My apologies for "stealing" this press release from our partner's website, but I thought it would be good to introduce you to our NGO partner SEDARVP Ghana.
As a relatively young western professional man, Jeremy Simson has a very unique perspective on life. As well as working for one of the world’s largest recruitment consultancies, where he places Business Analysts and Project Managers with the UK’s most socially responsible Retail Bank, he is also the Founder and Managing Director of an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that bears his name. Jeremy works in partnership with his Co-founder and Strategic Director, Jonathan Collings, on the development of The Simson Foundation (TSF) to identify and subsequently resolve some of society’s most challenging humanitarian and environmental problems.
TSF accomplishes its goals by engaging with and empowering local NGOs and community-based organisations to target specific issues that restrict humanitarian and environmental development. Working in partnership with these organisations, TSF tackles problems at a grass-roots level, which immediately has a beneficial impact upon the communities the partnership works with. TSF has already begun its UK recruitment drive to ensure that the right people are in place to facilitate its Ghana programme through a vast range of fundraising activities aimed at all areas of UK society.
Whilst researching the specific issues that Ghanaian society faces on a daily basis, TSF built relationships with a number of Ghanian NGOs; one of the most interactive of these relationships was with a small NGO called SEDARVP Ghana. During this preliminary phase, the team at SEDARVP Ghana demonstrated not only their commitment to the communities they serve, but also an attention to detail and a track record that signifies their emergence as future key players for Ghanaian communities in need.
It was with great pleasure that Jeremy contacted Tanko Umar, SEDARVP Ghana’s Norway Coordinator, to advise of the decision taken by the TSF Board to partner with SEDARVP Ghana in 2011. Initially working on the Well Water Project, the partnership between TSF and SEDARVP Ghana aims to provide borehole wells to approximately 40 communities in the northern region of Ghana. But the project does not simply propose the sinking of wells: representatives of each community will be trained not only to maintain the wells but also to implement testing to ensure their continued safety. In addition to this, the whole community will be trained in a host of related areas such as cross- contamination and sanitisation, thus ensuring that these wells continue to provide for the needs of the community for many years to come.
“Clean drinking water is taken for granted by so many people in western society that sometimes they forget how many people internationally aren’t able to simply turn on a tap and have clean, fresh and - more importantly - safe drinking water,” commented Jeremy when speaking with Lori Ambo, SEDARVP Ghana’s International Director. “We believe,” he continued, “that the best advocates for these [Ghanaian] communities are the current management and staff of SEDARVP Ghana. This is why we will be working intensively with Shaibu Abukari Niendow, the organisation’s Founder and President, to implement the necessary strategies and structure to turn these plans into a reality.”
Whilst the cost of this project has not yet been published and is likely to remain under wraps until its launch in 2011, all costs are met by TSF, which also provides significant investment for the longer-term through micro-finance, employment and vocational training initiatives. SEDARVP Ghana will offer community liaison and detailed local knowledge, smoothing the way for the construction of each well and rallying the support of the local communities involved to ensure that each community has total inclusion from day one.
TSF’s commitment to Ghana will be cemented by a second project in its Ghanaian programme, this time working with New Life Foundation in the central region of the country. The Healthy Education Project aims to tackle the provision of infrastructure needs for people of all ages in the health and education sectors. Edmund Osei Kwakye, the founder and executive director of the New Life Foundation, is also the national general secretary of the Ghana Association of Public Health Technical Officers and ideally positioned to advise on and implement real change in the Ghanaian communities in which he operates.
In a final statement to Lori Ambo, Jeremy concluded, “We feel so privileged to be in a position to assist the Ghanaian communities that SEDARVP Ghana has highlighted as being in need. Invariably the times ahead will be difficult; there will be trials and tribulations, but I believe firmly that the right people, with the right motivation can achieve anything they put their minds to. We now have the right people, and our motivation is unyielding. We will achieve the goals set before us; the only question that remains is not whether the western world can help, it’s what will they do to help?”