Wellness Wednesday 2023 - Record Breaking Attendance

The number of street youth attending FOA’s Wellness Wednesday program has more than doubled since we moved to our new Norviwo Center. During the first quarter of the year, an average of 15 children consistently attended Wellness Wednesday but now FOA is recording an average of 34 youth with at least two new attendees every week. More street children attending FOA’s programs means that there are more children that can be supported and their lives transformed.

September 5th 2023 - Since its inception, Wellness Wednesday’s popularity has grown dramatically among street youth and is now a defining feature of Future of Africa’s program offerings. In 2022, Wellness Wednesday was initiated to enable street youth take a break from the chaos of living on the street. On the street, children and youth are unable to eat daily, bathe and wash their clothes, sleep in comfort and in a peaceful environment due to the frequent movement of cars and the noise of activities going on in the city. Every Wednesday, Norviwo is open to all street children and youth to escape the chaos.

It is also an opportunity for street youth to see the possibilities of improving their lives, changing their living conditions and pursuing vocational skills training through the interactions they have with former street children that are currently under FOA’s care.  Moreover, it gives the street residents proof-of-concept that FOA programs work and that street life is not their only option.

Wellness Wednesday has also been designed to engage street residents in learning essential life skills. This year, FOA introduced a theme for each month through with valuable life lessons and skills would be learnt. These themes such as team work, personal hygiene, healthy relationships are intended to improve street residents’ habits, values, and overall character.  In fact staff, volunteers and even the street youth have testified to the change in character of most street residents who attend Wellness Wednesday consistently.

Wednesday has presented an opportunity for FOA staff and volunteers to continue building lasting relationships with children living in street situations. One of the most effective ways of doing this has been to play board games, football, basketball, ludo and even share meals with them.

One main reason why street residents participate in Wellness Wednesday is that they feel valued when they come to the Norviwo Center and there are many people (FOA staff and volunteers) who care about how they are faring. Street residents also enjoy the hot meals we share and they are grateful that FOA's health coordinators attend to their every health needs.


  • I can confidently say Wellness Wednesday has made a positive transformation in the behavior of our street youth. Since the topic of teamwork was discussed, Wednesday's programs and activities are frequently filled with laughing and fun conversations rather than confrontation, and we have experienced zero major fights.
    Ethan Thorogood

Street youth attending Wellness Wednesday has has more than doubled since the turn of the year. The increased number of participants is evidence that these individuals trust FOA has their best interests at heart. Since March, an average of 34 youth attend our program every week; a significant jump from approximately 15 attendees. The value of this program can not be over emphasized, street youth sometimes walk about 16 kilometers to take part in our program. For FOA, Wellness Wednesday has become crucial in enabling the organization carry out its mission.  Six out of the nine children rescued off the street were consistently attending our Wellness Wednesday program. 

Another noticeable impact Wellness Wednesday is having on Future of Africa’s mission of securing the well-being of street youth is improved awareness. Increased awareness of our organization and our programs among street residents can largely be attributed to Wellness Wednesday being a program full of benefits for them. Although stories vary, many street residents have reported that they first came because their friend(s) told them all about what FOA provides and they could not resist. The assistance we offer draws in street youth from Accra and beyond to the Norviwo centre whereupon we can make a positive impact in their lives. There is no clearer indication of growing awareness than our June attendance. In June, we broke multiple attendance records before setting a new Wellness Wednesday attendance high of 47 street youth.  While this makes us happy that FOA is impacting so many lives, it is also a reminder of the high demand for our services due to the dire circumstances faced by countless street youth. Furthermore, it is all the more reason for us to expand both the depth and breadth of our offerings to meet the demands of the children we serve.
                                       [Written by Ethan Thorogood, Future of Africa Intern]

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