Program Background: Every Child is Our Child
Through the Every Child is Our Child program, all Unitarians and Universalists (UUs) can help turn UU principles into action by fostering the hopes and dreams of children who have suffered from the devastating consequences of HIV/AIDS.
Every Child is Our Child (ECOC) was founded in 2005 by the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO). After meeting directly with the Queen Mothers, learning about the issues facing children in the Manya Krobo districts, and holding a joint planning session to identify the top needs of students—healthcare and education—ECOC was born.
Our partnership with the Queen Mothers of the Manya Krobo region was formed with the knowledge that one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS is to increase access to education (especially for girls), and to give the local community ownership and methods for successfully coping with issues.
In its first year, ECOC was only able to support about 40 children. It has since grown to cover school fees for 120 children, and provide health care cards for them and all of their caretaking families.
After continual growth and success, ECOC now focuses on two goals:
- Continue to support our current beneficiary students through the high school level of education,
- Increase the total number of students we support.
Learn more about the Queen Mothers Association.
Meet the Team!
Who makes up the ECOC team and what do they do?
- The Queen Mothers Association: These traditional leaders work with local alliances to provide orphans with shelter, food, and care from a local family. The Queen Mothers also teach children about sexual health to prevent the spread of HIV. Learn more about the Queen Mothers.
Program Monitor, Joseph Kingham Ochill: Joseph assists in monitoring the children, purchasing supplies for students, and providing updates to the Queen Mothers Association and the UU-UNO. He has an extensive history working with Health Agencies and AIDS programs in Ghana.
Local/Community Advisory Committee: This committee selects eligible children for school enrollment with support from ECOC. The selection is made by two Queen Mothers, a District Assembly social worker, a school representative, and a doctor from a local clinic that specializes in taking care of children infected or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.
The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office: Led by a program intern, the UU-UNO works to raise enough funds to support students with supplies and health insurance through their elementary and junior secondary schooling (approximately 10 years of basic education) to provide them with a strong foundation for success beyond this point. To contact the UU-UNO intern in charge of ECOC, email unintern [at] uua [dot] org.