Breaking the cycle of poverty and disadvantages
In Dagbani, a local language in Northern Ghana, PANKO means " I am not alone." The project is based on the initiative of two very committed Ghanaians who set themselves the goal to improve the situation for children and young people in the northern, poorer region of their country. Many children there suffer from an inadequate education system and weak social structures. One third of all children leave school without a diploma and the unemployment rate is over 50%. Without an education, these children have little chance to "stand on their own feet." After school, the children are often unsupervised and lack guidance. They need a place where they can learn and play in safety.
Ibrahim and Mubarak had the vision to build a youth center that offers afternoon activties around education, sports and social skills. They had a concept and many great ideas - but they didn't have the means.
From the idea to the implementation
At the beginning of 2020 we had the budget together and were able to get started:
The Schmitz Foundations, which provided the lion's share for this project, the Arche Noah Foundation and many private donors made it possible! After intensive preparation, which included the acquisition of land, construction of the center and the development of an educational and sports concept, PANKO was finally opened its doors. Around 90 children are now part of PANKO and we are keen to expand the group. One focus will be on admitting more girls, in order to strengthen their position in society and simultaneously improve their educational opportunities.
With every day that the children and teachers spend in the youth center, the enthusiasm grows and there are no limits to pursuing new ideas. Recently, a small vegetable garden was planted on the campus - cooking healthy meals together with the children is now also part of the curriculum. And with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the children were educated in hygiene and other self-protection measures.
There are other ideas that we plan to realize, such as the construction of a small library that all children from the surrounding area can use.
Mubarak, his team and the children of PANKO would like to thank everyone who has donated so far and we would be very happy about your continued interest and support of PANKO.