It was an evening of food, fun, friendship and financial support.
The 2nd Annual Ghana Girls Gala was held on Saturday, May 27 at First Community in Salmon Arm, where people gathered to raise funds for educating girls in Ghana.
“I think everyone who went had a good time, met friends, the food was fabulous, there was lots of laughter and I felt a real sense of community in the hall,” said longtime project organizer and supporter Joyce Henderson. “I think all of us were happy how it went.”
Many people raved about the food, which was in abundance and prepared by the church catering committee as well as several other supporters. Along with the appies and desserts, there were presentations on projects as well as music, drumming, dancing and a silent auction.
The Ghana Girl Child Education Project began in 2004, when Henderson met Vida Yakong from Ghana who was studying nursing at Okanagan College. The connection grew while Yakong did her undergrad, Masters and PhD at UBCO.
She has a team in Ghana who helps her to link up students who have ability, but have no ability to pay the fees, Henderson said.
Yakong is now Dean of Nursing and Midwifery at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale, Ghana.
“One girl started being supported in primary and secondary and is now studying midwifery at UDS,” Henderson commented, a testimony to the success of the project.
Over the years, funds have been raised to educate more than 250 children who were disadvantaged in terms of getting an education, most of them girls. The project is an ongoing one for First United Church, or First Community, so donations are accepted anytime. Donations can be made online at www.firstcommunity.ca/donations
Part of the evening included a presentation from Megan and Zion Asiedu, co-founders of The Woven Hope Collective in Summerland, which sells wholesale Bolga baskets and other items, handmade by women weavers in Ghana.
The collective provided baskets at the gala which were sold during the evening.
Megan explained that each basket takes two to three days to make, and behind every basket is “a beautiful artistic woman.” When Megan and Zion asked the women in Ghana why they weave, they said: “We weave to bring hope to our children.”
The Woven Hope Collective can be found on Facebook at thewovenhopecollective, on Instagram or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.