Outside PCC the need for care is so big

When walking around in PCC and seeing so many happy and smiling faces there,

one might get the impression that things go rather well in the field of care for disabled people in Ghana.
Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
Yes, we are definitely very proud about all care and attention we are able to give to the PCC residents, but at the same time we are aware that there are so many more disabled children in Ghana, children who don’t receive any good care and often are not growing up in a loving environment.
PCC is not an oasis in between so many more oases, no, PCC is more like a fertile place in the middle of a barren dessert. There is still so much need outside PCC for good care and loving attention for disabled children.
As the truth is that our Community can’t accept all disabled children from all over Ghana and as we noticed the need outside the PCC walls we decided to start a so-called Outreach program some years ago.
Our Outreach workers are visiting the people in the villages, first only in Nkoranza South District, nowadays also in Nkoranza North.
In almost every single village they have found one or more disabled children who are kept inside a small room for the whole day, often tied and locked up, while the parents and other family members will go out and don’t look after the child.
It’s too easy to just judge the parents as they also have to provide income and food for the family and they can’t fall back on all kind of social support systems or care institutions in Ghana. Such provisions are simply not available in Ghana for disabled children, the parents are there on their own.
And for these parents this comes on top of the social stigma of having a disabled child.
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Our Outreach team is visiting all villages in the Districts, is searching for and visiting the disabled children and their parents, is talking with the chiefs and elders and provides background information at village level about the causes of disabilities. They also give information via local FM broadcasts, in churches and in schools, all this is done to increase the acceptance of disabled children and to support people in giving the right care to their children. Supplying anti-epileptics is also part of the Outreach program.
We also support young disabled adults by trying to increase their participation in the society by making them economically more independent, e.g. as sheep or goat farmer.
We admit these are just small steps, but gradually it starts making a difference.
We have been able to start Day Care centers in 2 bigger villages and in other places the parents of disabled children have united themselves in so-called Parent Support Groups. Stronger together.
Nowadays also some children from surrounding villages come to PCC every day to get Day Care.
As a result of the Outreach program PCC is coming out more, we are now also offering care outside the safe walls of PCC.
For the world is so big and the need of disabled children is so great.
That’s why we can’t just limit ourselves to staying within the walls of PCC, there is so much more that needs to be done and we are very glad that we can do something meaningful here.