TU researchers from the Department of Psychology have traveled to Ghana where malaria is responsible for 25 percent of child deaths under the age of 5 [UNICEF, 2007]. A TU survey of Ghanaian children, parents and teachers revealed malaria is the primary cause of absenteeism among children and has a serious impact on their education.
Psychology students and faculty with the TU group Tulsa Institute of Trauma, Adversity and Injustice (TITAN) are collaborating with Tulsa organization Kairos 10 to reduce malaria-related deaths in Ghana. Kairos 10 pays impoverished Ghanaians four times the minimum wage to handcraft unique and colorful jewelry. For every piece of Kairos 10 jewelry sold by TITAN students, a mosquito net is purchased for a Ghanaian family. A shipment of 250 mosquito nets, one for every child, recently was delivered to Favour Preparatory School in Tema, Ghana.
“The children know the nets can keep them healthy while they do what they love,” said TU student and TITAN member Kelsey Hancock. “They love to learn, and it’s wonderful.”
TITAN has partnered with Favour Preparatory School since 2013 through a study abroad course and other related projects in Oklahoma. TITAN teamed up with Jenks Elementary School to host a supply drive; and hundreds of pens, pencils, glue sticks, notebooks, white boards and jump ropes were delivered to Favour Preparatory School earlier this year.
TITAN is excited to continue its collaboration with Favour Prep and is selling Kairos 10 jewelry in the Department of Psychology. To purchase items, please contact the department at 918-631-2248. The group also will conduct a school supply drive next spring in anticipation of TU students returning to Ghana in summer 2016. TITAN researchers are focusing on acquiring book donations due to a dire need of books in Ghanaian homes. TITAN hopes to build a library at Favour Prep and provide each child with at least one book.
“Education is key to changing the lives of these children,” said Joanne Davis, TITAN executive director and professor of psychology. “Providing the nets is one small step toward improving their health and allowing them to attend school more often.”