NGOs in Ghana – intial reflections on group project & trip
While in Ghana, I couldn’t help but think about my group’s discussion of NGOs in Ghana and their work, and compare these things to the realities that we saw on the ground. I still have a lot of questions, but my post is long overdue, so observations + questioning will have to be sufficient for now!
During our project, one of the more resonant questions for me was, “How do NGOs collaborate and is this collaboration successful?” I think this question guided some of my observations during the trip.
Observations: Looking around the Dalun Youth Association (DYA) building, I saw some posters, asked some questions. All this happened very quickly, so I’m not 100% this is the correct information, but I’ll relay what I remember and wrote down.
DYA exists to bring the youth together – students gather here and “because they are together, they are stronger and can advocate for the needs of the community, what they see the community needs to develop” (field notes), like new roads to Tamale (which I would also advocate for, for both selfish and unselfish reasons). DYA uses sports as a tool for development – in this rural community, athletic competition is a perfect way to bring people together, both young and old. Once the people are gathered, the youth can spread their message of change. And this message is much more powerful coming from a vibrant, organized youth group.
Baraca, one of the teachers at Titagya, told me that these gatherings are important because they are opportunities to educate the “opinion leaders” of the community, who in turn, influence the elders of the community.
The DYA, from what Baraca and others told me, is a very important organization. But it needed support from outside organizations.
- Rotary club from Denmark built the building that houses DYA
- The Youth Opportunity Partnership Programme (YOPP) is a Ghanaian NGO that is focused on development through sports and international connection/communication http://yoppghana.com/index.php/about-yopp/about-yopp/description-of-yopp
- YOPP is supported by the Danish Gymnastic and Sports Association (DGI) http://www.dgi.dk/English/relations.aspx, who in turn are supported by the Danish Foreign Ministry.
Some questions that I still have:
- How did all of these organizations get connected? What it from the inside out or outside in?
- I’d like to know what came first, DYA or YOPP – how these two are influencing each other?
- How effective is DYA? How important is collaboration? –is it merely funding, or is it more substantial mentorship? What is the relationship/power dynamic between DYA and all these other organizations?
- How small is the world, really?