Proyecto Matria

Current Humanist Service Corps Projects

Where We Work

HSC has partnered with two human rights organizations in the Northern Region of Ghana. Although Ghana is generally well-developed, the drought-prone Northern Region has poverty and illiteracy rates above 75% -- 2 to 3 times the national average.

These and other factors create an environment in which human rights abuses are common. Elderly women are often blamed for misfortunes in their families and communities, accused of witchcraft, and lynched. To escape violence and death, they must leave behind their homes, families, and possessions to seek refuge in one of the camps for victims of witchcraft accusations.

Although the elderly women are relatively safe from violence once they are in exile, they are subjected to harsh living conditions and further abuses in the camps where they seek safety. Women usually remain in camp for rest of their lives. Since 2015 we have worked on projects including

  • reintegration of women accused of witchcraft
  • Sensitization to lower the number of accusations
  • a health care project implemented in Kukuo a community within which there is a camp for accused women
  • an agricultural project that trained members of the community in best farming practices and helped accused women set up backyard gardens
  • a vocational training project in Yendi

HSC is currently based in Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana. As of January 2018, HSC has moved from the Northern Region to Cape Coast to explore new partnerships in a different part of Ghana.

Cape Coast is the capital of the Central Region in southern Ghana. It is known for its role in the transatlantic slave trade. Now it is a large fishing community with a population of about 170,000. Although Cape Coast is hailed as the citadel of Ghanaian education and has some of the best senior high schools in Ghana, joblessness, poverty, poor sanitation and falling standards of education at the basic level plagues the region.

HSC is currently researching partnerships with local organizations in the Cape Coast area working toward:

  • improving living conditions for Ghanaians
  • providing greater access to healthcare, education, and stable in comes
  • empowering youth to become effective human rights advocates
  • helping to stop the practice of sending people to prayer camps for exorcism healings of physical and mental illnesses
  • helping victims of gender based violence and sensitization
  • reintegration and averting the widespread of street children

Future HSC volunteers will help these local organizations in the areas of program structure, facilitation, communications, fundraising, and measurement and evaluation.

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