In the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba area of Ghana, it is believed that when a rainbow appears in the sky, all rain-bearing clouds will disperse. This story, shared by a member of Samambo village, set the scene for a beautiful Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremony with Heifer Ghana and the Collaborative Action for Lasting Livelihoods (CALL) project. Sure enough, the rain clouds began to dissipate as the ceremony began, replaced by a beautiful rainbow. The women and men in the village sang and danced, celebrating the event. The CALL project is being implemented in the Bole and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba districts of Northern Ghana with funding from the Canadian Government and Heifer Netherlands. Livestock from these districts were passed on to Samambo, Sitiepou, Ottayiri and Disaburi: four project participating communities.
The ceremony began with messages from the Chiefs and Local Government Officials. Roland Kanlisi, the country director of Heifer Ghana, expressed his joy with the progress being made by the project in their village. Dr. Ebenezer Ghamli, the Project Coordinator, also expressed his joy that members of the village were fulfilling their pass on requirement to help people from other areas.
Madam Agatha Dayour, a project participant, was one of the community members fulfilling her pass on obligation. After Agatha received a gift of five goats from the CALL project, she began experiencing health problems. Taking care of her animals and doing chores became a big challenge, but she had no one to help her. All of her children had left the community in search for better lives, and her husband died a few years prior.
Agatha’s struggle soon came to the attention of Master Joseph Dar, a 22-year-old school dropout who had recently joined the Samambo project group. Master Dar suggested to Agatha that she should go to the hospital for treatment, and after a few months of coaxing, was able to convince Agatha to go to the hospital. Master Dar paid her bus fare to the hospital, and reassured her that everything would be okay.
After having surgery to improve her eyes, Agatha regained her eyesight and was able to take care of her home and animals once more.
“There is no way I can ever repay Master Dar for what he has done for me,” Agatha said. In appreciation for all Master Dar has done for Agatha, the project group selected him to be one of this year’s pass on recipients.
After the 158 animals were passed on to the 40 new recipients, certificates were awarded to those who had redeemed their POG obligations, one of them being Agatha. As the ceremony came to an end, it became clear that the people of Samambo will continue to help and care for each other, as Master Dar did for Agatha. The community in Samambo is strong, and thanks to help from CALL and Heifer, it will only continue to get stronger.
Continue reading all month long for more stories about communities being strengthened with Heifer's help.