Agoro Ne Obrapa (ANOPA) Project, sports for development NGO based in Cape Coast has secured a three-year partnership with the RYTHM Foundation base in Hong Kong. ANOPA Project signed a working contract with RYTHM Foundation in 2019 with the aim to promote education and vocation for deaf and blind children with the aid of sport.
With reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG10), which focuses on reducing inequalities, ANOPA Project sees sport as an interactive tool which could be used effectively to promote inclusion, integration, communication, awareness among others and would, in turn, empower these children by building confidence and teach them to set and work towards their goals.
Our Community Sensitization Seminars (CSS) have brought together people from various communities like Saltpond, Cape Coast, Sekondi, Breman Asikuma among others. In all more than 300 parents, deaf and blind youth were sensitized on various issues and opportunities that exist for these differently-abled groups within the society. It is common knowledge that most of these vulnerable children are highly marginalized right from the societal level to the household. Our Community Sensitization Seminars (CSS) have afforded us the opportunity to identify deaf and blind children who have been denied the opportunity to education. As a result of our community engagements ten (10) deaf, blind children from Sefwi, Assin Manso, Takoradi, Nsawam and Cape Coast have been given one-year educational support to enrol and stay in school. About fifty (50) additional children are also supported with school items such as school uniforms, provisions and payment of levies on a termly basis to stay in school and learn. Twenty-five (25) households with differently-abled children (deaf and blind) have also been supported with food relief items during these difficult times as a result of the Covide-19 pandemic and counselled to encourage their wards to take their education seriously.
All students that are supported are also encouraged to join our sporting activities in schools such as swimming, basketball, volley and other recreational activities. The idea is to increase their interaction with other children through our mixed-ability sports programs in order to help integrate them fully with increased confidence and access to sport.
Our swimming program has so far engaged more than sixty (65) deaf students from the Cape Coast School for the deaf and blind and also others from the pedu, abura and other communities within Cape Coast. Going forward the program will support deaf swimmers to come together to form teams to compete for laurels and register with the Ghana Swimming Association of which ANOPA Project is a member of the ANOPAPHINS SWIM TEAM.
Our vocational module has so far identified twelve (12) deaf and blind youth and would be supported this year to undergo various vocational/technical training in tailoring, barbering, masonry among others.
According to the Executive Director of ANOPA, Mr. Ernest Appiah, the move is to help empower deaf and blind children, build their confidence and teach them to set and work towards their own goals.
The Chairman of the Project Implementation Committee (PIC) of ANOPA Project, Mr. Kwaku Abedu Wilson, on the other hand, commended the RYTHM Foundation for their immense support offered to the Project and the opportunity to serve the underprivileged in the society who are highly discriminated upon because of their condition.
It is a long-term plan for ANOPA Project to have its own swimming pool as part of its sustainability plan and to continually engage the differently-able community in helping to promote the SDG 10.