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.
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