The Disability support program reaches out to schools fondly referred to special schools in Ghana that provide education for children and young adults living with special needs. These schools provide a safe and nurturing environment for children with various conditions including autism, Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, dyslexia and learning difficulties. The education focuses on providing basic education, personal Hygiene, environmental health, social skills and vocational skills training.
Children living with special needs have been long misunderstood and as a result have faced years of stigmatizations from their families and society, Many parents go so far as to hide disabled children to avoid the shame of being associated with them, as they are unable to cater to their needs. In the recent years, Hope 4 the special people has conducted awareness campaigns to educate the public on disabilities. The encourage communities to embrace the children and take them to schools where they can learn skills to help them live wholesome lives.
At schools like these, children learn how to do basic living tasks on their own and learn to interact with the children and staff in their environment. Thereafter the focus changes to improving the social skills and teaching vocational skills that they can do to help them engage and be self-sufficient in society. The Government provides infrastructure, teachers and a resource materials fund. They do not provide for food support staff and boarding cost, so the schools charge the parents subsidized fees and appeal for donations to help bridge this gap.
by virtue of the condition of special needs children, many parents work in casual jobs and are unable to afford the school fees needed for their children to attend special needs institutions. It is necessary to implement programs that help reduce the schools operating cost and generate income so the burden on parents can be reduced. As more parents continue to embrace special needs education, the lists of names of children wishing to
Join these schools is growing by day. Since the special needs in the country are not enough to meet the demand, there is therefore need to provide skills to help these children graduate to the society, to allow opportunity to more students. The vocational skills taught need to be relevant to the community to provide things they need thus the skills will be in demand.
How we can help
The next phase of this project seeks to grow the current animal farming and brick making projects. These started as small pilot project that the staff have learn and are teaching the skill to the children.
The rabbit production has been supplying the school with some income; they are now ready to expand the chicken project thus increasing sales. The proceeds will go towards starting new vocational skills that are examinable, with industry recognized certificates issued by the government in carpentry, knitting and tailoring.
Phase 2 seeks to increase crop farming by starting a greenhouse with produce going towards sales and supplementing the school diet. This will be valuable in giving high crop returns within a small space of land while teaching the children a new skill that they can be employed to do or be assisted to start their own. While the surrounding community is famous for producing Kale, Spanish, cabbages and carrots, greenhouse farming will target to production of vegetables that are less common yet are in demand,like tomatoes and green pepper.
Short term impact:
The school will proactively reduce more cost like they have with rabbit production while generating income through increased production. The children will have various skills to engage in as we have found that they excel in the skills they enjoy more. The parents and the society will engage in the activities and begin to see the productivity from the children and begin to learn how to support the children when they leave the school.
Long Term Impact:
The school will use the same sustainable model to find solutions to other needs in the school, thus creating a new culture that is less dependent on donations. Providing a working exit plan for the students that ensure they are integrated in the society after a few years, will provide learning opportunities for more children. The more students who graduate from special needs schools with skills needed to operate well in society will help the wider community understand the importance of living alongside and engaging with people living with disabilities.
In progress of raising funds to commence the project.