Rainbow Garden Village launched this project, with Youth New Foundation, because, in the wider area of Accra, there are numerous families living below the poverty line. Children who grow up here have little contact during the day and are left to take care of themselves. Our goal is to help these children and create conditions that will open up opportunities for them in the future. We provide the children with solid structures and a way for them to receive schooling regularly.
The street children project takes place predominantly outdoors in the garden of host mother, Mama Mina. Her garden acts as a playground, a place for the little ones to rest, and a school for the older children. The children can play, learn, enjoy a meal and have access to proper sanitary facilities; all things they may not have at home. The garden has a summer hut with a shady canopy in case of bad weather or hot sun. You’ll be committed to support children who often have difficult family relationships. The full- time supervisor and volunteers provide support and security to these children, typically aged between six months and twelve years old. The project is funded by Rainbow Garden Village and donations, and receives no state funding, so sending volunteers over to help is vital to the success of the centre!
Your focus will be on caring for and supporting the wellbeing of the children. Many of them lack any kind of care or attention at home, and a safe space and friendly face is so important to their development. On a daily basis you may be teaching them English, helping to prepare their meals, teaching them the importance of hygiene (such as hand washing), playing games and feeding the babies. The older children pick up so many important social skills from our volunteers too. For the youngest children, ensuring they are looked after and cared for will be your most important task, and for the older children, it will be ensuring they have all the help they need with their schoolwork, teaching them about the world and encouraging creativity and free play.
Although the children may arrive at the premises very early, activities don’t start until after breakfast, which is at around 8am. You’ll work from Monday to Thursday from 8am to 1pm, but if you wish to spend your afternoons organising further activities for the children then that is encouraged. For example, some volunteers run games afternoons, craft classes or English lessons on Fridays. There is no limit to your creativity and the children love seeing what new ideas their volunteers come up with! Each project site has different working hours, which will be discussed with you at the start of your program. In your free time and your days off you may wish to go on excursions, visit the local beaches or take a tour to the nearby national parks. Many volunteers like to organise group events so that you can all explore together.