The aim of the "Dennis Foundation" is to provide assistance for needy children. Our objectives are in accordance to the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, to ensure the right for health, the right for development and the right for education. At the same we want to create by our work spaces in which children and youths can spend free time and can get their voices heard.
The "Dennis Foundation" draws on the family structures and environments the children are in, so far as they are available. We assume that the family structure is of great importance for the development of children. However, we also see prevailing deficiencies in their homes, like lacks of attention, or lack of support, health problems and no support for education. We try to fill these gaps by providing additional nutrients; support them in school and providing a space for free time activities.
In the long-term the goal of the "Dennis Foundation" is a development within the community towards respecting the rights of children and an appreciating their spiritual and bodily health.
These goals are achieved by three pillars of our work:
At the moment the Dennis Foundation has ten members. However, the bulk of the work was started by Mary Dennis and Felix Taylor. They began in 2004 the necessary steps to found Dennis Foundation.
The roots reach back before this date, tells the chairwomen Mary. Even as a small child I liked to care about other children and it has not changed until today. During my childhood I looked after a little boy who was beaten at home. I got the idea to found an organization when I was 18 years old. At this time I started working in Cape Coast at a nutritional center. There I observed that many malnourished infants, whose parent were partially infected HIV or hepatitis, got acute cow milk and cereals, but there was no long-term support with sufficient nutrients. Thus, there was no hope for the improvement of the health of babies. This whole situation touched me very much, because it's just food that is needed. I asked myself: why do we not help?
Felix saw this problem in the same way. It is a very good idea to help the community, especially since I do not know of any other organization here which cares for infants, maybe because the health system is supposed to provide help for them.
In 2004 this common impulse to help led, together with a small circle of supporters, to the founding of the Dennis Foundation.
Since the establishment we work together to help various children. First, we focused on the problem of malnutrition, provide infant formula and controlled by home visits the development of the infants. So we have helped in the past years six infants. We could have made more in the past few years says Felix, but with our small salary we can never care for more than one child. After some time, we also began partially to support school children with school materials. In addition some children live together with us till today, since they do not have any other place to stay.
We look forward to continue this work and look into the future with the hope to help many other children with their destinies.
Ghana, a country on the West Coast of Africa, is one of the most thriving democracies on the continent. It has often been referred to as an "island of peace" in one of the most chaotic regions on earth. It shares boundaries with Togo to the east, la Cote d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north and the Gulf of Guinea, to the south. A recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea could make Ghana an important oil producer and exporter in the next few years.
The country's economy is dominated by agriculture, which employs about 40 percent of the working population. Ghana is one of the leading exporters of cocoa in the world. It is also a significant exporter of commodities such as gold and lumber. A country covering an area of 238,500 square kilometres, Ghana has an estimated population of 22 million, drawn from more than one hundred ethnic groups - each with its own unique language. English, however, is the official language, a legacy of British colonial rule.
In 1957, Ghana (formerly known as the Gold Coast) became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence. After leading the country for nine years, the nation's founding president, Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup d'etat in 1966. After Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana was ruled by a series of military despots with intermittent experiments with democratic rule, most of which were curtailed by military takeovers. The latest and most enduring democratic experiment started in 1992 and it is what has gained recognition for Ghana as a leading democracy in Africa.
Ghana has several tourist attractions such as the castles. Most of the major international airlines fly into and from the international airport in Accra. Domestic air travel is thriving and the country has a vibrant telecommunications sector, with five cellular phone operators and several internet service providers.
Founded by the Portuguese in the 15th century, Cape Coast grew around Cape Coast Castle, now a World Heritage Site. It was converted to a castle by the Dutch in 1650, then expanded by the Swedes in 1652 and captured by the British in 1664. The British based their Gold Coast operations in the town until they were expelled because of severe opposition to the "window tax" in 1877. Accra became their state. Cape Coast was also where most of the slaves were held before their journey on the Middle Passage.
The area is dominated by batholiths rock and is generally undulating with steep slopes. There are valleys of various streams between the hills, with Kakum being the largest stream.
The minor streams end in wetlands, the largest of which drains into the Fosu Lagoon at Bakano. In the northern part of the district, however, the landscape is suitable for the cultivation of various crops.
Cape Coast is a humid area with mean monthly relative humidity varying between 85% and 99%. The sea breeze has a moderating effect on the local climate.
The crab is the city's mascot and a statue of one lies in the city centre. Fort William, built in 1820, was an active lighthouse from 1835 to the 1970s, while Fort Victoria was built in 1702.
Other attractions include a series of Asafo Shrines, Cape Coast Centre for National Culture, the Oguaa Fetu Afahye harvest festival, and since 1992, the biennial Panafest theatre festival. The town is located 30 km south of Kakum National Park, one of the most diverse and best preserved national parks in West Africa. Cape Coast also boast of being the first location where soccer was played in Ghana and Ebusua Dwarfs FC is the darling club of Cape Coasters.
It is believed that Michelle Obama, U.S. First Lady, considers Cape Coast as her ancestral home, and on 11 July 2009, she took the rest of the first family to tour Cape Coast Castle as part of her husband's trip to Cape Coast.
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess (too high an intake), or in the wrong proportions.
A number of different nutrition disorders may arise, depending on which nutrients are under or overabundant in the diet.
Malnutrition is the greatest single health threat in Ghana. 28.6% of children less than five years are malnourished (WHO 2006) and malnutrition is in 40% of cases the cause of child mortality (Ghana Health Service 2012). Improving nutrition is widely regarded as the most effective form of aid. Emergency measures include providing deficient micronutrient through fortified food, such as milk, egg, ect. or directly through supplement. There are various methods used to gauge the degree of malnutrition, including the Gomez Classification. This classifies as 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree malnutrition according to the percentage of normal body weight a person is.
The 3rd degree of malnutrition is also called marasmus. Marasmus is a severe form of malnutrition, where the body weight has reduced over 60% of the expected one. The energy supply is very low, which causes muscle wastage and edemas. Marasmus is in difference to kwashiorkor, which is a severe lack of proteins, a deficiency of almost all nutrients. To treat infants in the stage of marasmus or kwashiorkor it is necessary not only to close the lack in nutrients, but also deal with the implications the malnutrition already had on the body.
Malnutrition has several implications on the body. If we care of such cases, we have to be aware of all of them, to get the diagnosis and the help right. On the one hand, malnutrition weakens the immune system and makes the human body more vulnerable for infections, diseases, such as tuberculosis or HIV. On the other hand it has deep implications in the development of a child, lowers the capability to learn, weakens meteoric abilities and impairs the brain function. In addition malnutrition is mostly linked to poverty, which inherits no access to clean drinking water and no ability to supplement the nutrients, because of a lack of money. This makes the vulnerability of an infant, living in such an environment, even higher.
Dennis Foundation wants to save infants in such situation by ensuring them a healthier life and prevent them from death. Therewith we also aim to reduce the long term implications of malnutrition for the children.
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