Support for grass-roots development in Ghana
By Janeece Keller
Reporting from Accra, Ghana.
The Australian High Commission in Ghana have awarded twelve Ghanaian development organisations and four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Mali, Sierra Leone and Liberia with grants totalling $731,839. on 3 February.
The grants are part of a two million dollar development assistance scheme to Africa for 2010/2011.
These grants represent the largest annual amount of funding provided by Australia to its grants programs in Ghana and West Africa, since the Mission was re-opened in 2004.
High Commissioner to Ghana, William (Billy) Williams, presented the grants to the Ghanaian recipients in a ceremony in the country’s capital, Accra on February 3, 2011.
“Once again the High Commission is pleased to partner a select number of Ghanaian organisations, who have successfully gone through a rigorous and competitive process, to implement these development projects that will benefit a number of communities throughout the country,” said High Commissioner Williams.
Eleven of the Ghanaian grant recipients are part of the Direct Aid Program (DAP), an Australian government initiative to advance developmental objectives and address humanitarian hardship in developing countries.
DAP recipients are typically grass-roots organizations with a track record of delivering tangible outcomes in the communities in which they are involved. The 2011 recipients will use the money to complete projects around the nation in education, solar energy, health, sanitation and the provision of potable water.
Communications company, Creative Storm, is one of the organisations committed to social development in Ghana.
The organisation hopes to focus on environmental issues and will use their grant to take a community theatre play to communities unable to travel to the capital Accra for the annual Environmental Film Festival.
“This award means we can take environmental awareness to people in the villages,” said Mawuli Afatsiawo, Creative Manager of Creative Storm.
“We have taken the difficult concept of climate change and developed a play that uses analogies such as travelling on a local minibus, so that Ghanaians from all levels of education can understand,” he said.
Mohammed Sulley, Program Manager from Nfasimdi Development Association travelled across Ghana to accept his cheque at the ceremony.
He thanked the High Commissioner for the grant and said the community of 1,500 people in the town of Song, will benefit from the project.
“Today it is very possible and the reality is coming. We are now going to build two bore holes and 24 household latrines to give them sanitation. If you go to the community the sanitation problems have led to cholera and other diseases so this project will benefit the community”, he said.
In addition to the eleven DAP awards, the High Commissioner presented a $100,000 grant to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
The Initiative is one of 33 recipients from over 2,000 applications world-wide, and the money will be used to build strong community advocates for police accountability and reforms in Ghana, as well as enhance awareness of the rights of arrested and detained persons.
High Commissioner Williams said that all recipients of the grants are making a tangible contribution and leaving a sustainable legacy in their communities.