COMMUNITY AID FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT (CARD)
Community Aid for Rural Development (CARD) was created in January, 2008 and registered under the Ghana's Companies Code as a non-profit making corporate organization limited by guarantee. CARD has an aim of empowering the vulnerable (women, children and persons with disabilities), by fighting the ever-increasing rate of HIV/AIDS, falling standard of education, low awareness on basic human rights, poor sanitation and unhygienic conditions as well as the upsurge of poverty evident within communities in the Northern sector in particular and Ghana as whole. The aid programme has a focused of empowering and making those marginalized especially women, children and persons with disabilities agents of their own development. This we believed will accelerate and ensure speedy and sustainable reduction of acute poverty ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals of reducing extreme hunger and malnutrition, access to primary education and health care, gender equity, promotion of democratic rights and eradication of HIV/AIDS, inter alia, by 2015. Hence, we are requesting to forming partnerships and collaborations with Decentralized agencies and departments as well as NGOs in implementation of our programmes, projects and activities.
Our Vision: Seeing a Ghana where every human being enjoys the right to live a decent and prosperous life.
Our Mission: To work in partnership with NGOs and other organizations to ensure a sustainable increase in the welfare of women, children and persons with disabilities through efficient resource allocation to reduce acute poverty and restore dignity among all.
Strategic Goals and Objectives:
A: Educational Empowerment
• Empower individuals (brilliant but needy students) through scholarships for higher education.
• Whip-up the interest and sentiments of students and parents on education.
• Offer computer literacy training to enhance teachers and students opportunities in the global world of Information Communication Technology
• Assist and support students with educational materials such as stationery, uniforms, desks, infrastructure among others.
B: Gender Sensitivity and Mainstreaming
• To implement gender sensitivity programs to promote gender equity and equality in all spheres of social endeavors.
• To promote effective women participation in decision-making in structures of democracy.
• To raise awareness and sensitize communities on the conventions, protocols and ratifications that Ghana is a signatory to, which concerns gender sensitivity and mainstreaming.
C: Child Rights Advocacy and Protection
• Promote the rights of children to participate in decision-making.
• To protect children against child abuse such as child labour and child trafficking.
• To raise awareness and sensitize communities on the conventions, protocols and ratifications that Ghana is a signatory to, which concerns child rights issues.
• To ensure that all children of school going age are enrolled and retained in schools.
D: Peoples Living with Disability
• Bring together and empower all persons with disabilities against social exclusion.
• To support and assist disabled people to participate as equal members of their families, communities, and societies.
• Advocate strongly for the rehabilitation of PLWD and those who are mentally challenged.
• To advocate for the passage and implementation of the Disability and Mental Health bills.
E: HIV & AIDS and Access to Primary Health Care
• Actively participate in the global fight against HIV/AIDS by;
• Facilitating and supporting the diffusion of information about the persistent increase of the disease and emphasize on preventive measures, behavioral change, reproductive health education among others.
• Reaching out to HIV-infected and affected widows and orphans and encourage as many people as possible to take the Voluntary Test and Counseling.
• To increase access to care, support and treatment for People Living with HIV&AIDS.
• To reduce significantly the social, religious, cultural, economic and political barriers that makes people more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.
• Promote women and children access to primary health care including Sexual and Reproductive Health Services, maternal and child health, and prevention of malaria, TB, Hypathesis, Breast cancer among others.
F: Food Security, Environmental Protection and Climate Change
• To promote sustainable dry season farming and animal rearing as an income-generating systems and for food security in rural communities.
• To actively participate in mobilizing rural women for the collection, processing and marketing of sheanuts.
• To work vigorously and in partnership towards climate change resilience and vulnerability reduction
• Work with and assist small holder agricultural farmers in rural communities to increase production and household incomes.
• To adopt and implement the Village Savings and Loans Model as means of enhancing access to micro-credit/small loans for rural women.
• To ensure sustainable environmental conservation and protection.
G: Water, Sanitation And Hygiene
• To intensified support for and access to clean and good drinking water for rural communities in an effort to reducing the risk of Guinea worm and other water borne infestations.
• To ensure that most deprived communities gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.
• Implement a holistic community and school led total sanitation and hygiene program to improve the lives of rural people.
H: Institutional Sustainability
• To expand the funding and resource mobilization base of CARD, to enable it meet management, coordination and operation costs.
• To increase the capacity of staff to enable them meet emerging development challenges in communities in particular and the country as a whole.
• To strengthen the capacity of CBOs, women-based groups, youth groups, farmers etc to be able to perform effectively in communities.
CARD's AGENDA FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS
"Focus for Sustainable Change" (2009-2015)
CARD has produced its first strategic plan in 2009. It was dubbed 'Focus for Sustainable Change', to define CARD's distinctive competence, promoting community volunteerism and unearthing the potentials of communities towards rural development: The document sets out our sustainable change agenda, at the heart of which is the proactive and programmatic approaches to our interventions. This means focusing all our efforts on achieving specific development priorities within the framework of seven (7) strategic development goals. These goals reflect national agreed development targets, our partner organisations' priorities and areas where we know that CARD can be most effective and efficient in alleviating the sufferings of the rural masses.
The 'Focus for Sustainable Change' brought in its wake four (4) approaches and functions that will be central to the way CARD work and intent to move to:
Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation: We will work to support advocacy, awareness raising and mobilization of resources (both human and material) to aid the people, communities and organizations we work.
Empowerment and Capacity Strengthening: We will work to ensure that CARD has the human and institutional capacity to deliver effectively and efficiently in the strategic areas of its operations. We work vigorously to empower the people, communities and organisations with whom we work.
Partnership and Strategic Alliances: To catalyse and facilitate the establishment of partnerships that bring together the range of expertise and capacity needed to achieve CARD's Specific Objective. These partnerships will draw on all CARD stakeholders, the District Assembly, National and International Non-governmental Organisations depending on the task at hand. They will create a capacity for efficient functioning of CARD, improve the efficacy and impact of project designed, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Above all project funding. CARD's committed to making a sustainable impact in everything that it does. Promoting sustainable impact will therefore feature prominently in its advocacy, partnership and capacity-strengthening approaches. We are committed to work in partnerships in order to maximise our impact and upholding the principles and values of subsidiarity, delivery and accountability (in a most cost-effective manner), transparency and to adopting professional standards.
Commitment to learning and Access to Knowledge and Technologies: To empower CARD core staff and impact makers (volunteers) by providing them with access to information, learning opportunities, and new technologies in the areas of our work. This will be achieved through mechanisms for information exchange, advisory services, mechanisms for the exchange of technology-based innovations, mechanisms for adoption of best practices and inter alia. We are highly committed to actively learn within and from partners so that our work builds upon the skills, knowledge and understanding gained from experience.
Core Values and Principles
We shall uphold the following Values and Principles, which shall inform all our strategies, programs and activities:
• Team Spirit and Participatory approaches to development
• Gender Sensitivity, Youth and disable Friendliness and effective community participation
• Transparency and truthfulness , Integrity and Accountability
• Effective and Strategic Partnership and Alliance
What have CARD done since its establishment?
• Our work has been focused on rural and most deprived communities within the Upper West Region.
• Much premium has been placed on six priority or functional areas which are dear to our hearts: educational empowerment, HIV&AIDS and Access to primary health care, disability, secure livelihoods through sustainable agriculture, and social well-being.
• CARD work has targeted three categories of vulnerable groups in Northern Ghana in particular and rural Ghana as a whole, specifically Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities.
• Building strong and long-term partnerships with NGOs, CSOs and other organisations with whom we can work to achieve the greatest sustainable and consolidated change.
• Continued to work with partners to improve the lives of disadvantaged people.
What CARD has focused on now?
• Working effectively and efficiently in four broad areas of our programme; education empowerment, HIV&AIDS and Access to primary health care including reproductive health rights and education, disability, secure livelihoods through sustainable agriculture, and social wellbeing.
• Conscious efforts in maximising our impacts in a cost-effective manner by working to sustain and increase the size of our core programmes and funding to enhancing the overall wellbeing of women, children and persons with disabilities.
• Strengthening CARD's institutional and human resource capacity to work for the benefit of vulnerable and excluded people through partnerships and collaborations.
• Conscious efforts blend with ambitious plans to increase our profile and funding sources so as to place CARD at the apex of its goals and strategic objectives.
Focus for Sustainable Change puts Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation, Empowerment and Capacity Strengthening, Partnership and Strategic Alliances, Commitment to learning and Access to Knowledge and Technologies at the heart of how CARD works.
Our aim is for partner organistions to provide advisory services, funding, capacity and training programmes for CARD's management, Impact Makers (volunteers), and communities as well as programmes so that we can stand firmly to contribute effectively towards sustainable and consolidated poverty reduction.
CURRENT PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS
• Development of school based structures including PTAs, SMCs, DICs, SICs and DEOC for efficient educational empowerment of children, especially young girls within Jirapa and Lambussie-Karni Districts.
• Gender Empowerment through Community Based Anti-Violence Teams (COMBATs).
• Shea Inventory and Village Savings and Loans Associations Programme
• Pro-poor policy advocacy through District Citizens Monitoring Committee
• Improving knowledge and access of young people to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services through Partnerships.
• Livelihood Support Programme for women groups
• HIV&AIDS Prevention Programme
• Food Security and Climate Change Prevention Programme
PARTNERS, FUNDING/DONOR AGENCIES AND MANAGEMENT TEAM
The main funding/donor agencies identified by CARD as strategic partners in the sustainable change process have included:
• Action Aid Ghana (AAG)
• Rural Aid Alliance Programme (RAAP)
• SNV (Netherlands Development Organization)
• Cultural Initiative Support Programme (CISP)
• Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC)
• SEND GHANA