In Guinea, Filling Community Needs

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Posted on 7/25/2013

Since 2005, ChildFund has worked in Guinea to provide children with access to the necessities they need to survive. With a population of 10.8 million people, almost half of whom live in poverty, there are many families who need support. Last year, we helped more than 7,800 children and thousands of family members in a variety of ways, proving that intervention works and can help people emerge from poverty and lead more fulfilling lives.

Reaching Out

ChildFund works with three local partner organizations to help children and families living in some of Guinea's poorest areas. We work predominantly in the Kindia, Mamou and Dabola prefectures, and we have more than 7,000 currently sponsored children in these areas.

ChildFund Guinea has worked hard to improve the quality of life for these families. Our initiatives have had a broad range of focus, from expanding access to education and improved water sources to establishing food security and providing job training. In 2012, almost 50,000 Guineans benefited from these programs.

A key to the ultimate success of these programs is consulting with community members to understand what they need most. ChildFund works with local partners so eventually a community can "graduate" from our assistance once it has stabilized and can offer necessary resources to children and families. This allows ChildFund to move on to other communities that need help.

Empowering Communities

In Guinea, we collaborate with our local partners to understand the communities' greatest needs. In response, ChildFund has worked to provide access to early childhood development (ECD) programs; child protection measures; civic education and job training for youth; promotion of women's rights; food security, and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

ECD centers perform a range of functions in the community. Children can receive nutritious food to ensure that they grow up healthy. Mothers and other caregivers can learn parenting skills that stimulate cognitive and physical development in their children, as well as nutrition and basic health care. Children also gain a good foundation to develop the literacy and numeracy skills they will need to succeed in school.

ChildFund's early childhood development centers also provide a space for community leaders to discuss children's rights and other important topics. This has helped some communities develop better strategies with regard to local governance, the allocation of resources and the promotion of health and wellness.

Last year, we trained 57 early childhood development coordinators to promote young children's learning through play — an initiative that was bolstered by a separate project that provided toys and educational materials to eight ECD centers to promote awareness activities. We also provided vital supplies such as notebooks and stationery to more than 1,000 Guinean schoolchildren.

Although we have helped many children and their families in Guinea's poorest regions, many more need our help. The best way you can invest in the life of a Guinean boy or girl is by becoming a child sponsor. Just $28 per month will ensure that a Guinean child has the food, medicine and education he or she needs to emerge from poverty and live a healthy,more fulfilling life.