PERSONAL STORY 5
Emmanuel works for the Compassion4Humanity Foundation in Ghana. He shared his story about the influence of COVID-19 on him as an individual and on the foundation
The virus is something I lest expected to happen to Ghana. Since we record our first case of COVID-19 and follow by lock down, our daily lifestyle has change. Going to work is a challenge, many work had to closed down, places where people visit a lot like church, food joints, and shops were closed down. Ghanaian likes going to church or the mosque. Besides visiting of families, staying together, shaking of hands, and sharing foods etc. This has really affected the Ghanaian way of life, for me, and work. It has affected our education system because many children are at home. My wife and I have to run a home school for our five kids.
Also, with challenges faced by our hospitals and health workers, there is fear of we visiting the hospital with minor illness. Prices of Goods have gone up, making it difficult for families and individuals who earn their income daily. Especially, those selling by the road side and at the market. It has also affected our tourism industry and airline industry. As we no longer received other nationalities and volunteers.
Besides all the negatives things happening to Ghana, There are some good things I am also happy with happening during this crises. That is good hygienic practices. Today I see many wash their hands 10 to 15 times in a day, which is not too common with our culture. And taking time to keep their houses clean and making sure children do the same. Another thing is eating well balance food. Ghana grows many of its food, but many at times we grow them for money. Today people are doing well to stay healthy. The third thing is the rich companies and individuals are helping feed the poor, the street children, and donating to hospitals during lock down. The fourth thing is caring for the aged, Ghanaian old men & women still have to work to support their families. This pandemic has made the aged stay home, especially those with underlying sickness like diabetes etc. Evening though after the lockdown some still have to get back to work.
The consequences on my foundation are many; we are not able to work as a foundation since we meet children daily from the street, at school and sometimes at homes. Our daily outreach has being affected. We run a daily school for over 450 children, and employ 19 staff who works for the foundation and our school. Due to this pandemic, 16 staff had to stop working due to no income to pay them, leaving 3 staff working to keep work on-going.
Children under our care will have no school or learning. The Ghana education was quick to put in place some measures ensuring opportunities for continuous learning even with schools closed. Measures like lessons broadcast on Ghana television for continuous learning. Despite the achievements with this distance learning platforms. Many of our children and their families do not have access to internet/Television; the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2017/18 indicates that only 22% of households in the Ghana have access to the internet at home and only 15% have access to a computer. Other factors affecting equity in access include economic deprivations at household-level, lack of electricity, high illiteracy rates, lack of local language instruction, and lack of a supportive learning environment in general.
Even where television does exist, children do not have access to programmed during specified broadcast times. Crowding children around a single set may also contravene social distancing protocols. In multi-occupant households, it is difficult to identify a specific and consistent space conducive to a child's learning. Quality is another aspect of education service delivery that becomes more difficult to measure in the COVID-19 response.
Emmanuel. (2020, June). Impact COVID-19 on your foundation. (A. Engberink, E. Gnodde, & W. Wonder, Interviewers)