Ghana

Ghana stretches more than 330 miles along West Africa’s southern coast. Lowlands run through the south-central area, while a tropical forest area extends along its western border. Lake Volta, the world’s largest man-made lake, covers nearly 3,300 square miles in the east.

  • Population: 24,392,000
  • Life Expectancy: 64 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 82%
  • School Enrollment: 76%
  • Land Mass: 92,098 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 67%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 74/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 1,240

Facts about Ghana

Education

Primary and middle school education is free and required for children in Ghana. Ghana’s education system is considered one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa.

Economic Development

While Ghana’s economy has grown stronger over the years, the improvements have not reached the poorest segments of the population. Over 40 percent in Ghana still live on less than $1 a day — and most of these live in the northern region.

Health

Many health professionals have left Ghana for better paying jobs in other countries because of low funding, weakening the quality of healthcare. However, the government has recently increased AIDS awareness and improved HIV monitoring. Approximately 260,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS — undoubtedly a low estimate since many cases are not reported due to poor education and inadequate health services.

Ghana flag

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Progress in Ghana

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2012.

  • Educated community members on child rights and ways to reduce child abuse.

  • Assisted leaders in the development of community disaster preparedness plans, equipping them to help prevent and respond to emergencies and natural disasters.

  • Assisted women to receive vocational training and increase their business management skills, equipping them to earn an income.

  • Provided books and educational materials to schools and reading clubs, helping kids improve their literacy skills.

  • Trained teachers in reading, math, and life-skills teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children.

  • Equipped school management committees and parent-teacher associations to more effectively manage schools.

  • Trained farmers on improved animal husbandry practices to enhance productivity.

  • Educated students and adults on ways to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, and trained religious leaders and community care coalitions to provide loving care and support for orphans and people living with HIV and AIDS.

  • Helped provide immunizations and vitamin A supplements to children under the age of five, protecting them from preventable diseases.

  • Conducted training for moms on infant and young child feeding practices, the benefits of breastfeeding, and how to provide balanced meals from locally available foods, enabling them to reduce malnutrition.

  • Educated adults and children on proper hygiene practices to help reduce the spread of disease.

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    World Vision in Ghana Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Ghana to transform their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 19,800 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Ghana. Highlights include:

    • Improving access to clean, safe water to prevent the spread of diseases for Ghanaians in rural areas.
    • Helping women who have been falsely accused of witchcraft and banished from their villages by training them to support themselves financially.
    • Supporting a home that cares for orphans, providing them with food, education, clothing, and more.

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    World Vision History in Ghana

    World Vision began ministering to the people of Ghana in 1975 through a pastors conference in Accra and by funding a home for orphaned infants. World Vision opened its Ghana office in 1979, but provided assistance dating back to a 1958 pastors conference. By 1978, World Vision was sponsoring 20 children and had initiated six relief and development projects. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Providing food for famine victims and drilling wells during the 1980s.
    • Training women in vocations such as nutrition and food preservation and basic education to help them become more self-reliant during the 1990s.
    • Implementing HIV and AIDS prevention and education activities since 2004.

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    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Ghana stretches more than 330 miles along West Africa’s southern coast. Lowlands run through the south-central area, while a tropical forest area extends along its western border. Lake Volta, the world’s largest manmade lake, covers nearly 3,300 square miles in the east.

    Ghana’s climate is tropical, with warm, humid weather in the south and hot, dry conditions in the north. Natural resources include gold, timber, diamonds, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, and limestone.

    Over 75 ethnic groups make up Ghana’s population. The largest groups are the Akan, Mole-Dagbon, Ewe, and Ga-Dangme. While Ghanaians use the official language of English in schools and business, they speak more than 250 dialects throughout the country.

    Rural Ghanaians usually live with their extended families in a cluster of houses that symbolizes the closeness they feel to each other. They value children, since a large family means more hands to help on the farm and helps to ensure care for the parents in old age.

    History

    Ghana became the first country in colonial Africa to gain independence from Great Britain in 1957. After a long succession of coups, Jerry Rawlings, a member of the Ghanaian military, overthrew the government in 1981. He led the country as president for 19 years.

    Ghanaians elected John Kufuor as president in 2000. Democratic elections continue to this day.

    In September 2007, massive floods ravaged the country, killing 56 and affecting more than 300,000 people. After several years with few internal conflicts and a low violent crime level, Ghana was named the most peaceful country in Africa in 2008 by the Global Peace Index.

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    Prayer Requests for Ghana

    • Farmers struggling from the effects of drought to have enough to provide for their families.
    • Equal access to education for girls, and better quality education for all children.
    • The protection and care of vulnerable children.
    • People to have improved access to healthcare so they can live healthy, full lives.