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Ghana

Since 2015 VWB/VSF has been working in Ghana through its Volunteers for Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities project to provide skilled volunteers to assist local partners in improving the nutrition and livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

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Ghana: An Overview

Using a traditionally rooted, free-roaming livestock ownership model, animals in Ghana are susceptible to rampant disease transmission which leads to severe health challenges and mortality.

Not only do these diseases impact the animal and the livestock owner through reduced animal outputs, income, and nutrient potentials of animal ownership, but through zoonotic disease transmission - diseases that originate in animals and cross species to infect humans - human health is also impacted.

The need for stringent biosecurity protocols is heightened now more than even in a globally connected world, as we have seen in recent years with viral outbreaks. Developing regions are most vulnerable during a disease outbreak due to reduced access to health services and infrastructures, the number of family members per household, and traditional practices.

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A field veterinarian administering drops to a chicken being held by a young woman.

Why We Are Here

The majority of Ghana’s rural population depends on access to natural resources to support their livelihoods. Due to unsustainable agriculture, forestry, and infrastructure practices, issues regarding land degradation and soil erosion have become widespread resulting in stagnated crop yields and reduced fish, timber, and non-timber forest product stocks.

There are also various systemic challenges around gender equality, social protection, and women’s empowerment. Despite the crucial role of women in agriculture, efforts to engage women in leadership roles are scarce, and their participation in decision-making processes, even those that directly impact their livelihoods, can be limited.

Current Projects in Ghana: VETS

Through the VETS (Volunteers Engaged in Gender Responsive Technical Solutions) project, VWB/VSF will work with local partners to improve climate-smart, resilient agricultural practices specifically targeting women farmers.

The project will also assist the existing SEND and GAPNET projects in the Northern, Southern Greater Accra, Upper West, and Upper East Regions.

While targeting whole communities, VETS will seek to encourage women to enhance their skills in food production and animal husbandry, as well as sensitize men on the specific needs of women and the importance of involving them in decisions.

VETS will also work through existing women’s groups that are already well organized and help support women in their food production/farming.

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VETS Partners in Ghana 

Social Enterprise Development Foundation - SEND GHANA

Established in 1998 the Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND WEST AFRICA) has grown into a regional development agency with affiliates in Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Ghana Poultry Network (GAPNET)

Working predominately in Yua, Sirigu, and Natugnia located in the Northern and Upper East province, GAPNET provides training to poultry and small ruminant female-led farming groups.

Local Coordinator - Dr. Geoffry Akabua 

Dr. Geoffrey Akabua DVM, MSc FSQA (Guelph) is a veterinarian with over two decades of experience in Ghana. Using his familiarity with the Ghanaian terrain, culture, and knowledge of animal health care delivery in Ghana, Dr. Akabua guides other Canadian volunteers in Ghana.

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  • I have seen first-hand the benefits of capacity building and gender empowerment for smallholder livestock farmers, and stakeholders in the livestock sector.
    - Dr. Shauna Richards

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