According to the United Nations Development Programme website, “Ghana was the first place in sub-Saharan Africa where Europeans arrived to trade – first in gold, later in slaves. It was also the first black African nation in the region to achieve independence from a colonial power, in this instance Britain.”
Home to the historically powerful Ashanti kingdom, rich in minerals and gold, and covered in beautifully lush mountains, the country is an amazing part of the African continent. Contrasting the beauty of Ghana, however, is the poverty in the country.
Ghana was “the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve the Millenium Development Goal 1, which is the target of halving extreme poverty.” However, despite this achievement, 21.4% of the country’s 28.2 million people live under the global poverty line of $1.9 a day.
Many people live in villages in the “bush”, where the homes are built with bamboo skeletons and covered in the thick red clay soil of Ghana’s countryside.
These homes generally do not have access to modern utilities and even the capital city, Accra, which has access to these luxuries, frequently faces power outages. To avoid accumulation of trash, many people burn the piles of plastic, rubber, and various waste items, releasing toxic compounds into the air. Endemic diseases like malaria and typhoid claim lives every day, and the life expectancy in the country is barely over 60 years.
If uneducated, many of our students might end up becoming one of the innumerable hawkers selling small goods to passing cars or searching through the piles of waste for bits of plastic, glass, and metal for resale.
Although Ghana is growing and moving towards industrialization, “the source of growth has always been biased in favour of extractive and capital intensive services sector which do not have direct poverty reducing effect.” The children in communities such as Medie, where Joy2theWorld International Christian Academy is located, must receive an education in order to break out of the cycle of poverty.
We hope that you will consider partnering with Joy2theWorld as we work within these communities to end poverty in Ghana.