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Hope, opportunity and promise

A visit to Northern Ghana provides a vision of optimism for the future

By Mark Klintworth, CCFC’s director, major and planned giving

I recently returned to Canada following several days in the Northern region of Ghana, visiting projects funded by Christian Children’s Fund of Canada’s (CCFC) donors. This was my first visit there and, despite the difficult living conditions and poverty I witnessed, I came away with a positive feeling of hope for the future.

Clean drinking water: the ripple effect

In two remote villages, I was given a first-hand look at the incredible impact that improved drinking water has on children. First, by providing clean water, there’s enhanced health and a reduction in water-borne diseases for the entire community. In fact, at the Young Clinic of Hope in the village of Kasuliyili, there has been a steady decline in the occurrence of the top four prominent water-borne diseases, following the completion of a CCFC-provided clean water project. But the impact doesn’t end there. Local people have been able to establish community gardens with drip irrigation, providing school children with nutritious vegetables throughout the year – even in the dry season. And with the availability of water nearby, girls no longer have to walk three kilometers to fetch water for their family. Now, more girls than boys are attending classes— this was unheard of only a few short years ago. I was amazed to see the ripple effect that a clean-water project can have on an entire community.

With hard work, dreams can come true

While in Ghana, I asked school children about their career aspirations. In one very remote village, a young girl said she wanted to be a nurse. While I admired her vision and determination, I later asked CCFC’s Ghana staff if this was even a possibility for her. I was told that she will need to excel in Primary School, have financial support to complete High School, and gain entrance to Nursing College. Yes, it is possible for that young girl to become a nurse, but it won't be easy.

So, in Ghana I see hope, opportunity and promise. Of course there are many challenges and difficulties. But I am inspired by the many examples of resilience and determination I have seen, helping me believe that change is not only warranted but deserved and earned.