Monday, April 11, 2016

From Gala to Ghana

While planning the Global Gala this year it was often difficult to imagine how the money we raised would impact the lives of Ghanaians. At times it was frustrating to be planning an event where we could not say exactly where the money was going.The question of why we could not provide tax receipts was often asked. Up until now I did not fully understand the reason. The Global Gala and the Global Nursing Citizens are not NGOs, and are not able to issue tax receipts for donations.  This definitely creates some challenges when soliciting funds back home, but what we have learned is that this model is better for our partners in Ghana.  We have more flexibility with the funds once we enter into the communities and talk to them about their needs and priorities.  When we are fundraising at home, we have a sense of what's required but do not know for sure until we are on the ground, working with the community. 

 I thank each and every donor for donating despite not receiving a tax receipt and for trusting that funds would be allocated appropriately. I was able to see first hand how it was beneficial to have freedom with our funds.  This year we were able to:
  1. Bring running water into the community health clinic at the village of Chanshegu. This included completing the plumbing, bringing water from the main line into the clinic, buying a large polytank to store water, and paying the fee to tap into the water distribution line.   
  2. Provide funds to secure the land title of the community health clinic at Chanshegu.  
  3. Complete the electricity project at the Okanagan Community Clinic in Nyoboko.
  4. Seal the roof and ceiling of the Okanagan Community Clinic once the electricity project was complete
  5. Purchase of cement and materials to begin the nurses' accommodation at the Okanagan Community Clinic  
  6. Provide a scholarship to a very bright Ghanaian BSN student to enter into Community Development graduate studies at UDS (this student is a testimony to hard work, perseverance, dedication, and never giving up on your dream).
  7. Honorariums to organizations doing amazing work including Dr. Abdulai's Shekhina clinic in Tamale, and Mother of Mercy Orphanage in Sirigu.     
  8. Purchase 2 donkey carts for Project GROW
  9. Purchase medication and supplies for community health screening. 
I understand now that the many hours we put into the Global Gala were worth it.  I wish I knew then what I know now!
Gala Girls - Kath, Dawn, Nicole, Madi, Kelsey and Mel

~ Nicole Elliot


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