All communities DUNK works in are identified as deprived and marginalized areas where children lack supervision and opportunities. They are also characterized by violence, illiteracy, teenage pregnancy, child labour, etc. The establishment of safe spaces for the youth in such communities keeps them away from bad influences, dangerous activities, and provides them with a healthy environment in which to learn, play and grow. “Childhood is the time for children to be in school and to play, to grow strong and confident with the love and encouragement of their family and an extended community of caring adults. It is a precious time in which children should live free from fear, safe from violence and protected from abuse and exploitation” -UNICEF
Childhood is defined very differently in Africa-Ghana. Children grow out of their childhood very quickly and some will never even have the chance to experience “childhood”. Whether they live on the streets or they have to work to support their families, many children have little time to rest or play. And when they do have time to play, they will often go to game centres or to Internet cafes.
There aren’t many free recreational facilities or parks for children to play in in Ghana. They will usually gather on empty grounds close to main roads where they will play football (with no shoes) or ride bikes doing all kinds of acrobatics. And many of these activities can lead to fighting when not monitored; from simple arguments to stone fighting, exclusion of the weak or gender inequality. Various reasons can trigger violent behaviour among the kids. The most common reason for fighting is the tension arising from gambling over a football match.