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Throughout the stages of lifespan development – from birth to adulthood and old age – emotional intelligence and psychological well-being largely determine the future success of  citizens. For many, childhood is the most valued stage of their life. It is only in adulthood that many realize they lack the appropriate foundation to face life’s current and future challenges.  For children in Ghana, it is often more difficult as they face unforeseen circumstances in early childhood, such as abandonment, abuse and assault.

Children are a gift of God.  However, they may be subjected to hardships, including slavery, prostitution, military force or domestic and hard labor. These hardships ultimately hinder their future prospects of success and well-being. With unacceptable adult literacy rates, quality care and child support are the most pressing issues requiring immediate attention. During each transitional stage of a child’s development, environment has an important impact. Negligence towards child care can lead to maladaptive behavior in children, in addition to chronic disorders.

Hosting thirty thousand refugees, political conditions in Ghana are alarming, with the issue of displaced children’s rights greatly debated despite legislation. A multi-faceted problem, the needs of every child must be addressed based on their ambitions and capabilities, irrespective of financial abilities or situations. As each child is unique with special talents and skills, their individual aptitude must be identified, encouraged and equipped in a timely manner. Although constitutionalized to be a free and compulsory, the right to education fails to find its axis in the cumbersome communities of Ghana. It is here that 43.5% of primary school dropouts are engaged in child labour in cocoa fields, an activity against the law, according to the Constitution. The traditional practice of Trokosi, where young girls are offered to a priest in return for faults allegedly committed by their family members, has exploited the lives of nearly 4,500 girls less than ten years of age. Informal adoptions at orphanages increases children’s vulnerability, as they are denied food and forced to work without pay.

Even in this era of advanced technology and infrastructure, life remains uneasy in northern areas of Ghana, notorious for chronic childhood illnesses like diarrhoea and anaemia. PAAJAF Foundation has come to the aid of these children. Through EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS and other child-centred projects, it has become the lamp to light their inner potential. With many underprivileged children unable to afford even the most basic amenities, AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS enhance both their cognitive abilities and learning skills (essential in all phases of life) in an inspiring and safe atmosphere.

While households of high socioeconomic status are able to invest in their children’s education and future, underprivileged children – who are deprived of safe drinking water, a nutritious diet and adequate housing –s urvive with hope for personal development and growth through educational equity. To fulfill their dreams of reaching their true potential, appropriate guidance and high-quality care is indispensable, a condition that the PAAJAF Foundation envisions with your generous support. Poverty may be inherited, but liberty is an undeniable right. Socio-economic status, geographical region, cultural differences and ethnicity should never determine a child’s progress or success, nor should these factors influence a child’s aspirations. Raising human consciousness can bring the change, but only active contribution can BE THE CHANGE.

When neglected or abused, children are at risk of maladjustment and may face difficulty in social situations as adults, unable to manage situational demands. This can be fatal to families and society as a whole, as it impairs the goal of sustainable development.

Everyone enjoys a child’s smile. Underprivileged children are awaiting a smile, a smile that could enrich their lives and support them in their unrelenting endeavours. Earn a smile, they will earn their lives. Life is a set of careful and important choices that we make. Inclusiveness is the only way to sustain the planet, as it has fallen prey to dominance and prejudice. The more you share, the more you grow. If you truly care for life, kindly respond to our call for contributions. Your decision today is a child’s future. You win a smile, as they win their lives.