Bridging communication gaps – Khan-San Africa’s impact in the Upper West Region


In a commendable stride toward inclusive education and community support, Khan-San Africa, a non-governmental organisation, orchestrated a significant event at St. Don Bosco Special School on December 9, 2023 in the heart of the Upper West Region. The occasion marked a pivotal moment in addressing communication disorders among children, underscoring the organisation’s commitment to making a lasting impact in the region.

Empowering through knowledge: staff training session

Prior to the free communication screening, the visionary founder of Khan-San Africa, Salima Sidiki Sangari, spearheaded an insightful training session for the dedicated staff of St. Don Bosco. This session delved into the nuances of communication difficulties that staff might encounter with their students, providing invaluable strategies to navigate these challenges effectively.

Ms. Salima, a native of the region, brought back her expertise after completing her Master’s degree programme in Speech and Language Therapy at Korle Bu. The scarcity of professionals in this field spurred her to establish Khan-San Africa, with a specific focus on the Upper West Region. This training session is just the first step in a series of interventions planned by the NGO to address the communication needs of children in the region.

Breaking the silence: tackling stigmatisation and raising awareness

Ms. Salima, in her efforts to break the silence surrounding communication disorders, emphasised the importance of awareness and the detrimental effects of stigmatisation. She urged parents and guardians not to conceal children with communication difficulties, but to seek help openly. The lack of awareness, she noted, is a significant contributor to stigmatisation.

In her subsequent visits to the region, Ms. Salima intends to focus on awareness creation to combat stigmatisation effectively. By engaging with communities and dispelling myths surrounding communication disorders, Khan-San Africa aims to create an environment where seeking help for children becomes a collective effort.

Fostering hope: the free communication screening

The free communication screening conducted at St. Don Bosco Special School saw the assessment of 59 students. The outcomes of this screening will serve as a compass for future training sessions tailored to the specific needs of the students. A house mother at the school affirmed the challenges they face in communication with the students and expressed optimism that the training will enhance both communication and social interaction skills.

Looking forward: future plans and radio interviews

Ms. Salima shared insights into Khan-San Africa’s future plans, indicating a series of interventions and further training sessions for both staff and parents. Recognising the power of media in disseminating information, the NGO is set to engage in radio interviews to reach a broader audience. These interviews will not only shed light on the organisation’s mission, but also serve as a platform for educating the public on communication disorders and the importance of early intervention.

In conclusion, Khan-San Africa’s initiative at St. Don Bosco Special School exemplifies the transformative impact a dedicated organisation can have on a community. By addressing communication challenges, fostering awareness and combating stigmatisation, the NGO is sowing the seeds of a more inclusive and informed society. As they continue their journey, the hope is that more organisations and individuals will join hands to amplify the impact, ensuring that no child is left behind in the quest for effective communication and a brighter future.

Leave a Reply