YHFG Welcomes Linda Nyaamah Anaabah to the Team
Linda Nyaamah Anaabah is a 24-year old graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She has been employed to join the YHFG team as Project Coordinator of the Youth Supporting Peers and Encouraging Empowerment through Knowledge (Youth SPEEK) project. The Youth SPEEK project is aimed at improving sexual and reproductive health information among young people between the ages of 10 and 24 and to enhance their understanding of their rights and responsibilities in such matters in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
Linda is a result-oriented and brilliant young woman who has been engaged in organizing youth and motivating them to unleash their full potential. She officially began work as a Youth SPEEK Project Coordinator on 1st March, 2012. It has been her long standing passion to work with youth in matters relating to their sexuality and health and her appointment is a platform to fulfil this ambition.
Very successful charity run for the JHS
The students of Otto-Pankok high school have raised 7500 € in a charity run for the Apotdabogo Junior High School. What a wonderful Christmas present! Details will follow...
Sir Halley Stewart Trust is funding Youth SPEEK
The Sir Halley Stewart Trust Foundation has awarded a two year funding grant to YHFG for the Youth SPEEK program. In rural communities, sexuality and sexual transmittable diseases (STD) are still taboo subjects. Peer education will be the main strategy to educate rural youth about sexual and reproductive health, their rights and responsibilities to lower the rates of HIV/STD transmissions, unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. Community health care providers will be included in the project and offered training to help improve the youth friendly access to health care. YHFG aims to build the capacity of young people to advocate for their rights.
YHFG Welcomes Hillary Adongo to the Team
Hillary Adongo is a 25-year old graduate of the University for Development Studies. He has been employed as a Project Coordinator of the Young Professionals Programme (YPP) - an entrepreneurship challenge programme designed to address the entrepreneurial challenge for young professionals in northern Ghana. The programme which is a partnership between the Youth Harvest Foundation in Ghana and Talent Beyond Limits in the Netherlands, will support young people to develop new ways of looking at the challenges of poverty and social deprivation in their communities. The YPP will call forth participants entrepreneurial minds as well as expose them to cutting-edge business and technological skills that will increase their competence and self-efficacy to move into action.
Hillary is a self-motivated and inspired young man who has been working with various youth groups on campus over the last 4 years of his bachelorship training. He officially began work as a coordinator for the YPP on the 1 September 2011. It is his vision as a young entrepreneur to help other young people live fulfilled lives.
Urban Youth Funds awards STEP UP program of YHFG
The Urban Youth Fund of the UN-HABITAT has awarded YHFG 20'000 USD for its STEP-UP program (Seamstress Training and Education Program Upper-East). It is the main objective of STEP-UP to reduce poverty among young seamstresses by providing the necessary skills to start a successful business. The STEP-UP program will establish a shop and workshop as an educational facility to give the girls additional 12 months training on technical and entrepreneurial issues. This infrastructure will at the same time serve as a place, where they work and earn their income in a self-managed business. YHFG will also offer educational seminars on reproductive health and sexual rights to improve responsible family planning. Each year's graduates will train the next cohort of 25 seamstresses. Sales from the shop will ensure long-term sustainability.
YHFG Board Meets
On Tuesday 12th April,there was a meeting of the board with staff. This meeting resulted in the restructuring of YHFG's activities and strategies. They looked at YHFG now and what YHFG should focus on in the near future. At the end of the day it was decided that a committee be set up any time soon to prepare for the coming up anniversary of YHFG.
Harvest Academy Gets New Jerseys
Today, the under fourteen group of the academy received New jerseys. The money for the jerseys was gotten from a JPG member, Jolien.
Screening of Harvest Academy
Last Thursday and Friday, harvest academy went through a screening process to be selected to play the upcoming league which is scheduled to take off this Saturday 23rd April 2011. During the process passport pictures were also taken to prepare ID cards for the various teams players for Ghana Football Association's easy identification. At the end of the process, Harvest Academy successfully screened Thirty three player to play for under twelve and twenty five players for under fourteen group.
Harvest Academy Receive Computer Lessons
The ICT advisor and also Coach to the academy took it upon himself to deliver computer lessons to these little ones. The lessons started today and the children are very happy and enthused.
Youth Centre gets Sign Board
After two years of establishment, the youth center mounted a sign board this month. The sign board became necessary when people said they found it difficult locating the office. We intend to mount similar ones at vantage points in the region to give a better description of where the office is located.
Harvest academy RE- registers for juvenile premier league
Harvest academy has re-registered to be a member of the juvenile premier league. This would ensure that harvest academy takes part and gets to play in any league held as the year unfolds.
Zuarungu Secondary Emerge winners of 6th Youth Parliament
On Saturday 19 February 2011 our annual youth parliament came off at the catholic social centre where we had secondary schools within the Bolga municipality (Bolgatanga Senior High, Bolgatanga girls senior high, Zuarungu senior high and Zamse senior high) coming together on a common platform to debate on reproductive health issues. Other schools present were the Bolgatanga vocational training institute and Bolgatanga technical institute. This year's theme was "Bridging the gap between adolescent sexuality and HIV risk" In his speech the executive director of youth harvest Mr. John Kingsley Krugu said that adult discomfort with adolescent sexuality is a major obstacle to providing young people with the information and services they are entitled to and this can result in the lost of potentials and opportunities, unwanted children, illness, or even death. The guest of honor at the occasion, the municipal chief executive said that he was grateful to the Youth Harvest Foundation for such a programme and that the numbers of HIV infected people will grow in the coming year, so that is why this event is so important.
At the end of the day prizes were presented to participating schools and also all patrons for the various harvest clubs. This was to thank them for their good work done and also to motivate them.
Statements debabted this year youth parliament include
New car for YHFG
At long last Youth Harvest has finally got a car. The car is a Mitsubishi L200 is a double cabin pick-up with four doors. It got to the shores of the country in December 2010. In January 2011 it was cleared from the ports. Thanks to our sponsors for a good work done.
Awogya JHS pupil successfully complete computer lessons
December, 2010 saw 32 students receiving the computer lessons from the above mentioned school. In March 2011, 20 of the pupils completed the classes successfully. We hope to extend the lessons to the harvest academy during the long vacation (in July 2011). Receiving certificates, the students expressed much gratitude to the foundation for giving them the opportunity to learn how to use the computer.
When asked about s ome of the problems they faced during the lessons, the students mentioned a lot of problems which include,
Youth Centre gets photocopiers
By the kind donation from the food producer Hengstenberg and the efforts of JugendPartnershaft Ghana e.V. (Germany), the Bolga Skill centre received five photocopiers to support its income generating activities. The multi-purpose copiers are a big boost to the youth activities in the centre. In a related development, JugendPartnershaft Ghana has also donated a scanner and a printer to the youth centre. All these adding to the already running internet café, the youth centre is bracing up to provide quality youth services to the youth of the Bolgatanga Municipality.
School exchange program
The school exchange program between Apotdabogo primary school and Tiefburg School in Germany has been maintained. During the year, there was an exchange of drawings and letters between pupils of the two schools. In a related development, 40 school desks were presented to the school by YHFG to enhance teaching and learning.
Community youth benefit from counseling services
The social worker at the Youth Centre, Abigail Adumolga decided to reach out to community youth groups who have no access to youth support services in their communities. The outreach counseling services was quit great. Four youth groups in different communities were visited and given both counseling and inspirational talk. The communities include: Bongo Soe (17 youth), Apatanga (41), both in the Bongo District. Zuarungu Katanga (26) in Bolga District and Kongo (30) in the Talensi-Nabdam District. In all 114 young people in these communities were counseled on how to prevent teenage pregnancy and dangerous methods of abortion, and making an impact in their communities as young people.
EPEFA benefit from leadership training
On two occasions Epefa has benefitted from leadership training by experienced resource persons. The resource person Mr Ruud Schonk, a sponsoring partner of the Junior High School project. During these occasions, resource persons shared their experiences in their field of work.
Citing himself as an example, Ruud said the company he works now started ten years ago as a one-man company. Then the person took the risk of investing in people by employing them fully so as to expand it. And now, the company has 50ca employees. He explained that they invested in people because they needed them for their company expansion. It thus means that as farmers who intend practicing dry season farming, they need to invest in equipment. He was quick to add that Epefa do not have to be led to take risk. Ideas can be given to the farmers by YHFG and other partners but it is left onto them to explore the ideas and come out with their own initiatives. This was to entreat them to own the project and risk taking initiatives.
Epefa attained cooperative status
As a farmer based organization (FBO), Epefa needed to be registered at, and issued a certificate of recognition by the Department of Cooperatives. A number of meetings and consultations were held with the department heads and this has led to the acquisition of a certificate of recognition. This gave Epefa a legal recognition as a Farmer Based Organization (FBO) in the Bawku West District of the Upper East region. The certification has given EPEFA an upper hand as compared to other farmer groups when applying for assistance from governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Harvest Academy qualified for the Juvenile Premier League
From 9 till 16 August the Juvenile First Division League took place. Harvest Academy was one of the 10 football teams of the Upper East Region that took part. The seven best teams would qualify for the Juvenile Premier League. Those teams would be added to the five teams that were already qualified. Our team did very well by taking the 4th position. During the tournament the team was second, however in the last two matches some points were left. The Juvenile Premier League will most likely start in September and end in November. Every team will have to play 22 matches.
Some more good football news... Two boys of the under 12 team were selected to play for the Upper East Region team in a tournament in Wa, the Upper West Region. The tournament is organized by the Ghana Football Association and will take place from 21 to 28 August. During this week the regions will play against each other. Our football coach, Albert Atiah, will come along to escort the young boys.
Start building Junior High School Apotdabogo community
One of the projects YHFG currently started is the building of a Junior High School in the Apotdabogo community in Bawku West. With only a primary school in the area, students do not continue their education as the distance to the nearest Junior High School (JHS) is great. The project is divided into two phases. For the first phase funding was acquired from Il Fuoco del Futuro (Italy) and Progress (Netherlands) to start phase 1 of the construction. A representative of Progress (an organization involved in project management and engineering), dr. Ruud Schonk and his family, visited the Youth Harvest Foundation to witness the start of the building. They spent one day at the Apotdabogo community where they visited the work site and the existing primary school and spoke to the farmers on taking risks.
Although the construction of the building just has started, we are still looking for funding to be able to start with phase 2. While he was here, Dr. Ruud Schonk was also able to give a workshop to staff members of YHFG and other invited guests on project management. It was a very educative, interactive and useful workshop. He explained the different phases in project management and used the building of the JHS as an example how the project should be managed.
2nd training day Peer Counseling Project took place
Today the second training day of the peer counseling project took place. The focus of this day was on how to reach out to those young people facing problems when they are back in the community. On 5th of August the students will vacate from school and go back to their community to counsel their peers. We wish them the best of luck!
Excursion Kintampo Waterfalls great success!
Today July Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana organized an excursion to the Kintampo waterfalls. Seventy students of the Youth Harvest Clubs of two schools, Bogiss and Zuss, joined this day trip to Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region. Although it rained throughout the day, it didn't stop the students from having fun! Pictures were taken, games were being played, the waterfall was being explored and the students made sure everyone got soaking wet! After a long day the students were dropped tired but satisfied in their schools.
Dry Season Farming
In February YHFG started with a pilot to do dry season farming of peanuts. When farmers are able to farm two times a year they can increase their income tremendously, which will increase the chances of their children to go to school. An area of 1.2 ha (3 acres) of land was selected for this purpose. Some farmers were selected to cultivate 100 kg of peanuts. To be able to do the dry season farming a water pump was acquired to pump the water from the river to the land. This week the farmers will harvest the groundnuts, before they are laid down to dry. The expectations are that the harvest will be good.
Kick-off Peer Counselling Project >>>photo gallery
Young people in the communities often do not have access to youth friendly health care services. In Ghana it is a taboo to have sex before you are married. When you have sex you therefore may not easily go to a clinic to buy condoms. As a young girl when you get pregnant, you often face a lot of problems. When they want to abort the pregnancy they often turn to unsafe measures, like drinking ground bottles. These unsafe abortions lead most of the time to death. In Ghana unsafe abortions count for 22 to 30 percent of all maternal deaths in the country. One of the reasons for this behaviour is that young people just do not know how they get pregnant and how they can protect themselves. They do not have someone they can talk to who will not judge them. With this background in mind, the Peer Counselling Project was started.
The aim of the project is to strengthen the capabilities of young people to make a positive change in other young people's lives. Furthermore it gives a platform for young people in the communities, who do not have access to counselling, to talk about their problems with their peers and find a solution to their problems.
The project started with a two day training on 4th and 5th June. In this training we trained Senior High School students to become peer counsellors in their own community during the summer break. They were trained on effective counselling, how to communicate and how to counsel on issues concerning sexual and reproductive health. The students went back home with the assignment to practice the counselling with their fellow students in the Senior High Schools. Next training day will be 3rd of July.
Computer Classes during Easter Break
During the Easter Break the Youth Harvest Foundation has not been sitting idle. During the 4 weeks of school holidays, computer classes were given to Senior High School students. Although these students are already between the age of 16 to 22, they have never been taught basic computer skills in school. For most of the students who attended the class, it was the first time they sat behind or even laid eyes on a computer.
In total 24 students attended the computer classes, of which 12 passed the exam. As internet is unreliable in this part of the country, some of the students were not able to do the exam, due to low connectivity. Those who did not do the exam, we encourage to come back in order for them to pass the exam. Afterwards the students who passed their exams were rewarded with certificates.
After the Basic Computer Skills Course students can make a word document, are able to search for information on the internet and created an email account.
New Harvestletter published
The fifth Harvestletter, a newletter made by harvest club members, is now available online.
Production centre inaugurated at EPEFA >>>photo gallery
Since its start in 2006, EPEFA has been able to successfully finish phase 2 of the Rural Development project. Within phase 2, which is the tipping point of the project, a microcredit scheme is launched, organic certification is started and most importantly a production centre is built for the community. This production centre is crucial as it is the main centre of all activities that take place concerning the fair-trade farming. It houses a storage room, a food processing unit and several offices and is meant for the cooperative to store, test and process the groundnuts. In this way the cooperative will be able to sell their groundnuts collectively for a better price in the future, without the help of the Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana. When YHFG exits the community the farmers will be completely self-reliant to sell their groundnuts.
On 27th of March the official inauguration of the production centre took place. Around 300 people were present, including around 170 Epefa members as well as the board and staff of YHFG. The chief of Zongoire did us the honour to officially open the centre by cutting the ribbon.
Although it was a joyful day, with motivating speeches, dances and a tour around the premises the absence of the District Assembly cast a shadow on the whole day. It shows that the government places little concern on projects in the area.
BIGBOSS winner of 5th Youth Parliament
Saturday 5th of December we were celebrating our 5th Youth Parliament. The Youth Parliament is a debate contest among students of 5 senior high schools in Bolga (ZUSS, BIGBOSS, BOGISS, BOTECH, BVTI). The aim is to improve the self-confidence of young people as well as to address issues concerning the sexual and reproductive health of the youth to media, schools and the government.
The topics students debated on that Saturday were:
On that day we had the pleasure of having the presence of the Deputy Minister of the Upper East Region, Lucy Awuni.
>>>more about the Youth Project
EPEFA now Bio certified
The Bio certification of EPEFA for peanut farming and shea Wildsammlung through ECOCERT has been finalised with success.
Harvestletter now online
The Harvestletter, a newletter made by harvest club members, is now available online.
Today the EPEFA congress was taking place. The congress is the highest organ where decisions are taken and is held three times a year. The congress was well attended, with 98 farmers present. Topics this year included: the peanut yield for this year, loan repayments as well as how to improve soil fertility. On the last topic the crops officer of MOFA (Ministery of Food and Agriculture) gave a presentation on the organic ways one can use to improve the quality of the crop yield. The peanut yield this year is far lower than last year due to the flooding as well as the rosette disease. Because of the low yield, the organization will look for ways together with the farmers to have the loans repaid.
Product exhibition of Junior Achievement Companies a great succes! >>>photo gallery
Since may 2009 YHFG is running the JA company program in collaboration with Junior Achievement. This program is running in 7 schools, including the dressmaker apprentices and focuses on bringing business skills to the students. In the end of the program students have to come up with their own product to sell. On the 24th of October the exhibition of these products was organized. Around 200 people were present, including a representative of the Ghana Education Service as well as a representative of Junior Achievement from Accra. The four groups that performed best will go to Accra next year to participate in the national JA program. Everyone was participating and all contributed to make it a fun day!
>>>more about the Youth Project
Organic Certification inspection of Sunuga project
From 24th to 28th of August an inspection was conducted by ECOCERT on the infrastructure and production fields at EPEFA. ECOCERT is a control and certification body based in France with a satellite office for West Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. With funding support from Il Fouco del Futuro, the organic certification processes for peanuts and shea nut got started in June 2009. The outcome was a certification report that highlighted the current state of the fields and mentioned further steps that can be taken.
Entrepreneurial skills program with Junior Achievement makes progress
Eight companies have been formed and products are produced ranging from mobile phone purses, fabric, Batik Tye and dye, special chips to pea pops, Jollof rice and exercise. An exhibition that will showcase the students work and the skills they have acquired is scheduled for October.
In May 2009, the YHFG signed an MOU with Junior Achievement Ghana to use the Junior Achievement (JA) company program. The key objective of the JA company program is to train young people on entrepreneurial skills towards self-reliance. The program consists of business content and is enhancing the student's classroom curriculum. Students are encouraged to use innovative thinking to learn entrepreneurial skills that support positive attitudes as they explore their career aspirations. Through a variety of hands-on activities designed to support different learning styles, students develop a better understanding of the relationship between what they learn at school and their successful participation in a modern economy. In June 2009, eight clubs drawn from six Senior High Schools and apprenticeship trainees were selected for a pilot. In total 350 students and 27 apprentices are participating in the program that will end this month.
Skill Centre officially launched
The Skill youth centre is a place where young people can come together, develop their own ideas, express themselves and take part in various sport activities. They can receive counseling, education on reproductive health, ICT training and entrepreneurial skills training. Furthermore it will be the home for various sports activities as well as activities that allow the students to express themselves.
It was a festive day, which was filled with colourful performances from the Harvest clubs and the Harvest Academy choreography groups. In particular a short play on HIV/Aids drew the attention to the devastating effect of the HIV pandemic. Also present at the launch was the Deputy Regional Minister, Madam Lucy Awuni, who stressed the great importance of the work of YHFG to develop the young people in the region. She particularly expressed, how the new Youth Centre will be of great service to the youth in the Bolgatanga Municipality. She expressed grave concern on the rising numbers of teenage pregnancies among Junior High School students and said there is great need for reproductive health education in the younger age group. The director of YHFG, John Krugu called on the Government to expedite action on the implementation of the National Youth policy.
Microcredit fund launched
With a start-up budget, we have entered the first phase of the EPEFA microcredit system. The EPEFA farmers will receive detailed training in financial matters. All applying farmers groups are evaluated according to various aspects before they qualify for funding. Recently, the first loan has been given to a group of seven pito brewers to launch their business.
Nuts from Sunuga Peanut Project fulfil high quality standards.
Good news after a long wait: The test results of the 2008 peanut harvest from the laboratory in Accra have been confirmed by a laboratory in Germany. Now, no formal reason does prevent us from selling the peanuts abroad.
Preparations for Skill Centre ongoing
After finding an appropriate home for our Youth Centre (Skill Centre - SC) the rooms have been renovated and furnished according to our purposes. Abigail moved into her new office in the SC. Also the Harvestclubs have adopted the SC as the home for their meetings. The official launching of the SC will take place in a few weeks. Currently, we are preparing for the first SC activities.
New YHFG website launched
http://www.yhfg.org is online with the new Internet presence you are currently visiting. The new site offers a broader view on our projects, activities and plans for the future. We hope you like it and will appreciate your comments and feedback via email to email@example.com.
Sunuga Peanut Project received new funding
Members of the Italian NGO Il Fuoco del Futuro visited the Sunuga project this week. With their support we will finalise the construction and initiate the bio certification of peanut cultivation at EPEFA next year. The grant also comprises funds for a project coordinator.
Welcome Abigail Adumolga
Abigail Adumolga joined the team of YHFG. As a social worker, she will support young people with counsel concerning education but also in personal conflict situations. Furthermore, she will assist the Harvestclubs in the daily matters of the Skill Centre and assist in organising students projects.
>>>more about the Skill Center