Forty-five thousand Ghana cedis has been invested into educational and health improvement projects across the country – in a single day. The funds, which were donated by some of Ghana's leading corporate institutions, were put towards making lasting improvements to the lives of people from seven impoverished communities as part of United Way Ghana's fourth Day of Caring event.
Over 400 people participated in last month's event, including volunteers from Newmont Ghana Gold, Stanbic Bank, UT Financial Services, and spa business Allure Ghana. Day of Caring is a one-day volunteer event that aims to cultivate a greater sense of corporate social responsibility amongst companies in Ghana. The event, which was first launched in 2006, acts as a mechanism to optimise the return on investment for corporate institutions, while maximising measurable and sustainable impact at the community level.
This year, Ghana's corporate institutions came out in force in both volunteer numbers and financial support. The event even attracted first-time sponsors Coca Cola Equatorial Franchise, Game and Tigo. Coca Cola Equatorial Franchise donated just over GH¢5,000 towards the Manya Krobo Queen Mothers Association's project to help build an education resource centre for the local community and orphaned children with HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, Game donated 400 colorful tote bags for the Day of Caring volunteers, provided 40 buckets of paint for the school and orphanage projects, and provided 600 pencil cases as a gift for the students at each of the projects. Some Game staff members even took time away from work to support Day of Caring activities at the Madina Social Welfare project.
Solomon Wollimoh, who works in sales and marketing at Allure Ghana, volunteered at Madina Social Welfare project for the first time this year. “The experience lived up to my expectations,” he says. “It was good cleaning cobwebs from classrooms and sweeping floors and I was able to offer the students advice and encourage them to persevere in their career goals.”
Michael Ayensi, the lead volunteer at the Madina Social Welfare project, believes the event has done wonders for the confidence of the young girls at the vocational school and has provided them with a platform to showcase their culinary, dress-making and hair-dressing skills to others and be proud of what they have achieved.
“Day of Caring should be a catalyst for the ordinary Ghanaian to help others in his or her community,” he says. “You don't have to wait till you have made a millions before you do something to
benefit your society. The little you can do for someone is enough. I think Ghanaians rely too heavily on help from outsiders, but we can do it in our own little small way, if we work together.”
Other activities on the day included:
• the construction of a summer hut at Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern Region, which was supported by Newmont Ghana Gold;
• painting the school building and mentoring the children at the Qubbatul Khadrah School in Nima, which was supported by UT Financial Services;
• building a canteen for school children at the Mother Teresa School for Girls in the Central Region, which was supported by Star Assurance and KEK Insurance Brokers;
• cleaning, painting and mentoring the children at Country Side Orphanage in Bawjiase, Central Region, which was supported by Stanbic Bank and Teligent Wireless;
• a lunchtime party with music for the elderly at HelpAge in Accra, which was supported by SSNIT and Golden Tulip, and painting the school building and mentoring the students at the Madina Social Welfare Project, which gained support from Tigo, Allure Ghana and Game.
Since its inception, the Day of Caring event has helped to sponsor more than 800 volunteers whose combined efforts have touched the lives of over 6,000 people in Ghana.
Karen Shormeh Sai, Executive Director at United Way Ghana, said: “The Day of Caring event aims to provide a platform for both the community development organizations and the corporate institutions. Day of Caring provides an opportunity for the CBOs and NGOs to increase awareness about the challenges people within their communities face and encourage a greater spirit of philanthropy. For the corporate sponsors Day of Caring offers a simple, interactive way to demonstrate their investment in the communities they serve. She added, Ghana is a country rich in resources and in the spirit of caring and sharing and I hope this event will overtime become a recognized mechanism to help share this wealth amongst communities that need it most.”
UWG is a unique organisation which has a vision to create stronger, healthier, educated and self-sustaining communities in Ghana. UWG is linked to more than 4,500 United Way and Community Chest Organisations in 47 countries and territories on six continents via its affiliation with United Way Worldwide (UWW). Since its inception in 2003, UWG has acted to help build strong and empowered communities by bringing together public and private stakeholders and community development agencies to identify problems and develop collaborative solutions.