Bags For Ghana
Bags For Ghana Our innovative Micro-Loan program Here's how it works: We collect gently used items here in the US We ship them to Ghana in a container We help the Ghanaians set up shop to sell the gently-used items They pay us for the items sold, and but more to sell First we teach business strategies... Then we invest financially into a start-up business.
Our Medical-Mission Teams To date, ODI has coordinated medical short-term trips in which our medical teams have treated over 6,000 patients and our dental teams have provided 3,500 dental patients with fluoride and extraction when needed Our medical teams have greatly impacted lives in the community. Here are a few stories shared by our team members: Bruiser (a name given to a four-year-old by our team) was seen as an emergency case in 2012 because of an infected carotid gland. The doctor with our team told us the boy probably only had a week to live. Every day, for four days, our doctor worked to drain Bruiser’s infection. By day three, the team was already seeing a difference in this little one. Each year when we return we see Bruiser running through the streets, greeting our medical team. He knows. His family knows. And we know that he is here today, celebrating many more birthdays, because our doctor was in the village. During our 2013 trip, we encountered an elderly lady in the village who had suffered a stroke. She was sent home by the hospital and doctors in Ghana with no hope. She couldn’t talk, couldn’t’ swallow, couldn’t walk – she was dying because of a lack of hope.
Our therapist saw her and wanted to help. She encouraged the family to sing songs to her, those that she had sung to her children when they were young. This stroke victim began to feebly smile and began humming and mouthing the words to Ghanaian folk tunes. The therapist tied a belt around her waist and began to show the family how they could help her walk. Just by turning her neck to one side our angel (therapist) showed the family how they could get their loved one to swallow. You wouldn’t believe the celebration of the family at that time – it was a miracle. Michael was seventeen when our team saw him in 2012 for a spinal cord injury. Michael had no use of his arms and could barely walk. He had been sent home by the doctors and hospital—with no hope or help. Our medical teams started showing him exercises to help him walk and talk, just a little. With exercise they were able to get his arms moving so he could feed himself. Michael’s dream was to be able to dress and feed himself. For three years, our ODI team returned and worked with Michael. When the team arrived in 2014 Michael was able to walk into the clinic himself. He is now able to both dress and feed himself. His smile has improved greatly! His mother’s smile is a grateful reminder that her son, by the touch of our medical team, has a future where he once was pronounced as “no hope.”
The Fish Farm was the first project for ODI in Ghana. Located in the village of Adagya, ODI dug five ponds, each about the size of a football field. The initial investment provided for development of this previously unused land in the heart of this small, quiet, village where poverty was prevalent among almost 90% of the population of 3,000. ODI has had three cycles of maturing fingerlings (Tilapia and Catfish) and producing a crop to be sold. Opportunities for selling the fish included commercial and retail sites. While ODI never made a profit on the selling of the fish, we did not loose when averaging the three cycles. And then came the rains! An unexpected heavy rain and a flooding river that runs alongside the Fish Farm brought harm to the landscape, the pipes used for overflow, the aerator pumps, and the improvements that had been established for the selling of the fish.
As our first project, the Fish Farm provided ODI with invaluable information regarding the culture and traditions of the villagers, how ownership and business are understood by the villagers, and what opportunities can be developed in the villages that is meaningful for poverty reduction.
THE CHIRANDA PROJECT:
Operation Dignity International will help Ghanaians achieve their goals of economic self- sufficiency through our SEED philosophy (adopted 2010):
Skills in Vocational Training
Self-sustaining enterprises ● Transforming results ● Reproducible model
Basic literacy ● Health information ● Enterprise development
Equipping for Continuing Opportunity
Leadership development ● Business development ● Economic development
Dignity and Affirmation
Independence ● Solutions ● Compassion
Ghana’s Food and Agricultural Organization has defined priorities for Ghana. They include food and nutrition security, rural development, and resilient livelihoods. Operation Dignity
International (ODI) has been given the task of developing a large parcel of land in central Ghana to be dedicated to meeting these goals.
The tribal chiefs of the Chiranda area are collaborating with ODI to strategize effective ways this undeveloped and virgin land can be used to help alleviate poverty, create employment, provide food for families, and help achieve currently unmet educational essentials for children, youth, and adults. ODI has been working, planning, and dreaming with Ghana. We have invested the last seven years in learning the culture, developing leaders, and figuring out what this cross-cultural opportunity can mean for the Ghanaians. Together, we will change lives!
The seed represents a powerful tool that can yield hope, development, employment, education, liberty, and dignity. We care deeply about our responsibility, knowing we are entrusted with the greatest natural asset of the Chiranda villagers – the land. The seed is the beginning but the harvest is exciting.
Our friends in Ghana are telling us they look forward to the day when they can genuinely say: Ma De Me Ho (I have Liberty!) Liberty and freedom are at the core of the dreams the parliamentary chiefs of the Chiranda community have for their people. Chiranda (also known as Kyiranda), is located in the Kintampo North municipality in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. Chiranda is the capital of six communities which are mainly noted for agriculture (primarily cocoa, yams, and maize), small-scale fishing, and charcoal production. The community is governed by three parliamentary chiefs who serve as tribal and government leadership.
The Agro-ecological concept integrates a range of facilities, programs, venues, and services within the themes of:
- Environmental sustainability: The farm will have a soil and water conservation and management plan establishing buffers and filter strips through the Soil and Water Conservation Program and Ghana Environmental Resource Management Project (GERMP). A soil management plan (for both physical and chemical characteristics) will be prepared with the help of Ghana internal government agencies and organizations. The farm will be dedicated to environmentally sustainable management practices forming solutions for poverty alleviation.
- Business integration: Venues between all business facilities will be designed as a supply value and built to complement each other. The project will create strong community engagement for business solutions, poverty alleviation solutions, good governance, and in conformity with the local and regional tribal and governmental expectations.
- Economic sustainability: The agro-ecological village will be built and operated by donations, grants, preferred investment partners, and employee and small shareholder investment. Securing funding for donations and grants to begin the project will aid in the process of preparing the land; purchasing equipment and seeds; irrigation; cultivation; harvesting; building processing plants, roads and infrastructure (wells, drip irrigation, waste, electricity); and all other necessary components of the early development stages. Earnings will be used to sustain the existence and expansion of the agro-ecological village. Large-scale farming and land leasing will provide the greatest form of sustainability.
- Education and learning: The common and general theme throughout is basic literacy, education, agrarian development skills, training in business literacy, and knowledge around ownership.