In the wake of the challenges NGO’s are usually confronted with over the years in Ghana, particularly Christian development organizations, there are few of them such as International Needs Ghana that has gone through thick and thin to change the lives of the marginalized in some of the deprived communities in the country.
At the glorious 30th anniversary lecture on the dubbed ‘smiles, sweats, Breakthroughs and Barriers: The story of Christian Development Organizations in Ghana’. The founding Executive Director, Very Reverend Walter Aboagye Pimpong, enumerated some of the achievement of INGH, like the facilitation of a national mobilization agenda that generated the public and political will, for the passage of the criminal code amendment law that made away of the Trokosi system and its associated slavery practices.
According to him, Apart from liberating many from the Trokosi system, a number of persons have been supported with skills through vocational training ‘’A total of 3,12 persons including victims, survivors and those at high risk of gender-based violence have been trained and empowered by the International Needs vocational training centre since 1991, to acquire integrated skills and gender support networks that will empower them to lead independent meaningful lives and contribute to the elimination of culture-induced gender based discriminations,” He disclosed.
He further indicated that as part of effort to improve the health needs of people in Ghana, INGH provided medical assistance to over 20,000 people especially women and children In deprived communities.
He said despite some of the successes chalked by International Needs Ghana since its 30 years journey, there are still some challenges facing NGO’s which include ‘competition from politicians for public recognition and also desire to control them while NGO’s desire to remain autonomous and free to innovate and intervene in difficult circumstances.
He mentioned that the Organisation is sometimes unable to plan adequately due to frequent changes in government policy especially in the education sector.
He further mentioned that one of the major barriers affecting development organisations such as International needs Ghana has been difficulty with funding from donor countries due to some perception that a middle income country like Ghana should lean more towards advocacy rather than service delivery as this would help countries of such status achieve more.
Very Rev. Aboagye Pimpong however maintained that despite challenges facing Christian development organizations, most of them have contributed in diverse ways towards the development of the country. He stated that in the area of education, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has over 1,000 educational Institutions with the Methodist church also running over 2000 educational Institutions.
He also mentioned the provision of health assistance and medical facilities by these Christian faith based NGO’s. And commended Institutions such as CHRAJ, FIDA, NCWD, GNCC and NCCE for their immense contribution to help INGH achieve its objectives of transforming lives, families and communities.
The Executive Director, Mr. Edmund Vanderpuije, on his part indicated that, they are committed to ensuring the lives of people are transformed through partnerships by the guidance of God’s love. And added that, some of the programmes by INGH includes; child rights, Education, Development, Health and Longevity.
The rest are Gender and Empowerment, Evangelism and Discipleship. International Needs Ghana is an International, non governmental, not for profit Christian development organisations that started operating in Ghana in 1984.
This according to him, is part of a global partnership in over 30 countries worldwide, with interventions covering over 20 MMDA’s across five regions. INGH has its head office in Accra and two field offices at Winneba in the Central region and Adidome in the Volta region.