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Category Page: VOLUNTEER AND INTERN PROJECTS

Interns Present Research at Harvard University – “Implications of Family Planning on Child Labor: A Ghanaian Case Study”

Summer 2017 brought two amazing interns Leah Singleton and Taegan Dennis both of whom are undergraduate students at the Florida State University (FSU). They served as project coordinators for Patriots Ghana’s Child labor and trafficking prevention project in three fishing communities in the Central region of Ghana (Senya, Fetteh, and Nyanyano).

Reserach 1

As part of their internship with Patriots Ghana, they conducted a study into the Implications of Family Planning on Child Labor. They presented their research at the National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) which was held on January 18th-20th at Harvard University. The NCRC aims to build an interdisciplinary research community among undergraduate students and promote undergraduate research. Their project explored how stakeholders in Senya-Beraku understand the role of family planning in reducing poverty and child labor within their community. Patriots Ghana offered community volunteers who acted as translators in the target community, Senya-Beraku, Ghana.

Background of Senya

Senya Breku is one of one of the villages located in Awutu-Senya in the Central Region of Ghana. Like most of the coastal communities, Senya too is based primarily on fish and fishing. Senya, in particular, relies almost entirely on fishing. As a result, they have to find other ways to make money but none are available. Families are forced to send their children to work at the shore untangling nets, selling fish and working on the boats. The men fish while the women sell the catch in the markets in Kasoa or Accra.

Methodology

Recruited local elites from the Senya Beraku fishing community through snowball sampling and conducted 22 mid-length interviews (30-45 minutes). The interviewees include religious leaders, the stool elder of Senya, an assemblyman, local health workers, our National Coordinator and staff of our partner organization, Cheerful Hearts Foundation. Transcribed and inductively coded the language used by interviewees to describe family planning and child labor as well as relevant background information. Compared Codes between demographic factors such as gender and community role. SAS Software was used to portray the descriptive statistics and analyzed differences.

Findings

75% of respondents believe contraception is highly accessible in Senya-Beraku

  • 64% of respondents mentioned stigma against contraception
  • 90% of respondents mentioned potential side effects as a barrier to contraception use
  • 30% of respondents mentioned fear of infidelity as limiting contraception use
  • Mean number of children for interview respondents was 2.68 children, compared to mean ideal number of children as being 3.3
  • 85% respondents cited considering finances when deciding if children will work or go to school
  • 81% of respondents identified a relationship between large family and prevalence of child labor

 

Community consideration before additional child birth

Significance

Theoretical

  • Clearer understanding of barriers towards contraception use: while contraception is considered to be widely available, social factors impair community willingness to publicly purchase contraceptives or discuss family planning.

Practical

  • Need for economic development: respondents’ emphasis on finances’ influence in family decisions implies a greater problem of economic hardship
  • Need for increased outreach resources: 87% of respondents cited education as a potential community solution.

Their study has provided Patriots Ghana an insight into some of the root causes of child labor and trafficking in the Senya-Bereku community in relation to gender roles and perspectives, religion, economic and social structures that need to be considered in addressing the problem.

Aside from working on their research study, they played key roles in various activities on the project. They assisted in coordinating community meetings and child rights advocacy & awareness campaigns in schools, one-on-one tutoring for rescued child laborers, and assisted in organizing the 2017 Worlds Day Against Child labor.

Recognizing the need for women empowerment in the three fishing communities, Leah and Taegan collaborate with Patriots Ghana, fundraising to expand our Women Entrepreneurial and Leadership Development (WELD) – A project that trains 72 girls per year (24 each quarter) in entrepreneurship and leadership. –https://www.omprakash.org/global/patriots-ghana/crowdfund/women-entrepreneurial-and-leadership-development–weld-

We are proud of our interns and impressed with their exceptional dedication to their research and rural community development.

Research 2

Reserach 7

Citations

(1) Ghana Statistical Service. Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 6 (GLSS 6): Child Labor Report. 2013. ix.http://www.statsghana.gov.gh/docfiles/glss6/GLSS6_Child%20Labour%20Report.pdf

(2) Laird, Siobhan. “The 1998 Children’s Act: Problems of Enforcement in Ghana.” The British Journal of SocialWork 32, no. 7 (2002): 893-905. JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2371656.

(3) Thakurata, Indrajit & Errol D’Souza. “Child Labour and Human Capital in Developing Countries—A multi-period stochastic model.” Economic Modeling (2007) EBSCO. DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2017.09.006

(4) Singleton, Leah & Dennis, Taegan.Implications of Family Planning on Child Labor: A Ghanaian Case Study”. NCRC Poster. 2018.

(5) Dennis, Taegan. Omprakash Blog: Contrasting Voices on Family Planning.2017. https://www.omprakash.org/blog/contrasting-voices-on-family-planning

Photos Credits: Singleton, Leah & Dennis, Taegan.

Source:Emmanuel Yamoah (National Projects Manager).

OTHER INTERNSHIP REQUEST PROJECTS

Patriots Ghana will also do our best to find internship and volunteering opportunities to anyone who does not see their desired positions on our website. If you would like to pursue an internship in a specific field and do not see it above, please communicate your interests to us and we will gladly assist you to find potential placements.

We have contacts, partners and relationships with numerous members and organizations in the community that offer international internships, and would be glad to accommodate you when possible.

Patriots Ghana may also provide internship and volunteering positions based on current or upcoming projects. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your interests or requirements.

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ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUNTEER/INTERN PROJECT

Patriots Ghana welcomes volunteers or interns who want to use their skills to improve the operations of the organization. Development interns work on projects such as grant writing, fundraising, micro finance, strengthening the organization’s structure, spearheading new initiatives, website management, human resources, and working to build partnerships with other organizations as well as strengthening the capacity of member/affiliate organisations. Development volunteers may also be assigned to assist in the creation of new projects in some selected communities of Ghana. Development volunteers and interns are welcome to come to Patriots any time of the year.

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HEALTH SCREENING VOLUNTEER PROJECT

Patriots Ghana organizes free medical health screening at least once every year in deprived rural communities to give equal opportunities to the less privileged and remote communities who are hard to reach in-terms of healthcare services. This project is organized in partnership with local and international organizations that have interest in improving the healthcare in Africa.

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MEDICAL ASSISTANCE VOLUNTEER/INTERNSHIP PROJECTS

If you are a student or professional in healthcare delivery or public health, Patriots has several opportunities for you to contribute your skills or to learn more about health care delivery in a developing country. We provide health volunteering and internship opportunities in partnership with the Ghana Health Service and private health institutions in Ghana.

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PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEER/INTERN PROJECTS

In addition to opportunities in direct healthcare delivery, Patriots Ghana offers positions to work in public health, working towards better access and health awareness in several communities in Ghana. The public health team is involved in several projects, including giving educational talks at local schools on health topics including HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, reproductive health and performing research projects on various public health topics. Research projects vary from communities based on the needs that Patriots Ghana would like to address.

Home visits: other activities of the volunteer includes community home visits where the volunteer visits homes within a particular or selected community to mainly check the health status of infants, adolescent, the aged and pregnant women. With the help of a local interpreter, volunteers can also provide health education or advice in several health topics including family planning, personal hygiene, nutrition, exclusive breast feeding for lactating mothers and many more depending on the need of the particular household.

Health screening in schools: Duties within schools could include the physical examination and weighing of the kids, dressing of wounds, deworming, checking for malnourished children and making referrals and follow ups where necessary.

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