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FAQs

We hope you find the answer to your question, but if you can't find what you're looking for here please do get in touch with the team at info@afrikids.org

COVID-19

What has AfriKids done so far to respond to COVID-19?

We have been the first responders for northern Ghana.

We have delivered public health messaging on COVID-19 to over 800,000 people, many of whom had not heard about the virus before. We have delivered handwashing demonstrations, health talks and supplied communities with hand washing supplies and PPE. We have distributed posters, signage and radio messages to help spread awareness and promote good practice. We have provided emergency supplies to 2000 of the poorest families including food, soap and PPE. We have adapted our projects and work sites to only operate in ways it is safe to do so.

What are your short/medium term goals in response to Covid-19?

Our priorities are protecting the most vulnerable children. Which means we’ll do everything we can to keep our safe homes open and our support for children with disabilities running.

The biggest threat to most children is their family’s financial security. With livelihoods devastated, there is even more pressure than normal on children to work, marry young or in the case of children with disabilities, be neglected in favour of children who can help with income.

We’re keeping our live projects running in adapted ways, including counselling visiting kids on the streets, will provide livelihood support to as many families as we can and if we can find the funding, will provide emergency food and medical supplies to the poorest families as a temporary solution

Can you tell me more about your financial position and how this will impact on children?

Over £1m of our income forecast has dropped off for reasons including grant makers delaying funding decisions, changing their focus (often to UK causes instead), far more competition, many fundraising events being cancelled, our own events being cancelled and opportunities to talk to new donors being much tougher to do virtually.

The impact of this is that we have had to scale projects down, cancel projects not yet started and cut our support for medical emergencies. We have also cut staff training and capacity building.

What percentage of my gift will go to the programmes?

Over the last decade, 85p in every £1 has been spent on our programmes.

Your support now is urgently needed to fill gaps on our project budgets and we have stripped down operating costs to the bare minimum.

Making a donation

How can I donate from the US?

Our sister organisation Friends of AfriKids USA is an independent organisation registered in the USA with 501(c)3 status and is eligible to receive tax deductable charitable contributions within the limits prescribed by law.  The organisation champions AfriKids work and provides a tax efficient way for US residents to support AfriKids.

For any queries relating to Friends of AfriKids USA, please contact the team: info@afrikids.org | (0044) 0207 269 0740

Please make a donation via Bank Transfer using the following details:
Bank of America
Friends of AfriKids Inc.
Account No.: 4460 3245 8491
ACH Routing No.: 052001633

To register your interest in supporting Friends of AfriKids USA or if you have any questions, please contact the team at info@afrikids.org

How can I make a donation via Bank Transfer?

The most cost effective donations for both UK based and international donors are made via Bank Transfer. 

If you would like to make a donation via Bank Transfer,  please contact the team at  info@afrikids.org  | (+44) 0207 269 0740

How can I donate goods to AfriKids?

We often receive generous offers of donations of goods for AfriKids and the children we serve - clothes, toys, etc. While we hugely appreciate the gesture and intention in this, we do not accept donations of goods for the following reasons:
 
Special treatment singles children out
Providing the children we support with special gifts or even clothes that aren't available locally can single them out, identifying them as recipients of charitable support which can result in further marginalisation
 

Supplying goods for free is bad for local business
Most clothes and toys bought and sold in northern Ghana are at markets and second-hand. These are small businesses providing livelihoods for local people and when goods are donated for free, it takes their custom away

Items children need are available locally
Clothes, toys and goods that children need to be happy, healthy, safe and in school are available in northern Ghana. The Bolgatanga market is a thriving hub of local businesses and traders who supple everything, from toothbrushes to trainers and food to footballs. Our programme budgets include everything the children we support need.

Getting goods to Ghana is expensive and difficult
Shipping goods to Ghana and then transporting them from ports on the southern coast to Bolgatanga 800km north takes a long and often unpredictable amount of time. This adds a huge cost to donated items, making them much more expensive than goods available locally. Ghanaian law now requires that even donated goods incur customs duties, in an attempt to manage the threat to local markets outlined above.

AfriKids' programmes budgets are meticulously planned and any essential items for beneficiaries considered. When clothes and toys are needed, we source them locally to support local sellers and keep costs down.

The best way to support AfriKids is to donate and our fundraising promise ensures all funds will be spent in the best interests of our beneficiaries. There are lots of ways to fundraise for us, or if you are not looking to make a monetary donation but would like to support us, you might be interested in volunteering or providing pro bono support. For more information please get in touch with the team: info@afrikids.org | (0044) 0207 269 0740

How can I set up Payroll Giving?

Payroll Giving is the most tax-efficient way to make a regular donation to AfriKids.

The easiest way to get started is to check with your payroll department whether your employer is registered for Payroll Giving and how to enrol. If your company is not registered for payroll giving, why not suggest it? Its quick, easy and free to set up.

HMRC maintain a public list of approved Payroll Giving Agencies. The current list can be found here.

Two of the most commonly used agencies are Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and Charities Trust. AfriKids as an employer is registered with Charities Trust to provide a Payroll Giving scheme to its staff. 

More information about Payroll Giving:
Registering for Payroll Giving means you can donate to any UK registered charity directly from your gross pay before tax and your chosen charity/ies receive up to 50% more, so if you donate £5, it could be worth up to £10. It’s quick and easy to set up and your support provides a reliable income stream to charities like AfriKids.

Payroll Giving is the only way a higher (40% - 50%) rate taxpayer in the UK can donate their full tax on a donation (unlike Gift Aid, which charities can only claim a standard rate of 25% back on).

Payroll Giving is one of the most cost-effective ways for AfriKids to receive donations, avoiding some of the processing fees of traditional donation payment providers. And regular donations are hugely valuable, helping to stabilise our cash flow, reduce resources spent on fundraising and better plan what we have the resources to do in Ghana.

Payroll Giving is a great way for employers to promote their brand ethics and social responsibility to their staff at no cost to them. Thousands of companies have registered on the scheme for free and it has proved to be a hugely popular employee benefit.

How do I Gift Aid my donation?

If you're a UK tax payer, you can add Gift Aid to your donation to increase it at no extra cost to you. Please visit this form to find out more about adding Gift Aid to your donation: https://www.afrikids.org/gift-aid/ 

General

How do you safeguard people in the delivery of your work?

We exist to protect children and their rights and take very seriously our responsibility to ensure no person's safety, wellbeing or dignity is compromised by the pursuit of our mission.

Read more about how we protect children and vulnerable people in the delivery of our work here: https://www.afrikids.org/safeguarding/ 

Does AfriKids work with orphanages/children's homes?

We avoid the term “orphanage”, but the projects we support include two centres which provide a safe home to children in danger. We strongly believe the best place for children to grow up is in a safe family home that supports their wellbeing and development, whenever this is possible. Most of our work directly with children and families is focused on resettlement (e.g. getting children off the streets and back home) and helping families grow their capacity to care for their children at home (e.g. our microfinance loans which support mothers to develop small businesses). For those children in particularly difficult circumstances without this option, we work with Ghana’s Department for Social Welfare to find solutions. These include the following projects, run by local partners, with our support:

 Operation Smiles

This is a rehabilitation facility which provides temporary residence and care to vulnerable babies and carers while working to resettle them. This home does not permanently “institutionalise” children but removes them from danger and actively works to resettle them in their community while working to address issues (in the community) that are putting children at risk. The centre receives many referrals from local health facilities and the Department for Social Welfare, in the absence of state-supported solutions.

 Operation Mango Tree (OMT)

Operation Mango Tree exists to provide a safety net to children without a safe family home, who are at risk (often facing abuse, neglect or exploitation). OMT is an official referral facility for Ghana’s Department of Social Welfare, so many of the children it supports have been identified by this authority as requiring care. OMT works to resettle children with family/community where possible, but there are a number of children who we have not been able to find such solutions for, for whom the centre provides a long-term residence. The home supports around 30 children at a time and provides a family-like environment conducive to residents’ wellbeing and development, with a 7:1 child to carer ratio. It is a licenced children’s home, compliant with Ghana’s Care Reform Initiative and works in partnership with the Department for Social Welfare to deliver its service. AfriKids and OMT work together for continuous improvements to safeguarding and resettlement solutions and always put the interests of the children we support first.

How do I make a complaint?

Receiving feedback and responding to complaints is an important part of improving AfriKids’ accountability. Ensuring our stakeholders can hold us to account will improve the quality of our work in all areas.

To find out more and to make a complaint about AfriKids, please click here:  https://www.afrikids.org/complaints/ 

What does AfriKids do to support equity, diversity and inclusion?

Definitions of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity is variety in the identities of people in a group. Usually the things we define identity by fall under one of three areas: demographic diversity (population characteristics like our age, gender, race, sexual orientation, income/employment status, etc.), experiential diversity (our life experiences and how these have shaped our emotions, affinities and abilities, including our education and work experience), and cognitive diversity (our perspective, how we think and our approach to things). All three types shape our unique identity and research shows that more diverse groups have greater capacity to think bigger and do better.

 At AfriKids, we want to make the most of this opportunity, fostering diversity across all of these areas to make us as strong and effective as possible at protecting and supporting vulnerable children. Enshrined in our organisational values, we have measures in place to encourage a diverse community of staff and supporters, working together in united passionate service to our mission.

Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness for all. This may include conscious effort to balance positions of disadvantage or privilege by recognising the different “starting points” people may have (eg different levels of education or breadth of experience) when considering the support they may need to feel fairly treated and maximise their potential.

Inclusion is an organisational effort and practices in which different groups or individuals are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed. An inclusive culture celebrates similarities and differences and actively invites the contribution and participation of all people, recognising that every person’s voice adds value.

EDI at AfriKids

AfriKids is part of the global movement working for universal human rights and social justice. Our work protecting and promoting child rights in Ghana contributes to local and international strategies to reduce poverty and build a fairer and better world for everyone. This dedication to fairness and equality runs through all of our work, and our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is enshrined in our organisational values and practices.

 Our definition of diversity recognises demographic, experiential and cognitive diversity and with this interpretation, we share the UK Charity Commission’s diversity vision to “act inclusively, upholding equality law, treating everyone fairly and seeking to provide a culture which delivers the best outcomes for the diverse societies in which and for whom we work”.

We have measures in place to foster a diverse community of trustees, staff, supporters and stakeholders working together in united passionate service to our mission, and systems in place to ensure our support services are delivered fairly and without discrimination.

EDI recruitment at AfriKids 

AfriKids is committed to being an equitable, diverse and inclusive employer; actively promoting diversity at all levels of our organisation and ensuring everyone feels included, valued and supported to fulfil their potential.

 We actively encourage applications from all backgrounds and our recruitment process is designed to prevent unconscious bias, foster diversity and recognise the potential that you can bring to AfriKids, over what you have already achieved.  

If you have any questions about applying in reference to our equity, diversity and inclusion policy, we strongly encourage you to get in touch.

AfriKids' Principles

We are truly local

Our team of local staff in Ghana design and run all of our life changing programmes from start to finish. Qualified, experienced professionals, they have a deep, personal commitment to improving life for children in their communities, and being known and trusted by the communities they work in is what makes them
so effective, especially with some of our most complex work changing traditional beliefs. Fundraising and donor due diligence is led from the UK, but all to support local people delivering the right solutions in their own communities.

We are transparent and accountable

We are fiercely committed to 100% accountability for all of the money we receive and spend in the UK and Ghana. We maintain robust governance policies and procedures including regular internal and external audits to ensure this. We publish independently audited accounts annually and encourage donors to ask us anything, anytime.

We Say No to Pity

We will not trivialise the injustice of poverty or compromise the dignity of anyone we work with through pity advertising or by using inappropriate images or language when discussing sensitive issues. We hope sharing the positive stories of how our work is making a difference will inspire people to help us do more.

We listen

Our programmes are developed by listening to what local people tell us they really need. Our exceptional stakeholder consultation gives every level of society a say on what we do, and gives us a clear view on what the government and other actors are doing. This ensures our projects are always truly needed, wanted and bought into by everyone it takes to make them work.

We empower

Our approach is always to help children, families and communities help themselves. Our projects bring people together, equip them with knowledge and show them how to make and demand the changes needed for all children to have a better life in northern Ghana.

We sustain

If it’s not sustainable, it’s not development.
For us, this means two things:

Addressing the root causes of issues as well as the symptoms

As well as providing direct support to children at risk now, we are also improving the education, child protection and healthcare systems of northern Ghana, to stop suffering in the first place, and improve every child’s start in life.

Creating changes that are sustainable without ongoing aid

All of our projects create change by educating local people and empowering them to make changes themselves. This way the changes we help make with each new project become permanently embedded, and continue to benefit children long after our involvement ends. While there is a lot of work to be done and making permanent changes take time, our projects will evolve and move, rather than create dependence on us and aid funding for changes to be sustained.

This is how we are helping people secure better futures for children that ultimately don’t rely on aid.

We respect people and planet

We work together with communities to end harmful traditional practices and protect children, while respecting local culture, heritage and environment.

We are conscious to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment and employ a reduce, reuse and recycle approach.

We always want to do better

An ethos of learning and improving is ingrained in everything we do, from supporting training for all of our staff to continuously developing our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning tools to measure our impact and inform our strategy. We welcome feedback from all of our stakeholders.

AfriKids' Fundraising Values

Our four fundraising values are the qualities and standards that guide our conduct (how we “behave”) in raising funds. Underpinning our Intergity value is our registration with the Fundraising Regulator and compliance with its Code of Fundraising Practice. 

Integrity

We aspire to deliver the best in class; to be impactful, to be honest, to be respectful and to be accountable for all we do. We always act in the best interests of the children and communities we serve and we never compromise their dignity.

Our four fundraising values are the qualities and standards that guide our conduct (how we “behave”) in raising funds. Underpinning our Intergity value is our registration with the Fundraising Regulator and compliance with its Code of Fundraising Practice. 

Specifically:

  • We will never do anything we are not proud of
  • We treat others with compassion
  • We set clear expectations and systematically account for them

Community

We nurture a culture of openness and listening, providing inspirational donor experiences and building quality, long-lasting relationships.

Specifically:

  • We build a community that is as equitable, diverse and inclusive as possible
  • We are friendly, polite and positive to everyone
  • We skilfully and respectfully challenge and resolve issues
  • We work together united in passionate service to our mission
  • We invite people in and make them feel welcome and valued for their unique contribution

Agility

We are responsive to our environment and we adopt adaptive approaches that enable us to secure sustainable long-term funding.

Specifically:

  • We commit to continuously analyse our internal and external environment to inform our decisions
  • We follow lean processes to innovate new products, systems and ways of working
  • We will regularly ask ourselves if we are operating in the most efficient and impactful way

Ambition

We are bold in our approach and will always find creative solutions to broaden our reach. We will always challenge ourselves, so our supporters remain engaged to ensure our lasting impact on the lives of more children in Ghana.

Specifically:

  • We will set and deliver ambitious goals
  • We take measured risks
  • We commit time to finding inspiration to enable creative solutions

Challenges and misconceptions

Shouldn't charity start at home?

Supporting any charity is a personal and generous decision and people have many different reasons for doing so. With many wonderful charities working on important issues all over the world, however you choose to support will make a valuable difference.

Charities working in international development often provide goods and services which simply wouldn't exist without their help. Alleviating poverty and suffering overseas helps to boost education and employment for people that otherwise don’t have the social protection or support services of richer countries. This in turn reduces forced migration and ultimately, the need for overseas aid in the first place. No one chooses to be born into or live in poverty and few want to rely on handouts or charity anywhere in the world. With a little help and the right opportunities, people can, and want to, lift themselves out of poverty and turn their own lives around for good.

Tackling poverty and suffering as a global community is also critical to national security and the most effective and economical way to eradicate discrimination, war and terrorism.

It takes more than cash to end poverty

True. Investing in the health, safety and education of all children means that each new generation is stronger and better equipped to demand and drive change. Healthy, safe and educated communities are more productive and peaceful and less vulnerable to risks and exploitation. There will always be external factors affecting the security and quality of people’s lives, but ensuring everyone’s basic needs are met now not only reduces unnecessary suffering and saves lives, but creates the right conditions to eliminate poverty and keep it that way.

People shouldn’t have children if they can’t afford to care for them

The single best indicator of a child’s survival through infancy is their mother’s educational level. Where educational levels are low, coupled with poor access to healthcare and pressure to make enough money to survive, family sizes are larger and children often miss out on school as they need to work so the family can afford to live – a vicious cycle of poverty.

Providing better health services and educating and resourcing women to take control of their fertility reduces infant and maternal mortality and encourages families to have fewer children. In addition, increased access to economic and educational opportunities mean that parents do not feel the need to have such big families, as they won’t rely on their children to work to supplement the family income, and their children are less likely to die.

 Put simply, educating girls is the best form of population planning.

Research shows that across the world, as societies become more educated and secure livelihoods, the same pattern emerges everywhere: family size shrinks. It is estimated that when poverty is eliminated, the average family size across the world will be two adults and two children, reducing the size of the global population from what it is today, while also being a healthier, better educated and more productive global community.

 

Giving aid fosters dependence

Unfortunately situations exist all over the world where aid – food parcels, clothing donations, emergency shelters, foreign volunteers and cash handouts - are critical to people and communities surviving major crises.

Development “aid” or funding however, should be invested in sustainable solutions to poverty and its symptoms – locally-led, integrated, holistic and financially sustainable. This is why we don’t take material donations, sponsor individual children arbitrarily or indefinitely or ship in volunteers to do jobs that local people want, need and can do.

All of our projects are designed and delivered by local people, including our highly experienced and qualified local staff as well as members of affected communities themselves. We train and support hundreds of partners and community members to lead projects themselves so that more people buy-in to change and it is more likely to be achieved and maintained after AfriKids’ involvement.

I can’t afford to give enough to make a difference

Every penny we receive makes a difference to children’s lives. £3 per month is enough to provide a Child Rights Club for 3 children, where they will learn about what their rights are and take part in confidence-building activities to demand health, safety and education for themselves and all children in their communities, now and when they grow up.

Even the smallest gifts are transformational, and really can be the difference between a child living on the streets and having the opportunities to learn, grow and lift themselves and their communities out of poverty for good. There are also other ways to be a “Change-maker” for AfriKids and support our work, like fundraising, volunteering and telling others about us.

Poverty will never end

In the time since AfriKids’ work began, hundreds of thousands more children go to school, 3 in 10 more children survive past their 5th birthdays and we have celebrated the end of superstitious child killings (the Spirit Child Phenomenon) with eighteen communities (and counting) across northern Ghana.

Effective, lasting changes are made by local governments, communities and organisations like AfriKids working together. With support like yours and work like ours, the global community has the power to eradicate extreme poverty within our lifetime.

The UK government gives/wastes too much on overseas aid

The UK is a world leader in international development - one of few countries in the world to have met the Kyoto agreement - to allocate 0.7% of GDP to overseas aid. This is a phenomenal and highly commendable achievement which has a great impact, and at just 70p per £100 of earnings, it’s one of the most cost-effective strategies for national security.

Overseas aid currently costs the average UK earner 96p per week (defence is £5.73) and much of this is spent within the UK. Investing in overseas development is a no-brainer for wealthy nations. Aside from good ethics, it makes good business sense. As well as bolstering international relations and protecting national security, supporting families living in very difficult situations reduces forced migration, increases global productivity and ultimately breaks the cycle of poverty, and so the need for perpetual aid.

The Spirit Child Phenomenon

What is the spirit child phenomenon?

The spirit child phenomenon is a belief that deformed or ailing children, births concurrent with tragic events, or children displaying unusual abilities, are spirits sent from the bush to cause misfortune and destroy the family. From the perspective of a Nankani community in Northern Ghana, spirit children are not human, but are bush spirits masquerading as such.  In some cases, family members give suspected spirit children a poisonous concoction to confirm their spiritual status and return them to the bush. We can interpret the spirit child practice as infanticide, however, it is essential to note that not all spirit child cases involve death-causing activities. In some circumstances, families identify children that have died of a medical condition as a spirit child in an effort to better understand and explain the child’s origin, destiny, and brief residence in this world.
 
When considering the spirit child phenomenon it is important to understand it from two intersecting perspectives. As a form of discourse—namely, the talk, myth, or rumours that circulate throughout a community—and as a practice that is connected, for example, to the community’s beliefs about normality and abnormality and their broader contextual circumstances such as poverty and access to health resources. When seen as a discourse, the spirit child is a powerful way to talk about correct or moral behaviours, understand misfortune, make ambiguous circumstances meaningful, or to tell an entertaining story. As a practice, the spirit child enables families to make difficult decisions regarding vulnerable children that are often not likely to survive

How does it happen?

When a family member suspects that an infant or child is a spirit, usually occurring after a series of illnesses, death, or misfortunes within the family, the head of the household will visit several “soothsayers” or diviners to consult with his ancestors to determine the origins of the misfortune and status of the child. People commonly assume that the diviner “tells” or confirms if the child is a spirit. In practice, the process involves the consulter interpreting and generating his own explanation in reference to a set of symbolic objects and input from his ancestors, rather than the diviner making official proclamations regarding the status of the child. In addition to the multiple divination sessions, families also consider other evidence such as behavioural observations and minor tests. Upon making their decision, the family will find a concoction man, the ritual practitioner that specializes in conducting the ceremony, to send the spirit child back to the bush. The concoction man will prepare the concoction according to his family’s traditions; they often mix the concoction with a poisonous root, but in some cases a non-harmful substance or symbolically treated water is used. An elder woman in the child’s family usually administers the concoction or, less often, the concoction man himself. After the child dies, the concoction man wraps it in an old sleeping mat, disposes of the body in the bush, and conducts a ceremony to ensure that it does not return to torment the family.

Where else does this occur?

Practices similar to the spirit child are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, each taking a unique form depending on the culture and circumstances of the community. Comparable practices include witch babies in Benin, snake children in Mali and the Ivory Coast, spirit children in Guinea-Bissau, and mingi children in Tanzania. Across these regions, community members identify similar causes such as the presence of a deformity or the belief that someone in the family breached a taboo.
 
Infanticide has occurred within every society at some point in their history. Each society will understand children identified as abnormal within their own cultural system. For example, the belief in changelings, disturbing creatures exchanged in place of one’s child, were common in European folklore. Many changelings had disabilities and were often mistreated or killed after being identified.
 
Today, it is common to see practices like the spirit child in places where there is considerable poverty, inequality, a lack of medical resources, and where segments of the population are particularly vulnerable.

Why does this occur?

The causes and circumstances surrounding infanticide are diverse. Many infanticide theories fit within evolutionary and ecological models, wherein children that have a low likelihood of survival - due to illness, abnormality, or lack of resources - are at risk of infanticide. Globally, we see reasons such as gender preferences, birth spacing, or a lack of family or social support as possible contributing causes.
 
Nankani families in Northern Ghana ultimately fear that the spirit child will kill other family members and destroy the house. When understood from the local context we can better appreciate this concern. While the child itself does not actively seek to kill family members, the birth of an abnormal child that is unable to contribute to the family, consumes excessive resources, prevents a mother from having another child, and occupies the mother with caretaking tasks that keep her from other economic activities; placing the entire family and its continuity at risk. In subsistence settings with significant economic and food insecurity and limited forms of “insurance,” the belief that the spirit child will sicken or cause the death of other family members is not farfetched, particularly if the family used its small margin of security and misfortune strikes.
 
The causes of the spirit child are complex and it is rare that any single determinant alone is the ultimate cause. We can identify a selection of frequently intersecting determinants that increase a child’s vulnerability: 1) chronic illness; 2) physical or cognitive disabilities; 3) death within the family, particularly the child’s mother and/or father; 4) a series of misfortunes such as the death of livestock, crop failure, or epidemic illness; 5) limited access to maternal and infant health resources and education; 6) a lack of services and resources available to help families of children with special needs; 7) food insecurity; 8) limited access to essential healthcare services; 9) gender roles and decision-making limitations; and, 10) conflict within families.

How do families feel about spirit children?

In general, families consider having a spirit child to be one of the greatest misfortunes. The loss of a child can be emotionally devastating. Families also fear spirit children for the misfortunes they might bring into the family. 
 
Nankani children are loved and desired, but to have a child identified as non-human and the cause of misfortune—much like a scapegoat—is met with a range of sentiments.  First, some family members will refuse to accept the diagnosis and will actively resist any attempt to test the child. In some cases, mothers will take the child and flee their families hoping that the suspicion and misfortune will pass. Sometimes family members will forcefully take the child from its parents and administer the concoction, emphasizing a priority on the continuity of the larger family over individual needs. Despite their desire to care for the child at any cost, many parents confirmed that the decision was ultimately not theirs, but in the hands of the larger family.
 
Second, a number of families remark that there is little that they can do besides follow the practices of their ancestors. Such families agonize over sending the child to the bush, often trying every available treatment to rule out treatable medical problems. They ultimately come to see infanticide as unavoidable because the child is unlikely to improve and could continue to cause difficulties.
 
Finally, some families are quite fearful of spirit children, often due to previous experiences or knowledge of frightening stories. To reduce risk, such families decide that sending the spirit back is the best and only option. 
 
On a positive note, community members indicate that over the past decade the numbers of spirit children have decreased alongside improvements in health care availability, education, and poverty reduction. As families come to better understand the causes and available options for spirit children and gain improved access to resources to address their life circumstances, they become less fearful of spirit children and more empowered to confront spirit child suspicions and, in the cases of ailing, disabled, or orphaned children, manage the increased caretaking burden.

© 2021 AfriKids. All Rights Reserved

AfriKids UK Head Office:
21 Southampton Row
London
WC1B 5HA
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 207 269 0740

AfriKids Ghana Head Office:
PO Box 166
Bolgatanga
Upper East Region
Ghana

+233 (0) 3820 97134

Registered charity in England and Wales: 1141028
Registered NGO in Ghana: DSW/3024
Registered in The Netherlands. Tax no: 8238.13.289