Christian Aid partner, Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND-Ghana), has been awarded the 2010 ONE Africa Award.
The ONE Africa Award recognises remarkable work in advancing one or more of the Millennium Development Goals. SEND-Ghana helps communities speak up about issues that affect them and ensure that government policies that are meant to help them deliver real change.
ONE was set up in 2004 to combat preventable disease and fight extreme poverty. In 2008 it merged with DATA which was set up by Bono and Bobby Shriver to work on debt relief, AIDS and unfair trade rules with a focus on Africa.
In 2004, Ghana received debt relief as part of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative. SEND-Ghana have ensured that funds freed up by this decision are spent on projects that benefit communities including improving schools for thousands of children.
This money has allowed the village where Fatimata and her brother Musah live to replace their makeshift buildings with permanent classrooms.
'I really want to be at school. I think it is good for me because it means I will be able to get a job,' says Fatimata. 'I think it is good that girls now go to school as well because we all need jobs.'
Today, Christian Aid is proud to be supporting SEND-Ghana in its work ensuring government programmes such as the Ghana School Feeding Programme and National Health Insurance scheme are carried out efficiently and reach the citizens who need these services most.
For example, SEND-Ghana is ensuring the delivery of vital, nutritionally balanced school lunchtime meals to over 17,000 children in the country’s poorest northern regions. This figure represents triple the number of children receiving meals before SEND’s involvement.
SEND’s work on the National Health Insurance scheme concentrates on securing special support for people with disabilities. Their monitoring revealed that money allocated by the government to help disabled people pay the premium needed to access the insurance was not being used as intended by district authorities.
Through SEND’s lobbying and advocacy efforts, many people with a disability living in poverty are now able to access important health care.