Ghana: Building a network in West Africa

StreetInvest has worked in Ghana since 2010 and one of our longest standing partnerships is with Muslim Family Counselling Services (MFCS), who we have worked with since 2013. 

In 2017, we embarked on a new stage of our partnership: to develop a regional network of NGO’s, community groups, academics and other partners across West Africa, to promote and support street work and put more trustworthy adults into the lives of street children.  

Putting more street workers on the ground  

The first year drew to a close in June 2018 and MFCS have formed a network of 15 organisations that work with street-connected children across Kumasi and Accra.    

MFCS also re-started their own street work programme in 2017, after three years of not having adequate funds. Tijani Mahmoud, MFCS’s Project Coordinator and a StreetInvest Global Trainer, delivered training to his colleagues. Their small team of just three street workers supported 245 children during 8 months of street work.   

As well as building MFCS’ capacity, Tijani trained a further 33 individuals from the organisations engaged in the network. Following the training, the street workers shared how they had implemented their new knowledge and skills. Several of the organisations had expanded their areas of work and a few were even conducting joint street work. Sharing resources in this way means that even more young people can be reached.  

Driving change at a national level  

The MFCS team also spearheaded an impressive advocacy drive and worked directly with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.  

Back in 202, MFCS delivered training to 23 of the department’s staff. In the lat year, a further 33 members of DSW staff were trained, two of whom will conduct street work themselves.    

StreetInvest and MFCS also met with the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ministry’s Child Protection team, to focus on Ghana’s national plan for street-connected children. StreetInvest, MFCS and representatives from the Consortium for Street Children and the Growing up on the Streets research team, were invited to work with the Director and Deputy Director to support the development of a national plan.