street children with the basic numeracy and literacy skills they need to return to fulltime education. With the increased classes the programme was able to enrol more children offering them basic education, knowledge of their rights, counselling and healthcare, working towards resettling the children with their families and preparing them to re-join formal schooling.


The children involved in the programme have expressed how much it has helped them, including knowing their rights, encouraging them to return to school and taking pride in themselves discouraging them from returning to the streets. 12 year old Roland said he has “gone back to school full time and does not hope to drop out again”. Whilst Aduko, a 13 year old boy, said he saw nothing wrong with sleeping on the streets until he became part of the school. According to him, he used to wear “tattered clothing” but through the capacity building talks that are organised, he has become “more decent” in his dress taking pride in his appearance. He explained how it was the counselling and social bonding activities that he most enjoyed and valued reflecting how the all-round nature of the support offered by the programme provides maximum benefit to each individual child.


We are extremely happy with the progress of all those at the School of Night Rabbits and their strong commitment to return to school next year. Following 10 months of literacy and numeracy classes we expect all 131 children to graduate in September and remain in school to study hard to continue improving their academic performance. In continuing their education the children will be far better prepared to create their own livelihoods in the future and secure a life off the streets.


Well done Night Rabbits!


For more information on the School of Night Rabbits or to support the programme please follow this link or contact the team:


CBE graduates 2,441 previously out-of-school children in three districts


The Ghana Complimentary Basic Education (CBE) is holding graduations for over 2000 learners across the Bongo, Talensi and Nabdam districts in the Upper East Region of Ghana. The CBE programme is a nationwide initiative that supports children between 8 and 14 years old who have never attended school to access education. Children are provided with a stepping stone phase of literacy classes taught in their mother tongue and held in their local communities. The programme is initiated by the Government of Ghana and delivered through various regional development partners including AfriKids.


At the graduation event, held in the Sapooro Community in the Bongo District, on 3rd July many people attending commented on the increasing number of school-age children who were out of school, or have never been to school at all, and praised AfriKids Ghana for bringing the CBE programme to the district.


The Bongo District Chief Executive, speaking through a representative, noted that the district had seen many development achievements in water provision and physical infrastructure etc. However, none has had the same impact on the people’s lives as the CBE intervention, which targeted out-of-school children in order to give them knowledge that would prepare them for entering or re-entering regular, mainstream education.


Cletus Anaaya, the manager of AfriKids’ Bolgatanga Area Programme, spoke on behalf of the Country Director of AfriKids Ghana and acknowledged the remarkable collaboration between the Bongo District Assembly and other development partners working together under the programme. He stressed that the collaboration has paid off enabling the classes to run effectively for 9 months, adding that this had resulted in the successful graduation of so many children and the celebration ceremony.


Following the success of the CBE in the area, AfriKids has been selected to expand its work under the programme in order to support a further 10,000 children over the next two years.