Australia showcases work with civil society partners

The Australian High Commission, has held a reception and photo exhibition showcase with its African partner civil society organisations (CSOs) to mark their contribution and support to empower societies.

The reception and photo exhibition showcased the positive impact resulting from the meaningful partnerships between Australia and its partners in Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Speaking on the theme: “Developing people and communities through effective partnerships,” Ms Joanna Adamson, the Commissioner, said developing people and communities is a collective endeavour that demands the active participation of CSOs.

Ms Adamson said the commission has for the period 2014/15 received Direct Aid Programme grants of 806,000.000 Australian Dollars equivalent to GH₵ 2,420,000.00 is to award 19 non- governmental organisations (NGO) in seven West African countries.

She also announced that the Australia-funded Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, managed from Boston in the US, is funding other nine Ghanaian NGO’s to promote inclusive rights for disabled persons.

The High Commissioner expressed condolences to the Accra flood victims and their families and donated GH₵ 10,000.00 to support the Salvation Army in its disaster relief efforts around Accra.

The Civil Society showcase also celebrated the Australian Volunteer programme that has spent more than three million Australian dollars equivalent to GH₵ 10 million to bring in skilled Australians to support development efforts in Ghana.

She revealed that the Australian Voluntary Programme would end in Ghana in June 30.

“The Australian Government has also supported certain NGOs to work closely with local NGO’s in Ghana, Togo and Senegal.

The initiative has supported WaterAid Ghana with two million Australian Dollars equivalent to GH₵ 6,500,000.00 to provide potable water for the country.

“The initiative has also supported World Vision with 1.8 million Australian Dollars equivalent to GH₵5,800,000.00 to help address issues of child labour, early marriage and female genital mutilation in Senegal”, she said.

Ms Nina Collins, Australian volunteer at the Friends of the Nation CSO in Ghana said as part of her work to help address illegal mining in the Mpohor District, she is helping to improve small scale mining by providing training and equipment to the miners.

Ms Collins said it is necessary to challenge problems concerning scale mining because research has revealed that it provides livelihood to more than one million persons in the country.

Mr Aristide Faye, Child Protection and Participation Project Advisor, World Vision Senegal, said the project, which is funded by the Australian government, aims to strengthen child protection mechanisms for effective engagement of children and families in developmental activities.

He said implementing the project is necessary because Senegal faces much challenges of child protection and exploitation.

Mrs Juliet Lampoh, Representative of the Concern Universal CSO, said the Australian Fund has also supported the organisation to train women in Shea butter processing. GNA

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