Our Ghana Health Team Leaders meet regularly at a quaint little coffee shop in Uxbridge called Nexus. This morning, as Kim (head of logistics), Lynnita (GRID Canada) and I sipped our lattés and went over the final marching orders for our 2018 mission, I had an epiphany as I read the definition of Nexus on the coffee shop wall:
These five letters that make up this one little word so beautifully capture how I feel about the very unique relationship between the Ghana Health Team (GHT), Ghana Rural Integrated Development (GRID) and Northern Empowerment Association (NEA). One week from today our team will begin our journey from all over the world to Ghana where for two weeks we will be in a nexus: we will be in relationship with, linked to, and bonded with an extraordinary group of people working towards a most critical goal.
Our nexus is all about our hosts: I cannot wait to greet Dr. Mensah and Abraham and the NEA staff and volunteers under the mango trees when we step off the bus, ready to assist them in their mission of reflecting God’s love to people in need.
Our nexus is all about our Ghanaian healthcare colleagues: I cannot wait to work alongside these remarkable people and bring desperately needed medicine and supplies for their clinics. I cannot wait to share skills that they can use when NEA’s hospital opens in 2020.
Our nexus is all about our patients: I cannot wait to see Joshua, a little boy whose life was saved by our team eight years ago. I cannot wait to see Princess, whose mother’s death during childbirth lit a fire under us all to do more to reduce maternal mortality in Ghana.
Our nexus is all about our friends and families and donors who make it possible for us to share who we are and what we do best with people in need. I cannot wait to share our stories with you.
And finally, our nexus is all about our teammates. Many of us are now lifelong friends bonded forever by our work together. We will add new friends to our fold this year as we wholeheartedly serve each other and our hosts and as we stand in solidarity with those who suffer so much.
The United Nations has issued an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth. They are calling us all to engage in nexus thinking in creating connections and networks and think across different scales, domains, sectors and disciplines to find effective and efficient solutions to tackle the world’s problems. This is precisely what NEA invited us into a decade ago and precisely what we will continue to do until the dream of sustainable healthcare becomes a reality.
I feel so privileged to be part of the GHT-GRID-NEA Nexus. It has been a fantastic journey and I am so excited about what is yet to unfold on the ground in 2018.
May God grant us everything we need to fulfil our mission.