Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gala Girls in Ghana: Project GROW Day!

Women of Project GROW
Katie Nugent Photography
Our final day of practice in our nursing program was the celebration at Nyobok for Project GROW: Ghana Rural Opportunities for Women. This is a community development project aiming to empower women and build community capacity. Over the last 5 weeks we have had the pleasure of working with the inspiring Dr Vida Yakong, the founder of this initiative. Throughout the year, this organization helps provide sustainable opportunities for women of northern Ghana.  This celebration is the day that Project GROW gives away goats and donkeys with carts, as well as other items that have been identified as a priority by the women.  All the women who are involved in the communities are registered in the Project GROW program, and the women determine who has the greatest need each year.
Gala Girls with Goats!
Photo by Katie Nugent Photography
This year, we had 49 new goats for the women, 8 donkeys with carts, as well as 20 goats brought back from women already involved in the Project GROW initiative. The women agree to return their first female baby goat to Project GROW, and they do this without question.   As of today, this organization has over 500 women involved.  

The celebration involved many prominent community members, including the Chief of the Nabdam district, health commissioners and an assembly member. One of the reasons Project GROW has been so successful is that the Chief of the Nabdam land has been supportive of Dr. Vida’s vision from the very beginning. We were fortunate to meet him, listen to his prayer for the ongoing success of the program, watch him pour libations to bless the day and listen his speech expressing his support for women’s empowerment in the community.  The speech and prayer were translated for us as this beautiful man has never been to school and doesn’t speak English.  His understanding that when women thrive, communities thrive comes from his heart.    

Nabdam Chief
Photo courtesy of Katie Nugent Photography
The five of us in our fourth year leadership and change project organized a fundraiser in Kelowna for donations towards Global Health initiatives.  We partnered with OkaZHI and all the proceeds from the fundraiser went towards health initiatives in both Ghana and Zambia. It was an honour to participate in the celebration of the distributions of goats, donkeys, and carts that were bought at the Global Gala.  It has been wonderful though the past five weeks to see the physical manifestation of funds generously donated by community members at the Global Gala.    

We also want to thank our fellow fourth year students who solely focused on fundraising for Project GROW.  This group volunteered their time at the Global Gala in November to sell shea butter made by the women at the Vocational Centre in Nyobok: Laura McBride, Mckinnley Massey, Mckenzie Gabara and Katie Hall.  Thanks Ladies!  The money from the shea butter started the work on the nurses’ accommodations at the Okanagan Community Health Centre.  It will be completed in the next few months.  Yay!

For more information about this amazing organization please visit:

Posted by Emily Plant, Meagan Lentz, Stephanie Bandura, Mikaela Noble, Kenya Mokoena 

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