Projects in Ghana
For more than ten years we have been supporting the development of local projects that meet local needs, so that young people in localities such as Sawla do not have to migrate due to a lack of promising life prospects.
CEHDA co-development programs are mainly developed in the Sawla community in northern Ghana. Sawla is a population located in the Savannah Region, in the northwest of the country. This is a region of great cultural richness that is mainly engaged in agriculture and trade. Sawla, with a diverse current population of about 10,000 people from a dozen different ethnic groups. In recent years, its agricultural production has become increasingly dependent on the outside world and many people have thought that it is no longer worthwhile to engage in agriculture or live in it. the area and decide to migrate to the big cities or to Europe for lack of prospects for an encouraging future for the people.
During the global Covid 19 pandemic we conducted a reflection process to assess projects in Ghana and redirect efforts towards self-sustaining and resilient projects in the medium and long term. The programs in Ghana are part of the goal of working to ensure a healthy environment that drives sustainable human development.
- We provide access to an education based on local knowledge to local students
- We carry out environmental and educational projects such as organic farming with local participation through the Eco-farm
- We offer spaces to talk about environmental or social issues based on local interests
- We promote the revitalization of our own traditional cultural expressions as a fundamental element of pride, cultural reaffirmation and local resilience.
- We promote initiatives that promote local concerns aimed at developing local and sustainable employment opportunities.
Resilience through our ancient wisdoms and seeds
Since 2021, and with the support of the local community, partners,the Out of Picture Association, Espigoladors Foundation, WIACT, AHEAD, EduAlter, and of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation of the Generalitat de Catalunya we work at Sawla to recover local seeds and knowledge with a view to improving local resilience by legitimizing resilient local opportunities while promoting local knowledge that complements current school curricula.
During 2021, the following activities were carried out:
1. Creation of an ancestral seed bank of the village “Ancestral Seed Home” with community participation. More than 40 types of local seeds are stored in this bank. The process included the following tasks:
- Search, location and acquisition of local seeds.
- Documentation and classification of seeds and trees according to use, by gender and etnicity, ecological, cultural, etc. characteristics.
- Conditioning of seed bank facilities.
- Experimental cultivation of local seeds in the CEHDA field
- Evaluation interviews with elders, farmers and farmers of the value and quality of the seed bank.
2. The improvement and maintenance of the native tree nursery “Ancestral Tree Nursery” with the collaboration of WIACT. The process included the following tasks:
- Conditioning of nursery facilities.
- Nursery care.
3. Dissemination in schools of ancestral and sustainable knowledge about local seeds. The process included the following tasks:
- Identification and meeting with local elders to provide knowledge about ancestral seeds that have been collected in an educational book.
- Sawla school meetings.
- Design and realization of an ancestral tree drawing contest with more than 500 students from the Sawla community.
- Writing a textbook on trees and ancestral seeds for school and community use in local languages.
- Community delivery and planting of trees in schools and installation of water tanks to water trees.
4. Creation of a space for storage and distribution of local seeds for the village “Ancestral Seed Storage”. The process included the following tasks:
- Storage space conditioning.
- Purchase or acquisition of local seeds.
- Inauguration of the Ancestral Seed Storage and dissemination of the services offered along with presentation of the seed bank.
- Cultivation of seeds for their maintenance and demonstration of organic cultivation.
5. Completion of 10 trainings in organic farming on local knowledge and seeds. The process included the following tasks:
- Identification and meeting with the elders to do the trainings.
- Community invitation to training in organic farming.
- Training for farmers (young people from Sawla) and for boys and girls from two schools in Sawla.
6. Construction and commissioning of the “Ancestral Seeds Mill” for the processing of local seeds. The process included the following tasks:
- Construction of the facilities where the mill is located.
- Purchase of the mill and start-up.
- Diffusion of the mill and its conditions for grinding.
7. Generation of audiovisual documents for the global dissemination of glocal stories from northern Ghana. The process included the following tasks:
- Documentation and prospecting in Ghana for the collection of audiovisual material in Ghana
- Audiovisual filming on the violation of economic, environmental and social rights in northern Ghana and proposals to work to help reverse the situation.
- Editing, sound and color post-production, subtitling and translation, design and graphics, formats.
During 2022 and 2023 in Ghana will be:
8. Market analysis, prospecting and sales testing of local organic products. The process includes the following tasks:
- Research and analysis of local and national markets for organic products.
- Research possibilities of local ecological packaging and testing.
- Brand design that promotes ancestral knowledge.
- Grind grain to make flour from some of the experimental field crops by testing.
- Production of 100 packets of seeds (or seed flours) eco for sale piloting.
- Elaboration of product catalog.
- Dissemination of the product catalog in local and national markets.
- Interviews in shops where we will pilot the sale of products about the attractiveness / interest of the product.
- Assessment by women of interest, challenges and motivation to process, package and sell organic local seed products.
9. Participatory community research-action
- Identification of people familiar with resilient forms of land care.
- Collective dialogue meetings: for the documentation and classification of challenges and opportunities towards resilient farming and care for local seeds and trees.
10. Experimental piloting of ancestral agricultural systems
- Identification of farmers / lands interested in testing ancestral crops.
- DDT-use dangers and awareness workshops and community composting.
- Experimental cultivation in different fields of the community.
11. Extracurricular program of traditional learning and resilience
- Design of workshops adapted to local needs with mentors and / or artisans.
- Workshops at the Afterschool Program in the CEHDA field.
- Construction and care of the nurseries in schools.
12. Local food promotion activity with ancestral seed recipes.
- In-depth inquiry and community interviews with elders women from various ethnic groups to reclaim ancestral local recipes and maintain the Ancestral Seed Bank
- Document local products / recipes that women make for promotion and revaluation.
- Construction of local kitchen and shop for local food sale.
- Promotion and inauguration of the kitchen and the “Food shop” and elaboration of local menu.
13. Diagnosis on the construction of gender relations
- Contact with local feminist organizations.
- Construction of diagnostic protocols with input from local entities.
- Internship proposal to be incorporated into activities during 2022 onwards.
In Catalonia, we also develop since 2021 the program “Resilience throuhg our ancestral seeds and wisdoms” education activities such as:
14. Feeling/thinking about rights’ violations on food sovereignty and the environment to nurture the project throughout its development. The process included the following tasks:
- Colloquium in public spaces in the neighborhood connected to the network of the Bon Cistell of CEHDA (in Sant Andreu, La Sagrera and Sant Antoni) on the links between the western consumption models and the effects in the global south, so as to promote actions that reverse its negative effects.
- A workshop in Catalonia on inequalities on the access to healthy eating by groups at risk.
During 2022 and 2023 in Catalonia and Europe will be:
15. Activity to continue thinking with allied organizations about migro-environmental justice with local and international networks. The process includes the following tasks:
- 3 international webinars with africa, catalan and international organizations to exchange challenges and possibilities around resilience and project awareness, mobilization and advocacy.
- Training session to catalan teachers.
16. Citizen awareness activity and Glocal Environmental Week. The process includes the following tasks:
- Five talks in Catalan schools.
- Ten screenings with colloquiums in cinemas or similar facilities.
- Design and organization with Catalan allied entities of a seminar to share global projects that are being worked on from the Catalan territory on the violation of the right to the environment and the food sovereignty of the peoples as well as their link with the consumption patterns of the global north.
17. Generation of audiovisual documents with a multiplier effect.
- Documentation and prospecting in Catalonia for the collection of audiovisual material from the pilot experience with various people.
- Audiovisual filming of the pilot educational project with community participation and testimonies of migrants as an educational tool.
- Editing, sound and color post-production, subtitling and translation, design and graphics, formats.
18. Pilot workshops in human rights and environmental justice through intercultural mentorships and the promotion of school gardens.
- Conducting 3 work sessions and exchange with the team of environmental educators of the City of St Cugat del Vallès with expertise in working with school gardens.
- Realization of 60 workshops with primary.
- Carrying out 30 workshops with secondary school.
19. Advocacy by offering policy recommendations from the grassroots to Ghanaian and European institutions.
- Meetings with local and regional government actors in Ghana.
- Interview on regional radio and television in Ghana.
- Meetings in Brussels with representatives of the European institutions concerned with inclusion and diversity as well as migration and climate change.
- Two meetings with political leaders and the Catalan administration.
With the support of:
Year: 2022 Location: Sawla, Savannah Region, Ghana
Audience: students, teachers and the community of Sawla and surroundings.
Co-authorship: Sawla community and surroundings along with CEHDA-Ghana
With the support of: Agència Catalana de Cooperació al Desenvolupament (ACCD, Catalan Cooperation Agency)