Sheila visited this project on May 21, 2009. She writes:
Sheila Leonard is a graduate student at George Washington University and intern at GlobalGiving. This summer, she is traveling in West Africa and visiting GlobalGiving projects.
On May 21 I visited the H.O.P.E. center in Ho, Ghana led by Margaret Asante and Colleen, an American volunteer from GlobeMed. What struck me most about the project was the sustainable nutrition component. The team has farmed the surrounding lands with soybean and other protein filled products. Included in consultations is an allotment of these foods, in addition to the explanation of their nutritional and health value. Being able to teach through demonstration, not just words, is invaluable. Because I visited after 2pm, when the sun is highest, the health center was empty of patients. I was able to see the procedures and the farming system and talk with each of the health workers.
I admire their integration into current systems seen through their coordination with Ghana Health Services. For better or worse, it seems the American influence is important for success of the project. Although the drawbacks of lack of local knowledge and language are high, the American work ethic and desire to give without financial reward is greatly helping the health center. The head nurse (from Ghana) is a very driven woman eager to give back to her community in Ho and she is invaluable to the success of the project as well. The health center may not have started from the ground up but it is now utilized by the many many young mothers, children, and students in the communities surrounding the small city of Ho.
Sheila said she would tell her friends this project was a: Interesting, but could be more relevant to the community.
GlobalGiving is committed to incorporating many viewpoints on our 600+ projects. We feel that more information, especially from eyewitnesses helps donors like you continue to support organizations doing great work in the community.
Last weekend, GlobeMed at Northwestern raised over $700 from the Global Get Down, a night of performances and dancing to support the third phase of the nutrition project at the H.O.P.E. Center.
Former co-president, Colleen Fant, has been working on the project, and has also been helping facilitate sexual health education workshops through the new adolescent sexual health program. Pictures can be found below.
We would like to thank all our donors for making these two projects happen, and invite you to share thoughts and questions in the comments section!
In 2008, the HOPE Center launched a community-based nutrition program with funding from GlobeMed at Northwestern. A demonstration farm was established at the HOPE Center and in the neighboring community of Ando. In addition, mothers were provided with complimentary meals with high-protein content and taught how to prepare those meals. Since the launching of the program, over 150 children have benefited from the program. 82 children were randomly selected for further monitorin; increases in weight gain and overall health were found in all of them. The Center looks forward to launching the next phase of the nutrition program, which will include an expansion of the program into the Sokode-Lokoe community.
In January 2009, the diagnostic pathology laboratory opened at the HOPE Center supported by funding from GlobeMed at Northwestern. The HIV/Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center is also in the development phase and will include an emphasis on adolescent reproductive health services.
Four students-leaders from GlobeMed at Northwestern University are currently traveling to Ghana to work with the staff at the HOPE Center on a diverse set of projects aimed at increasing the capacity of the Center to improve the health of local community members.
Our team will work collaboratively, but will be focusing on separate projects. I will be focusing on installing an electronic medical records system on the two computers currently at the Center. We'll be using an open-source software system available from OpenEMR. The system seems to be very good for the needs of the Center, it is simple to use, and will be vastly more useful for keeping track of patient information and scheduling appointments than their current system in Excel. This will be a great improvement, and will allow the Center to more easily expand its client base.
Nikita Kohli, co-president along with me of GlobeMed at Northwestern, will be primarily working to collect large numbers of photos, video, and stories to use to create marketing and communication documents to publicize the work of the HOPE Center. She'll also be engaged in doing community asset mapping. This will include creating a geographical map of the region, interviewing community leaders to identify assets within the community, and then creating a useful document for Center staff to use in their community outreach work.
Sarah Mihalov, the global project coordinator for GlobeMed at NU, will be doing research funded by a Northwestern Undergraduate Research Grant. She will be conducting anthropology research on the topic of, Factors affecting feeding practices in the Volta Region, Ghana: The Relationship with Malnutrition. This research will be of direct use to future planning for the Center as we expand the community nutrition project and continue as a Regional Nutrition Center.
Finally, Colleen Fant, who was co-president of GlobeMed at NU with me last year, will be using her funding from the Mind the Gap Fellowship to spend nearly an entire year working at the Center, conducting ethnographic research with formal and informal interviews of community members about HIV needs, and translating that data into the implementation of an HIV voluntary counseling and testing center (VCT) at the HOPE Center.
Each of these projects reflect the long-term partnership between Northwestern students and grassroots health workers at the HOPE Center. By connecting the resources of passionate students through an effective partnership and concrete projects, we will be able to add value to the work already being done at the Center and will be able to increase the Center's capacity to improve health.
Colleen and I will be maintaining blogs during our trip, check them out! Links below:
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Thanks to 710 donors like you, a total of $28,171 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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