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 manmade 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 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 of Ghanaians 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.

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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.

  • Organized training for farmers in crop production and animal husbandry to improve productivity and income.

  • Promoted the cultivation of moringa—a highly nutritious, drought-resistant plant—and provided farmers with seedlings.

  • Drilled borehole wells to provide clean drinking water and decrease the amount of time women and children spend fetching water.

  • Helped families construct latrines to improve sanitation and reduce the prevalence of disease.

  • Renovated and furnished classrooms, improving the learning environment and increasing school capacity.

  • Provided vocational training to improve community members' economic opportunities.

  • Organized children’s parliaments to advocate for child rights, giving children a platform to express their ideas about issues that affect their lives.

  • Monitored children's health, facilitated their immunization and deworming, and helped sick children access medical treatment.

  • Facilitated Bible clubs and camps to provide spiritual nurture for children.

  • Trained community care coalitions to care for orphans and vulnerable children, and people living with HIV and AIDS.

  • Distributed treated bed nets to help control the spread of malaria.

  • Held cooking demonstrations to teach caregivers about nutrition and show them how to prepare healthy meals using locally available food.

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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:

    • Providing 70,000 residents with access to clean water by drilling wells.
    • Improving hygiene practices by educating residents on environmental hygiene, common diseases and safe water storage and handling.
    • Boosting education for children through the construction of 22 new schools for kindergarten, primary and junior high school children.

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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

    • The protection and care of vulnerable children.
    • People to have improved access to healthcare so they can live healthy, full lives.