Spotlight on ANPPCAN Ghana:
CHILD LABOR FUND RECEIVES OVERWHELMING SUPPORT
The project undertaken by ANPPCAN Ghana aims at strengthening formal, non-formal and transitional education systems that encourage child laborers and those at risk of working to attend school. It proposes to mobilize communities, local opinion leaders and other stakeholders against the practice of engaging children in work, especially the worst forms, while supporting those at risk of working, through promoting opportunities in education and training in four supply districts in Ashanti Region, Ghana.

The child labor fund was initially conceived as an alternative resource mobilization strategy in addressing the educational needs such as school fees, levies, uniforms, among others, of withdrawn and at risk children. Subsequently, three of the four communities that ANPPCAN targets, namely: Adanwomase (Kwabre District), Krofrom (B.A.K District), and Manso Nkwanta (Amansie West District) held successful serious of fundraising durbars (public events) towards the end of the first quarter of the project. All earnings were placed into a Child Labor Account at a local bank

During such fund raising durbars, community members, businessmen, opinion leaders, community members working in urban cities and benevolent individuals have made contributions towards the fund, while others have ‘adopted’ withdrawn (from child labor), but needy children, to continue their education.

The fund is under the watchful eyes of both the district and community child labor advocacy committees, which have played a significant role in implementing activities of the project in the communities mentioned above. In fact, the District and Community Child Labor Committees (CLCs), which are locally-based structures created to steer project activities, have shown a very high degree of commitment and dedication to the cause. The same zeal has been shown in the establishment of the child labor fund.

Additional activities include the training of stakeholders at the community level on child labor issues in the Districts, international conventions and creation of a Child Labor Advocacy Committee. Advocacy seminars were held at the schools and colleges in the four districts to pave the way for the establishment of Anti-child labor clubs, and school uniforms and school bags were purchased for withdrawn children.

Besides participating in organizing the launches of the committees, the CLCs have been instrumental in the identification, selection and reintegration of child laborers back to the classroom, and in facilitating acquisition of school uniforms, bags and sandals for the children. The CLCs are also already undertaking a lot of advocacy on child labor and initiating schools anti-child labor clubs. As such, through these activities, the CLCs have developed intervention programs and are committed and focused on the results which is important for the sustainability of the initiative.

The District CLAC in particular is composed of people from government departments at the district level. For them, implementing components of the project has been a positive indicator towards mainstreaming intervention into the district’s planning activities. Through their offices, the DCEs have offered meeting rooms and attended meetings of the CLCs, availed transport to targeted communities when the need arises and even gotten the senior District Assembly officials to attend community meetings in solidarity with community and ANPPCAN in fighting child labor.

As such, the establishment of the Community Child Labor Fund, managed by both the District and Community Child Labor Advocacy Committees, has proved to be a strong and successful local initiative in response to child labor. It will greatly improve and reinforce responses currently being offered to child labor victims. This will be a great help, given the overwhelming cases of children still working, or are at risk, and who may not receive direct support from the ANPPCAN Ghana Child Labor Program.