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21.04.2005 Regional News

World Vision International holds conference

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Accra, April 21, GNA - Officials of World Vision from Ghana, Zambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Chad on Thursday started a three-day international conference in Accra to deliberate on activities of the organisation.

The conference is on the Gifts-in-Kind (GIK) programme, a means of using material resources to complement development resources in the fields of operation under the projects of World Vision. The Conference, the first of its kind, would afford participants the opportunity to know themselves as GIK Partners in Africa and to network, share best practices and brainstorm on new ideas.

Another important aspect of the Conference would be a meeting with two of the major donors of World Vision - World Concern and Medical Assistance Programme (MAP) - both with headquarters in the USA, to discuss on the way forward for their partnership.

The National Director, World Vision-Ghana, Mr Sam Asare said the GIK Project played a critical role in the work of the Organisation and that out of the annual 20 million dollar-budget of the Ghana Office, the GIK budget accounted to eight million dollars.

He said various items including the shipment of de-wormers; textbooks; shoes; pharmaceuticals; medical supplies and hygiene equipment were some of the products that were distributed under the GIK Programme at the community, national and international levels. Mr Asare described the GIK Programme as that which gave the national or receiving offices the opportunity to dialogue with donor partners to select items that were relevant to their development and relief programmes.

He, therefore, appealed to the international donors to maintain that approach of dialoguing to enable World Vision to meet the needs of its beneficiaries.

Mr Herbet Brako, Associate Director of GIK, Ghana, said under the programme, World Vision last year received 36 shipments valued at 14.5 million dollars of various items including shoes and hygiene products that were distributed to the Ghana Armed Forces to assist in their operations in peacekeeping.

He said since 1979 when World Vision was established in Ghana, most of the regional hospitals in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions had benefited immensely from the GIK Programme.

Mr Brako said the University of Ghana and other basic and senior secondary schools had also received various assistance and textbooks under the Programme.

"This year another container of mixed shipment would be given to the Ghana Armed Forces to assist in their operation in Liberia." 21 April 05

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