After nine years of running programs, Operation Groundswell has worked with some incredible organizations on projects that have shaped, changed, and motivated everyone involved. 2015 was no exception; this past year we saw more projects that inspired participants, encouraged partners, and positively impacted communities around the world. We’re excited to highlight partners that truly capture the spirit of OG and show the scope and scale of our projects, while also thinking critically about our impact on the ground.Ghana Medical Help (GMH) seeks to improve access to health care in rural Ghana through the donation of medical equipment and supplies to several hospitals in the northern region. Recently, they have also focused on providing health and sanitation education to various communities. Last year, our Ghana: Global Health team worked with GMH to deliver workshops and community outreach initiatives that promoted malaria prevention, proper hygiene, and the importance of early medical treatment. Working with GMH has given our backpacktivists the opportunity to see the differences between access to health care in rural and urban settings, while developing a deeper relationship with their host communities.
Founded by former participant/program leader/fundraising coordinator, Kelly Hadfield, OG’s connection with GMH goes back many years. Each summer since its early beginnings, our Global Health participants have been spending time volunteering and learning from GMH. In 2013 and 2014, our relationship deepened even further as GMH was awarded funding from our Alumni Project Fund to assist with their ongoing projects. GMH is a great example of how OG alumni continue to create social change.
Quarterly GMH Ambassador workshop for the Upper East Region. These workshops are an essential part of GMH as they provide training on the donated equipment, enable troubleshooting and feedback, and facilitate communication and collaboration between the different hospitals.
Like many of our alumni, Kelly was inspired to stay involved with OG and our partner communities long after her program. Since GMH’s inception, the organization’s work has positively impacted the lives and health care of over 2 million people in the northern regions in direct and concrete ways. For instance, there has been a significant decrease in mortalities across all of GMH’s partner hospitals due to the presence and accuracy of donated equipment, giving doctors the ability to accurately monitor patients and improve the quality of care for those who are critically ill. More than that, all of GMH’s partner hospitals are now able to treat and monitor paediatric and infant patients. Prior to this, hospitals didn’t have the resources to take blood pressure or listen to the heart of any patient under 10. But this has all changed with GMH’s tremendous contributions.
At Operation Groundswell, we’re proud to have been an integral part of GMH’s journey. Our alumni continue to amaze us with their dedication to social justice and impact on communities – both at home and abroad – even long after programs end. We hope only to continue to catalyze these ripples of change.