After 6 months of anticipation and planning, I was ecstatic to represent Seasons Care as we embarked on the journey to Ghana in order to support MEDA’s GROW project. GROW stands for Greater Rural Opportunities for Women. It is an initiative developed by the Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA) with a goal of enhancing food security and economic stability in northern Ghana. For more details about the project, click here.
Di greeting the female soybean farmers and their family in the village of Lilxisia located in the Upper West Region of northern Ghana
When I think of Ghana and the people I met there one word readily springs to mind – Energy. We were regularly greeted by people whose enthusiasm was contagious. This was a wonderful happy energy that could be seen in the tam-tam celebrations, the dancing and drumming in the middle of the village, and buzz in the local market. Their happy energy was blended with a determination to use whatever skills they had to make a living, regardless how humble it was.
The purpose of our trip was to visit the GROW project’s female soybean farmers in northern Ghana. Along with the farmers, we were introduced to three agri-processors who are developing products from the soybeans, including soy milk, soy kabab, soybean oil, soy flour and more. We also had the privilege to meet with a local Community Nutritionist who provided an overview of the nutritional programs designed to help the women incorporate soybean into their daily meals. The value of the soybean crop has extended beyond nutritional science. The women proudly shared that they had noticed an increased level of physical health in their children since introducing the crop into their family. They are so impressed with the health benefits of the crop that they nicknamed soybeans “blood beans”.
Other highlights included a trip to the local market where we saw many exotic foods, like dried fish, snails, snakes and bats. The skilled artisans we met were producing handcrafted fabrics and wood products. In an adventure that took us to Mole National Park we encountered an elephant, antelopes and baboons. During a day trip out from the Park we stopped in to see a famous mosque built circa 1420 and a village where we watched the local production of shea butter. There were so many great experiences that cannot be summed up in this limited space. I hope you will check out the link to peopleCare’s Ghana Trip 2017 Facebook page.