Sub-Saharan Africa is home to an estimated 53 million orphans – 12% of all children in the region. Most orphaned children are taken in by extended family, but with almost half of Africans living on less than a dollar a day, these children often become an unmanageable burden. As a result, a large number of orphans end up living in residential facilities.
To help address the needs of the children in these facilities, AmeriCares is partnering with the Hope for All Foundation and Youth and Social Enterprise Fund in the One Child One World™ project, a four-year initiative that focuses on improving nutrition and health for orphaned and vulnerable children ages 0 – 18 months, living in 29 residential homes in Ghana.
Ghana has seen a marked increase in the number of orphaned and vulnerable children along with a high demand for supportive care and housing. With growing demand, many supportive care facilities are experiencing severe resource constraints, including limited access to well-balanced and nutritional meals for children.
“Children living in these homes are twice as likely to be malnourished.”
Since the launch of One Child One World™ in July 2011, AmeriCares has delivered four shipments of nutritional supplements, infant formula, and personal care and hygiene products. At the end of 2011, nearly 600 children had benefited from the program, including one little boy by the name of Kofi.
Kofi arrived at Royal Seed Home, one of our recipient facilities in central Ghana, when he was 5 months old. He was drastically underweight for his age and suffering from malnutrition. Thankfully, at the same time Kofi arrived at Royal Seed Home, so did AmeriCares first shipments of nutritional supplements.
Kofi is just one of thousands of children in Ghana who suffer from malnutrition. Research conducted for the One Child One World™ project revealed that children living in these 29 residential homes are twice as likely to be malnourished compared to their Ghanaian counterparts living outside the homes. This is an alarming statistic when you consider the serious health consequences that arise as a result of malnutrition, including increased susceptibility to serious diseases, along with development delays in physical and cognitive growth.
Through the One Child One World™ project, AmeriCares is giving children like Kofi the opportunity to live happier and healthier lives.