MADISON -- The Global Solidarity Program (GSP) relationship between the Diocese of Madison and the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga that began with a meeting of our delegation to Ghana and the Ghanaian delegation in mid 2002, is successfully continuing.
It began with a soybean program to improve the diet of the people in the upper east region of Ghana. This was followed up with a program that provided 50 donkeys to many of the women in the region to begin improving their social and financial stability.
About a year and a half ago, we jointly began a donkey ranch at the Farmers Training Center just south of Bolgatanga. The intent of this phase of the project was to establish a breeding population of locally grown animals so that many more women could be provided with animals that will be more suited to the particular climate of the area.
Once there are sufficient numbers of breeding stock in the herd, that phase of the project will become self-sustaining. After this phase our friends in Ghana and the group here in Madison will begin to establish manufacturing facilities to produce plows to till the fields and carts to take produce to market and haul water for cooking and sanitation.
Update on project
Recently, the group in Ghana provided us with another quarterly report on how the project is running and how the monies are being spent.
That report indicated that there was a shortfall of $1,405 (US) from the $30,000 already provided. The report also included a budget for the next four months, which called for an additional $4,000. A portion of that report is included here:
Key issues at the farm
- Survival issues: The survival rate of the donkey farm has been encouraging since the farm was established. We had a few health problems ranging from tick infestation to abscesses, but with the regular visits of the veterinary officer those health problems previously encountered are minimized. However, the farm experienced a few deaths during the early stage of stocking, thus five deaths have been recorded over the period of establishment of the farm. The deaths are attributed to the following: change of environment—some of the donkeys were purchased from different locations, and stress over transportation.
- Reproduction: One has given birth to a male and another seven donkeys are pregnant and yet to give birth. The challenge has been due to stress leading to miscarriages the donkeys experienced during transportation when they were purchased. The donkeys are now relatively stable. A male donkey, which was reported to be ineffective, has been sold and replaced.
At the meeting of the Madison GSP group, it was decided to meet the current Ghanaian request and to cover the shortfall. A money transfer of $5,500 was approved. The Madison group is also requesting preliminary information on how and when to expand the project to include the manufacturing facilities.
Over the past several years the wonderful people of the Diocese of Madison have worked at raising money for this outstanding venture. Several groups have raised money through the sale of Divine Chocolate, which is a product of a Ghanaian co-op, as well as the sales of other fair trade items from Ghana.
There have also been other efforts such as school children doing chores to buy a donkey for the project.
Continued support for the GSP is needed so that we can see this through to completion. To learn more about the GSP and to access articles, pictures, and other memories, as well as the reports from the Ghanaian group and, very soon, minutes of the Madison GSP meetings, visit www.MadisonDiocese.org/Global Solidarity.
The way forward will continue to need the support of the people of the Diocese of Madison. No other diocesan funds are used for this project.
To participate either financially or by joining the GSP team, contact Clarence Mougin. The local GSP group includes several experienced speakers and presenters who would be happy to come to a group or parish with a multi-media presentation in an effort to generate more support for this wonderful program.
For more information contact Clarence Mougin at
or 608-850-4084, or Carl Brey at