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									ABOUT AS4AK
Australian Sponsorship 4 African Kids      academics, visual arts, music and
Limited is a South Australian based        dance, sports, sewing and computer
charitable organization committed to       work as part of their education.
helping poor and disadvantaged
children in Africa, in particular Ghana.
                                           ABOUT B.A.S.I.C.S.

                                           BASICS is a “safe haven” Day Centre
                                           based at Chorkor, a poor, deprived
                                           suburb in Accra, for children in the
                                           surrounding fishing communities where
                                           schooling and teenage pregnancies are
                                           a problem and increase daily due to
                                           poverty and ignorance. The children
                                           attending the Centre range in age from
                                           4 to 23 years.

                                           They are a mixture of ‘street kids’, and
                                           deprived and abused children
                                           living in appalling conditions on the
AS4AK, with the support of a major         streets and beaches of Chorkor. Many
benefactor, is undertaking the             are also victims of child labor. Most
construction and renovation                        want to go to school but do not
of a large multi-functional                        have the means or any practical
education facility with                            and emotional support to do so.
sufficient capacity to
accommodate children                              The new facility will allow
attending BASICS.                                 BASICS to increase its sponsor-
                                                  ship from 250 children to approxi-
Our objective is to help                          mately 500 and enable BASICS
provide an after school                           to increase programs in the
academic and vocational                           community ( for example, adult
                                           literacy/and vocational training to
program centre where
                                           parents, family planning).
children can incorporate

 The BASICS Day Centre, since its in-          Only about 45% of the Ghanaian popu-
 ception, has seen the results of children     lation has access to sanitary means of
 suffering from malnutrition being                             excreta disposal. Ghana
 restored to healthy children due to the                       does not have adequate
 feeding program provided at BASICS.                           sanitary facilities and
 Also, children who could not read are                         relies principally on
 now reading books.                                            seashores, bushes and
 BASICS programs are designed to end                           farms as free range for
 cycles of illiteracy in families who do not                   defecation. This has
 see education as a priority. Children                         serious implication for the
 will have consistent support to enable                        health and safety of
 them to complete school, therefore                            children. Even where
 minimising the likelihood of returning to     some facilities exist, children are not
 the streets; and giving them a brighter       allowed to use them, especially, if use
 future. Children are given positive           involves payment of money. Children
 examples of choices that they can attain      play in filthy gutters and are often seen
 to make this a reality.                       scavenging on waste disposal sites.
                                               These unhealthy habits are sources of
ABOUT THE CHORKOR COMMUNITY                    disease and ill health. In Ghana,
                                               children are the main agents for waste
                                               disposal from the household; a task
 Chorkor is one of the poorest areas in        performed by children as young as four
 Accra and, on occasions, can be quite         years, thus exposing them to various
 violent. The average income of a family       disease pathogens.
 in Chorkor is AUD32 per month. Most
 homes are without sanitation and the          The Chorkor community does not have
 community relies on public latrines.          the capacity or infrastructure to educate
 Houses can accommodate several                its children. The few local public schools
 families and generally only have 1            are generally overcrowded and are split
 bathroom. The community relies on             into morning and afternoon shifts to
 public toilets and baths. Those who           deal with the lack of space. Some
 cannot bear the additional expense of         schools require the children to provide
 using the toilets (there is a fee) – resort   their own chairs and
 to using the beach as their latrine.          desks.                            Page 2
This requires children to carry their       Many children meet only 25% of their
chair and desk to and from school each      dietary requirements. Their low calorie
day often in hot and humid weather, and     intake and malnutrition have grave
quite often on an empty stomach.            consequences and include stunting,
Although these days this practice is less   kwashiorkor, diminished intellectual
common, children are nonetheless            development or death. Protein rich farm
asked to bring money to purchase their      and animal products like milk, beans,
furniture which becomes the property of     groundnuts and eggs are denied to
the school. Most cannot afford to do so.    children.

     LAST BUT NOT LEAST                     Many Ghanaian children do not have
     ABOUT THE CHILDREN                     access to adequate food and nutrition
                                            although they may be residing with their
                                            parents or guardians. The situation is
Truancy and absenteeism are major           worse for children who are not under
problems. Truancy is very high among        parental or guardian care especially
children in most poor areas of Ghana.       street children.
Market days and Fridays especially,
register very low turn outs of school       The majority of the children who are
children in impoverished areas. Truancy     girls end up as maids and are made to
and absenteeism is not limited to only      work around the clock. They have little
school children but also teachers. The      or no time to play or interact with other
large proportion of female school drop                          children. They are
outs is attributed to teenage pregnancy                         denied education
and lack of motivation. When it                                 and are subjected to
becomes necessary for a child to eke                            hunger, even though
out a living by doing odd jobs, going to                        in most cases the
school becomes only a dream. It is the                          young girls prepare
right of every Ghanaian child to have                           most meals. Many
Free Compulsory Basic Education. The        children who are abused suffer
denial of basic education is an             emotional and psychological trauma.
Infringement of a child's basic human       They may end up as delinquents in the
rights.                                     streets of the major cities of Ghana.
                                                                            Page 3
The problems associated with increas-        AS4AK’s Board of Directors are:
ing numbers of street children may not
be only economic. The prevalence of          The Honourable Justice Robyn Layton
street children is a combination of many     Ms Dorinda Hafner (Media Personality/
factors of which abuse and maltreat-         Author)
ment of children are paramount.              Ms Joanne Staugas (Commercial
Poverty and the inability of parents to      Mr. Vahid Chittleborough (Lawyer)
pay school fees, the age and condition       Ms Anne Howe (CEO SA Water
of buildings, schools without buildings      Corporation)
and extortion of unauthorized fees are       Mrs Nicola Downer AM (Board
amongst the main reasons for poor            Directorships)
school attendance.                           Mr Jeff Milton (Chartered Accountant)
                                             Ms Jan Roberts (Company Secretary)
Our objective is to provide a positive
focus for the children so that they have
a safe nurturing environment in which to
flourish, interact with their peers to aid
their development and mutual growth
and help them stay off the streets. In
short, to give the children a future.


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