Special Needs Children

Ghana is one of the most incredible, friendly and welcoming countries you will ever visit. However, some of their commonly held beliefs are very outdated, especially when it comes to children with special needs. Sadly the vast majority have been bought up believing that these children are possessed by the devil, are cursed, or are witches, so you can only imagine the way these children can be treated. At Enliven Mama Africa we want to enable these children to have the best quality of life that is possible. For these children to develop skills and learn in a way that is suited for their own needs. We are looking for volunteers who have a passionate heart who want to make a genuine difference to these children’s lives.

Some wonderful parents within Ghana decide to bring up their children, no matter what! For these families the support is next to nothing. They are left to struggle without any support to help them understand their child’s condition or how to care for their child.

During a recent trip to Ghana we did some research into how parents living with children with special needs are coping and the kind of support they feel they need:

"I took my son to the hospital because he had a seizure when he was 40 days old. They put him on oxygen and then they told me that his brain was spoilt and he will be no good."

"My daughter is very floppy, she is 3 years old, and still can’t hold her head up. Her father left us and I have 3 other children to care for. My daughter spends most of her time sitting in a box now."

Most of these parents talked of cures for their children, they dreamt of them being able to go to school and be like all of the other children. However, in Ghana there are very few specialised centres for these children to learn and develop and mainstream schools will not accept these children. Therefore, the children are often neglected, left on their own most days, many of these children are hidden inside as parents are ashamed and worried what society will say about their family.
At Enliven we feel that both parents and other members of the general public need to realise the potential of these incredible children.

Enliven Mama Africa aim to recruit volunteers to support these families in the community! The main jobs of volunteers will involve:
- Visiting the families, getting to know their children’s and their needs. Following and creating care plans for individual children and their family which future volunteers can utilise.
- Helping with daily living activities, such as feeding and cleaning. Aiding the independence of the child.
- Educating parents and communities on the children’s needs and various conditions.
- Activities such as physiotherapy and exercises, speech and language, communication development.
- Sensory play.
- Helping develop the skills that children can utilise to become independent, e.g. reading, writing, vocational skills.
- Possibly taking children to hospital for medical needs.
- Providing the children with opportunities to reduce their social isolation with trips out into the community with other children.

The Dream for the Future

Enliven Mama Africa are passionate about educating Ghana and improving the lives of children with special needs nationwide.
Eventually we would love to be able to establish an educational and care setting for these children. A place that they can come to develop and learn in a way that is best suited to their individual needs. Volunteers will then be able to work with a range of children with special needs in one setting. This place will enable children with special needs to integrate into their communities, providing them with opportunities to develop friendships with other children. They will also have access to a range of therapies and opportunities which will enhance their quality of life, development and independence.

When words and actions are both true and kind, they can change our world – Buddha

For more information on volunteering with children with special needs in Ghana, please Contact us.

Additionally, please feel free to email with any questions on Ghana, special needs, our plans for the future or any other queries you may have!

"This is truly an amazing experience, to have the chance to change lives, to put smiles on faces and touch the hearts of these young children."