11 Australian Volunteers In Ghana

Ms Joanna Adamson Australian High Commissioner to Ghana (1).JPGEleven Australian Volunteers have arrived in Ghana under the Australian Volunteers for International Development Programme (AVIDP), to share their technical expertise and contribute to the country’s development.

Their areas of specialisations  are mining, governance, agriculture productivity, entrepreneurship, social protection and youth development and would work with local organisations and government Ministries, Department and Agencies,  to improve those sectors in the country.

The group, who are among 24 volunteers expected in the country between now and June for the AVIDP in Ghana for this year, had been posted to work in eleven organisations in the Greater Accra, Central, Ashanti, Northern and Upper East Regions.

The organisations are Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Association of Church-Based Development Non-Governmental Organisation in Northern Ghana, and Ghana Integrity Initiative.

The rest are Alliance for a Green Revolution, Care Network, Net Organisation for Youth Empowerment and Development, A-Rocha Ghana and the Youth Development Research and Innovation Centre.

Speaking at a welcome  reception for  the volunteers in Accra on Friday, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana,  Ms Joanna Adamson said the Australian Volunteers for International Development Programme was fully funded by the Australian government through its Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Started five years ago, she said the programme ”aims to provide a responsive and flexible way for the Australian government to respond to development needs in selected developing countries.”

The High Commissioner said  since May 2010, the Australian government had funded over 60 professionals volunteers, supporting more than 20 volunteers per year.

”Volunteers are recruited and assigned to government, civil society and multilateral organisation working in the sphere of mineral resource governance, agriculture and food security,” Ms Adamson said.

She said this year’s group was the biggest since the programme  began in Ghana, saying  that currently  26 Australian volunteers located across the six regions of Ghana.

Ms Adamson advised the volunteers to focus on their main mandate of capacity building and training and not usurp or engage in the administration of the institutions they had been assigned to work.

”You’ve assigned to work in the grassroots. I urge you to be good ambassadors of Australia and work hard to transform the  communities and organisations you have posted to,” she said.

Senior Programme Manager for Development Cooperation in West Africa for the Australian High Commission, Dr Robert Asomadu-Kyereme said the volunteer  through their assignment would help  to achieve the themes the Commission was working on such as mining, agriculture productivity and food security.

He said the Australian government  spend over 61,000 Australian dollars to sponsor a volunteer to work  in Ghana.

A Volunteer, Adele Veness,  a  Policy Development Specialist assigned to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, who spoke to the Ghanaian Times said she was excited to have been selected to serve in Ghana.

Asked what motivated to choose Ghana, she responded ” I want to help promote Ghana’s development.” Kingsley Asare

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