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13.08.2005 General News

Use external funds judiciously - NGOs told


Accra, Aug. 13, GNA - The political and socio-economic progress of Ghana would be greatly enhanced if local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that receive external donor support would try to be moderate with their individual and collective gains.

Speaking to journalists in Accra on Saturday, Ms. Harmien Dam, a director of an international volunteer group currently in Ghana expressed surprise at the myriad of NGOs in the country saying, "I learnt those involved in AHIV/AIDS alone are over 300." She said there was the need to check, especially on the part of donors or mother institutions how the funds they vote for their representatives were spent in order to know whether targets set were being achieved.

"Sometimes you see proposals by NGOs, which are very good plans but then the figures on the proposals are just it is always important to check to see whether funds are rightly being used," Ms Dam said.

She questioned why NGO officers and/or volunteers would comfortably ride in posh vehicles like Land Cruisers, most especially in areas where they could do without them to the detriment of their laudable organisational aims and objectives.

Ms Dam said this when her group, known as the Volunteers In Action Limited aimed at helping children in deprived communities, organised free basic medical examination and clean-up exercise in La, a suburb of Accra.

Over 300 children from various communities in the La environs received the free medical aid and were also educated on basic lessons in hygiene and sanitation. Ms. Dams said particulars of the children were taken to enable the organisation to build a database system for the community for routine monitoring and evaluation work to be carried out by their local volunteers. She said children were assets with great potential and the only way the society could help them was to ensure that they were assisted and provided with the right the environment to grow.

Ms Dam said the volunteer group, which was in partnership with Glona, an International NGO based in the United Kingdom chose Ghana as the point of entry into Africa so that, in future, they would extend their services to other countries. Mr John Neal, one out of seven of volunteers who mobilised 1,000 pounds for the initial project in Ghana said besides the medical care and education on hygiene, the children also received items such as toothbrushes and pastes and fruits. 13 Aug. 05