In recent decades Ghana has achieved some of the strongest economic grown in sub-Saharan Africa, and has seen it's overall poverty rate decline from more than 40 per cent to just under 25 per cent. Unfortunately, this progress has not been evenly distributed among the population. Most of the growth has happened in urban areas, particularly in the south of the country, creating a wider gap between the haves and the have-nots, and between the more prosperous south and the disadvantaged north. Rural subsistence farmers are among the poorest socio economic groups in the country, and rural women are particularly disadvantaged. VWB/VSF's work is focused on smallholder farmers in the north of the country, with a particular emphasis on livelihoods for rural women.
Poverty and subsistence living is particularly rampant as you travel north in Ghana. Separated from urban centres and primarily agricultural, centres, Northern Ghanaians have little or no access to veterinary care and medical services.
Where are we working?
VWB/VSF volunteers are primarily deployed throughout the North Eastern Region, the poorest in the nation. Some work is completed in and around the capital, Accra.
Small Steps to Great Solutions
VWB/VSF's primary partner in Ghana is SEND Ghana, a non-governmental development organization with an impressive track record improving rural livelihoods and nutrition in the northern part of the country, SEND has particular expertise in addressing gender inequality. Working through SEND, VWB will recruit volunteers with a wide range of skills, including veterinary epidemiologists, animal nutrition trainers, curriculum development specialists who have created a range of programs to support extension workers in helping farmers improve livestock production, and veterinarians, including a poultry specialist. VWB/VSF has also supplied gender specialists who have focused on the needs of women livestock producers, and young volunteers -- usually vet students--have been lending their skills during the summer months. While VWB/VSF volunteers are called upon to provide professional services, in every instance their role is to build the capacity of farmers and local organizations through training and mentorship.