Thom Beeld

The Thom Foundation

Projects in Ghana

  • A School and home for disabled children in WA
  • WA is situated in the Upper West region in the north of Ghana. The region covers about 18,000 sq. kilometers and consists mainly of savannah. The number of inhabitants in the Upper West region amounts to about 60,000.

    89% live in rural areas, they are chiefly farmers, and the other 11% live in towns.

    Living conditions in the Upper West region can be described as poor. Most people live below minimum standard. For disabled children and their parents/guardians conditions are very difficult due to seriously few facilities for this target group.

    From a survey in 1996 it appeared that in that time about 110 mentally disabled children lived within the town limits in WA. Although this survey was not entirely complete its figures were alarming. The first steps were taken to build a school for these children. Via donors and the Catholic Church money was collected for the reception of these children.

    In WA a school for deaf children had been founded in 1968.This was done by the Catholic Church Welfare board and is under the umbrella of the Catholic Church. In 1998/1999 it was decided that the reception of mentally and physically disabled children was to be integrated in the school for deaf children.

    At the moment the situation is such that some 60 children attend the school for mentally and physically disabled children. There is an urgent need for a little school with adequate facilities for this specific group of children. A number of children come from far away.After school hours they sleep in the classrooms, which have no sanitary conveniences. Neither is the school adapted for the reception of physically disabled children. Together with EOF we are going to build a school and a home for this group of children on a large site just outside WA. It is our first priority to implement the two facilities, but besides we would like to set up, in the future, a workshop and a farm in order to offer the children active participation in society.

    The ages of the children at the moment range fom 6 to 15, boys and girls regardless of race, religion or origin. The number of pupils is expected to increase in the future. The majority of the children that attend school now are from WA. However, in the future the school is to have a regional function as, in addition to the school, also a home for the children will be built.

    The initiative for the building of a new school for disabled children came from the headmaster of the school and from the Ghanese Education Service, an institution supported by the government.This institution also takes care of the staff of the school. The initiative is supported by the Catholic Church.

  • Maternity home in Logba
  • Even before The Thom Foundation existed we were - on a small scale - actively engaged in promoting projects in developing countries.

    An example of which is the support of a maternity home in the east of Ghana in the town of Logba.

    The request for a new maternity home came from the midwife working here. She performed her job in an old shed with a leaking roof, she had no water and no electricity. With the aid of de Wilde Ganzen we have realized the maternity home. In the course of the years the home has also been used as a small regular hospital where, for example, children suffering from malaria have been treated.

    The clinic meets the medical demands of about 14,000 people.

    The clinic is operated by people from the village; there is a nurse, a midwife and a caretaker. Our organization gives support by paying for new medicines, beds, medical instruments etc.

    With our financial support a new sanitary block was realized and water was laid on in 2005. Finally the clinic has clean, running water.