Since 2015, VWB/VSF has been working in Ghana through its VETS project, which is generously funded by Global Affairs Canada, to provide skilled volunteers to assist local partners in improving the nutrition and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. 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.
The Paramount Chief and others from the Sirigu Traditional Area visited GAPNET's headquarters for the first time.
VWB/VSF VETS volunteer, Natalia Hanson, is currently working in Ghana as a communications volunteer. She recently celebrated Ghana's 66th year of independence in Accra with the GAPNET team and a very special guest.
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"March 6th, 2023, marked an important day for Ghana and Ghana Poultry Network (GAPNET) staff and volunteers. Not only was it Ghana's 66th year of independence, but it was also the first day that the Paramount Chief of Sirigu Traditional Area in the Chiana-Paga Constituency, Naba Atogumdeya Roland Akwara III, visited our office.
GAPNET's relationship with the Chief dates back to 2018, and even though he'd visited Accra before, where our headquarter is located, this was the first time he had the opportunity to come to our office.
Dr. Akunzule discussed the partnerships that GAPNET has with other organizations, such as Brooke.
The Paramount Chief was in Accra for an event to raise funds to help him complete a fire service ambulance bay in the Sirigu area.
The GAPNET team has had a fulfilling relationship with The Paramount Chief and his constituents. For example, in March 2022, he chaired a 10-day intensive training workshop for community animal health care workers, who help to champion animal health locally.
Dr. Akunzule, ED of GAPNET, showed The Chief some of his awards and recognitions.
That workshop aimed to improve livestock production in the Upper East Region. It was part of the VETS (Volunteers Engaged in Gender Responsive Technical Solutions) project, implemented by Veterinarians Without Borders (VWB) Canada and supported by Global Affairs Canada."