|The Fearless Leaders of Project GROW|
Vida is on the left - Philomena on the right
Initially UBC students and staff became interested in Dr. Yakong's research, followed by members of the community, and now with independent sponsors, who all saw an opportunity to connect this research with global citizenship objectives. Building on the success of their years with the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus, Project GROW is now a Non-Profit Society. The connections and working relationships with UBC academic programs and student learning opportunities remain as strong as ever. Project GROW still has close ties with UBCO students as well and is a unique combination of research, international engagement and community involvement, inspired by a student who was driven to make a difference in her country. It is also a model that we hope can inspire other, similar initiatives.
|Josbeth - Project Grow Volunteer and Vida and Philomena's Nephew|
The Project GROW motorbike was donated a few years ago
Our GROW Day:
On Saturday we had the incredible opportunity attend the Project GROW celebration in both Logre and Nyobok. The organization is non-profit, and was founded by our dear friends Vida (an Alumni and Adjunct Professor from UBCO) and Philomena Yakong, The mission of the organization is to empower women to be self-sufficient and improve their livelihoods using the skills and resources which are provided through GROW (for example goats, donkeys, micro-loans, and the teaching of vocational skills).
donkey to the women. Vida shared that the women determine who is next in line for a goat. Each woman who receives a goat agrees that the first female baby goat will be donated back to Project GROW. There were another 10 goats being donated back, and a few of these goats had already had babies. One had twins. The total number of goats being donated back was an additional 13.
When we asked who determines who receives the goats, Vida shared that the women decide and priority is given to those who are most in need, and after this, it is determined by when they registered. The donkey is shared by several families, again identified by the women,
When we first arrived in Nyobok, we were greeted by the women of the community through
|Jeanette with the Chief|
We were humbled by their gratitude for our work within their clinic and organization, many women bowed before us as they walked by and thanked us for our work. It was nice to witness the sense of community throughout the entire presentation. The children were also involved through the presentation of the livestock. The actual presentation of the goats was very touching as we each had an opportunity to present the women with their goats. Kyla’s friend contacted her wanting to purchase a goat and donate it to a woman in need. Vida once again displayed her tenacity by finding Kyla’s friend a goat last minute. It was touching for Kyla on the day of the presentation to witness and present her friend’s goat, Mona, to a deserving woman.
|The Presentation of Mona|
There is no doubt in our minds that every dollar that is donated to this amazing project is put to very good use and is changing lives. WOW!! What a day!!
We will never forget it, and are very thankful to have taken part in.