Natalie  Gyenes
Natalie Gyenes's Fundraiser
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We can develop the potential and skills of local changemakers in rural Ghana​

Join me and help make a difference, please give today.

We are no longer accepting donations on this campaign, but there are other ways for you to support us today!

$0 towards $2,000

Join me in supporting real change. Help us create greater opportunity for rural children and their families.

The Akaa Project works create opportunity for families in the Akaa community in the Eastern Region of Ghana. As a nonprofit organization, the Akaa Project works alongside families in the village of Akaa to find local solutions to poverty. We focus on strategies to improve the health, education, and financial well being of the village families. Just a small donation will go a long way to helping me meet my goal for The Akaa Project!

I had the incredible experience of working with the Akaa community just over one year ago, and the determination, hard-working and collaborative nature of this community-centered initiative is a testament to human strength, and what can be achieved with a vision for common good.

Lauren Grimanis, the inspiring changemaker who first developed the Akaa Project, really said it best:
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Project Manager, Jonathan, was asked what he wants for his community. His response: "First, I want love for my community."

This speaks so clearly to who Jonathan is - he is kind, insightful and takes great initiative - going above and beyond his job description every single day because he wants to improve his community through love, joy, and resourcefulness.

Jonathan grew up in the Akaa community and understands the importance of having education in his village. He was able to complete junior high school (middle school) by walking over an hour to school every day, only attending 2-3 times a week due to the distance. With a push of encouragement from his uncle, he then went on to high school, which in Ghana, requires hundreds of dollars (and not something his family could afford). In addition to the little money his parents did contribute, he built close relationships with his teachers, who offered him work on the weekends doing household chores in exchange for tuition money. He worked his way through four years of high school and became the first in his family to complete this level of education.

This persistence, along with his many other positive qualities, has made him into a creative teacher and strong community leader. Jonathan has so much potential to grow into a dynamic, effective manager who can change thousands of lives in rural Ghana. And that potential can be tapped with training, skill development and mentorship.

This is exactly what this campaign is about - investing in the potential of local changemakers. It's for heroes, like Jonathan, that I am raising $4,000 for the Akaa Project's Local People, Greater Potential campaign.

Our ability to work so deeply in rural communities is because of our people - our teachers, our staff. While they are in the classroom everyday, they are also leading village development, advising a community on the value of education, and inspiring children to dream big.

This Local People, Greater Potential Campaign is about sustaining and investing in our people in Ghana so that we will have stronger programs and create greater opportunities for children and families in the Akaa community. As we look at how the Akaa Project will expand in the next two years, our teachers will also have expanded roles. They will take on greater outreach activities in other schools and villages, increasing the number of children and families we work with.

We believe in the power of local voices and local people to be changemakers in their own communities. Our people have better insights in the rural context because they live it, they grew up in it, and now, they are part of changing it. They can navigate the bush paths, point out the movers and shakers in a village, and know the best times to hold community wide meetings. It's not easy to learn those things! What can be learned is how to type an email, what monitoring and evaluation is, and best practices for child-centered learning. Our staff have not had the opportunity for this type of growth, until now.

We are raising $20,000, to be used over 2 years, to strengthen the skills of our dedicated people and build capacity in the communities we work in. In these two years, our people will learn important proficiencies and skills such as first aid, financial management and accounting, and computers, as well as problem solving and effective communication. Funds will be used for individual and group trainings, professional mentorship, and other support costs. These activities have a direct impact on what our program outcomes will be – how many children have access to quality education, how many adults become literate, how many families will make informed healthcare decisions, how many people will maximize their land production to better provide for their families.

Our people have the desire to learn and the commitment to better the lives of thousands in their community. Whatever we invest in our people, they will give back to those around them. I invite you to join me in the Akaa Project's quest to help inspire those who will inspire.