AwaaWaa2 is a registered charity and has been in operation since 2004. AwaaWaa2, is a non-governmental organisation, founded by Nana Akua Owusu, a Speech and Language Therapist and Child Development Practitioner.
Why was it set up?
Nana Akua Owusu, Founder of AwaaWaa2, observed that difficulties faced by people with disabilities, in finding the right care, health services, education, and even leisure opportunities were disheartening. At best, people with learning disabilities can feel obstacles are constantly put in their way by society. At worst, they can feel abandoned by the rest of society. These prejudices have a very damaging impact and can lead to them withdrawing from the wider society.
The AwaaWaa2 envisions a changed situation in a modern Ghanaian society, where everyone is valued and has the chance to play their full part in national development. The centre aims to educate the wider society to love and embrace this group of people.
Who are we?
AwaaWaa2 centre offers assessment and interventions for these children requiring input, to enable them to communicate effectively and survive in today’s challenging and communication-driven world.
Overview of Team
Staff at the AwaaWaa2 are noticeably understanding, empathetic and have a real drive to support children with communication difficulties. For staff, AwaaWaa2 is not just employment, it is a way to make a lifelong difference in the lives of children who may not have previously had the opportunity.
In-School facilitators provide support in a mainstream setting for children with SLCN. Each child has an allocated facilitator who they form excellent rapport with. The facilitator supports a child’s ability to engage with their classwork, socially interact with their peers and supports their progress towards achieving their communication targets.
Facilitators are trained to demonstrate professionalism in their approach and relationships with parents and all staff in the school. They receive supervision from Mary Amoah, Centre Coordinator, and are expected to keep accurate and up-to-date reports of a child’s progress to feedback to parents.
The AwaaWaa2 Centre, based in Haatso, aims to provide children with a total communication environment (TCE). This is an environment that includes all means of communication (e.g. speech, pictures, symbols, gestures, words). A total communication environment is important because;
- It supports a child to understand what is being said to them.
- It reduces frustration and anxiety
- It helps reduce challenging behaviour
- It helps us to understand what a child is saying
- It helps children to access activities and lessons
- It increases independence and confidence
- It helps support memory skills
- It supports attention and listening skills
- It helps to bridge the gap between languages (e.g. English, Twi)
*Their targets are supported throughout the day through each learning opportunity to enable them to achieve their full potential.
*Speech and language Therapists visit the centre and offer specialist assessment, advice and therapy.
*The centre offers regular Parent Workshops to support parent’s ability to develop their child’s communication skills outside of the centre.
Parent Advice & Counselling
Advice can be offered for the following areas:-
- Developing a child’s understanding
- Encouraging a child’s first words and further expressive communication
- Developing play skills
- Developing social interaction
- Challenging behaviour
- Eating & Drinking
All staff receive necessary training as soon as they begin volunteering/working. This includes how to communicate to a child with a speech, language and/or communication needs (SLCN), ways to encourage effective communication, ways to support play skills and encourage attention and listening.
WORK AT THE CENTRE
Mary Amoah, Centre Coordinator, carries out an induction session with each new family. This may be an informal session to gather an idea of a child’s communication needs. Parent information is taken and the AwaaWaa2’s input into a child’s life is decided and agreed by Mary and parents.
AwaaWaa2 is overseen by Nana Akua Owusu, Speech & language Therapist & Child development Practitioner. Nana Akua ensures the centre continues to provide children with appropriate therapy and opportunities to develop their communication skills.
The centre also regularly has Speech & language Therapists volunteer from United Kingdom. These tend to be long-stay volunteers who will move to Accra for a few months up to a year. During this time they support the centre to maintain the Total Communication Environment (TCE). They also deliver specialist assessment and therapy for children under the care of AwaaWaa2.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1) Volunteer time at the center.
2) Make a donation in kind or cash (playing materials, learning materials, office stationaries, toiletries)
3) Give scholarship to support the lives of the children.
Contact us on:
Post Box: Post Office Box CT 332, Cantoments, Accra-Ghana.
Office Location: 39 Royalt Castle Road, Kokomlemle, Accra-Ghana.