How the “Junior Program” in Nima-Accra, Ghana, developed out of our personal stroke of fate - the project we are most attached to!
Anna Zaaki, founder & CEO, introduces the Junior Program in Nima-Accra, Ghana
The project we are most attached to
The history of our Junior Program in Nima-Accra begins with a terrible car accident, in which two young people lost their lives. One of them was „Junior“ Nasir Zaaki, my husband’s son and my stepson. In early 2007, he and some of his friends were on their way to our projects in Tuba, when the car went off the road and overturned.
Our son Junior, few month before he died - Never forgotten - May his soul rest in perfect peace
Junior was only 20 at the time and had just started studying at the Islamic University College in Accra with his whole future still ahead of him. When in November 2005 the idea was born to found an association supporting children in the field of education, Junior was one of the driving forces and right from the start was very involved in our work.
He cared for children in need very early on. He always passed on any money he had to the children he looked after, so that they could pay for their school fees and buy food. When they fell ill, it was him who took them to hospital, covered the costs, and looked after them.
Junior’s funeral, the start of our Junior Program
At Junior’s funeral in Accra, suddenly these children stood in front of us, crying and desperate, as they did not know what would become of them now.
And this is how one of the worst events in our life led to the development of our “Junior Program”, as from that day Aminu Initiative paid the costs for the children who had been in Junior’s care and continued to accept children and young people in need onto the program. Junior does not only live on in our hearts but also in the program, which was named after him as a tribute to him.
Two of the very first Junior Program students in Nima-Accra, Ghana
Today, 13 years later, our Junior Program has developed further. We continue to accept new children and young people, whose school education or professional training we finance, for whom we provide medical care, and for whom our colleagues in Ghana are trusted contacts they can turn to.
The youngest participants on our program are attending kindergarten and the oldest ones are already studying.
Zubaida and Maina are two of this year’s A-level students. Zubaida is a very good student and decided to first do a work placement as a volunteer for our Junior Program. It helps her to gain professional experience and get to know our program from a different perspective. We are very much looking forward to having her support.
Her brother Maina is a very good basketball player and due to his excellent talent has the chance to get a scholarship for the University of Ghana. We keep fingers crossed for him and are already very excited to see how his career in basketball will develop.
Our Junior Program student Maina is a real basekt talent
With our Junior Program, we try to individually support the talents of the children and young people in our care. We also support students with learning difficulties, who may not necessarily have the best grades at school. This can have many different reasons.
Living in the ghetto
Our kids were all born and raised in the ghetto. The families usually are not in a position where they could help their children with their homework or even send them to school at all. Usually the children live in very cramped accommodation, where a whole family often shares a single room. Many families do not have running water or a private toilet or shower. These kind of living and housing conditions often make it rather difficult for the children to focus on school, homework and learning. To address this issue, we have started our Junior Kids Club a few years ago.
Junior Kids Club
The Junior Kids Club is an open club for children and young people, which is offered in our rooms in the centre of Nima, right in the middle of the ghetto. It offers children and young people a space for learning, doing their homework, discussing their problems, and meeting friends. Painting and teaching materials are available there as well as different games and craft activities for the youngest ones. The children are supervised by our Ghanaian colleagues and two weltwärts volunteers. The age range and the number of children and young people varies from one day to the next, as the kids themselves decide when and how often they attend.
Our Junior Kids Club in Nima-Accra is taking place every afternoon
We have many plans for our Junior Program. Plans to help and support even more children. Plans to keep children away from drug and alcohol abuse as well as teenage pregnancies. Together with our Ghanaian partner organisation, we would like to give the children and young people a chance in life and support their individual talents.
Every donation counts, as it makes a difference
You can support us in giving the children and young people in Nima and the surrounding ghettos a true chance to get an education
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Please help us to ensure that the children and young people in our care continue to have access to education and donate now. Your click takes you to our website, where it is very easy to make an online donation.
We thank you very much as every single donation matters and has a positive impact on the lives of the children and young people in our care. Thank you so much!