GRID and NEA share a remarkable history and unique partnership. Our holistic (impacting both the physical and spiritual needs) and integrated approach to development, and our focus on sustainability have transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people in Northern Ghana.
Sustainability is the focus of all our poverty alleviation work. It has become part of our DNA and all our programs must pass through that filter before any are implemented.
We believe that sustainable development is best achieved through a holistic and integrated approach.
‘Integrated’ was one of the first lessons we learned when we began work in Janga in 1987. Poor health was starkly visible: children with distended tummies and sparse hair growth, adults crippled by guinea worm and unable to farm, and women dying in childbirth as they could not get to a health facility due to flooded roads. We knew we needed to bring healthcare within their reach but first the community needed clean water to address guinea worm and other water-borne diseases and farmers needed assistance to produce better crops to address malnutrition.
While health issues were being addressed, we saw that education and schools were virtually non-existent in the area. Classes were held under the trees, only a few children were able to attend school because of household chores, and teachers weren’t consistently available since they had to travel long distances daily, so classes were held irregularly. With the support of the Government of Ghana and generous donors, we were able to build schools and teachers’ quarters, and provide scholarships.
Focusing on sustainability and using a holistic and integrated approach are fundamental to reducing poverty, but they are neither easy nor quick. It takes time to build the relationships with communities and individuals that allow for real changes.
To help just one woman become a self-sufficient farmer requires a two-year commitment to training and supporting her. To help leaders resolve conflicts without resorting to violence requires years of dialogue and training in relationships of trust.
We are committed to seeing this process through with the people we serve. We walk with communities for the years that it takes.
Will you walk with us until every person in the communities we are serving has the opportunity to become self-sufficient?