New Beginnings is a programme which focuses on giving the Upper East Region’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children a decent start in life.
It works with children who have worked in hazardous forms of labour, lived or worked on the street, been displaced from their homes or who are at home but in serious danger of dropping out of education due to poverty.
In 2009 New Beginnings One was launched with support from the Baring and John Ellerman Foundations. As well as building the capacity of the field staff team, the foundations have supported the resettlement of 60 children through the Talensi Nabdam and Bolgatanga Area Programmes. In 2011 New Beginnings Two was launched with the support of Comic Relief to resettle 300 street and working children through all three area programmes. Each child and their family receive a tailored package of support ranging from lunch allowances to national health insurance. The project works with them for at least four years until such a time as the child has completed vocational training or is secure in full time education. Their parents have the opportunity to access micro-finance support and those who undertake vocational training are given support to set up in business.
In addition to this intensive ‘one child at a time’ support to specific children, New Beginnings is building understanding of child rights in the region through child rights clubs in schools and awareness raising talks in communities. The work of the project is being delivered through the three area programmes and runs alongside and complements that of the Education Bridge which was launched alongside New Beginnings Two in 2011.