On our first day at the village, Vida toured me around the community and we talked about the needs that had been identified by the community. Over the past 3 years, Hanna, a community member and active volunteer in Project GROW has been going to school to become certified to teach seamstress classes. She is ready to start teaching, and there are many women ready to learn. The problem is the Vocational Centre has not been completed. It needs to be wired for power, furniture needs to be built and windows installed.
Vida also showed me the building that houses the grinding mills. This building is complete but has not yet been wired for power. The women are manually powering the mills and bringing in electricity would markedly improve their productivity.
We talked about how these 2 projects would have an immediate impact upon the well-being (and health) of the community. We also talked about the need for the clinic to be wired for electricity so that it could reach full Health Centre status.
Then, I witnessed Vida in action. She began a tireless process of conversations with the community and the Project GROW team. We talked about the pros and cons of both projects. We could either wire the clinic for electricity, or complete the Vocational Centre and Grinding Mill. She was patient, thorough, and ensured that every voice was heard. We got estimates on the work and brought these to the team.
After many lengthy discussions with community members, the Ghana Health Service Team, and with input from the GROW team it was decided that the GNC funds would be used to complete the Vocational Centre and Grinding Mill. The Project GROW team felt these projects would have an immediate impact on the community.
We turned the funds over to the team and work has already begun! They anticipate classes starting within a month. What a powerful demonstration of community development.
The midwife is coming in 3 months, and we're going to do our best to raise the $1500 (Canadian) to complete the wiring of the clinic. I believe we can do it!