Giving Something Back
Believing that it is important for our foundation to give something back, Danny Moe, KBF VP conducts Academy Workshops on personal and professional development free for our foundation donors, friends, and students both in North America and West Africa. Attendees express transformative impact and genuine gratitude. Passionate support for project developments is often evident as a ripple effect well beyond these events. Much appreciation goes to Derek Agyapong-Poku for arranging the free use of the UBC / VGH Eye Care Centre’s facilities. And for the volunteers that faithfully arrive and prepare a scrumptious meal partway through the day. A faithful foundation friend and donor over the years, Broadway Lodge administrators enjoyed a half day with Danny, studying the principles of Heart Power (ie. serving with your heart). They express this was a transformative day in their leadership skills development.
The Greater Toronto region boasts the 3rd largest Ghanaian Diaspora in the world. Recognizing that KBF must tap into this market in a more relevant and effective way, Marj met with KBF supporter, Emmanuel Ayiku, Editor of The Ghanaian News, the largest Ghanaian monthly publication in North America. Two articles were published in 2012 authored by the President and preliminary plans are under consideration for multi-Ghanaian church promotional events hosted by The Ghanaian News and Danny’s workshops this year. Workshops are also being considered for our West African Embassy’s resident in Washington.
Sharing the vision and raising project support is principally pursued by word of mouth, internet technology, events and in-person by KBF Board and affiliated foundation Board of Directors, across North America and West Africa. As our members voluntarily share their time while managing busy careers and multifaceted lives, it is imperative that our promotional investments are relevant to our target audiences and have the most cost effective and valuable outcomes possible.
Research in fact identifies that most faithful contributors to charities arise directly from recommendations and endorsements shared by colleagues, friends and family. Target audiences are identified as the Ghanaian and West African Diaspora, health care establishment, universities and corporations, besides the general caring public.
The Ghana Physicians and Surgeons Foundation of North America (GPSF) was established in 2002 to provide quality postgraduate training in Medicine in Ghana. It also serves as an advocacy group to influence health policy and educate the general public about numerous health care issues in Ghana and Africa. The foundation supports all non-profit health initiatives in Ghana by Ghanaian and other health professionals in North America. Quality time is graciously provided during their annual Atlanta conferences and this past year, Drs. Paul King (KBNF), John Sampson (Pres. DrUMM) and Marj Ratel were conference speakers while a table arrangement including photo albums, video footage, and handouts was prominently on display. This year will be no exception, as Marj and Paul are expected to return
Brenda MacLeod’s vision for an annual walk-a-thon fundraiser was launched in October. Inspired by our Montreal KBNC university students a few years ago, the Walk for the Bu raised over $4,000 and a lot of energy! Our corporate sponsor, Rick Diamond received an award for his faithful corporate support at the event. We applaud Brenda’s vision of the walk taking place at many strategic locations over the continent on the same day and time annually in years to come.
Discussions have been informally held regarding planning an official Canadian visit of the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 Recipient and President of Liberia, Dr. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Requiring Canadian Government involvement, Mr. Mark Warawa, MP, Langley, and his office have been in communication with Prime Minister Harper’s office on our behalf. Marj has been in communication with the High Commissioner to Ghana, HE Mrs. Trudy Kernigan and networking is expected to get underway soon. Primary objectives include raising foundation awareness across Canada and ultimately to raise financial support for West Africa neuroscience and health care initiatives. It is anticipated that this visit would garner serious national media attention. Simon Fraser University, having featured members of the board in Dialogue events, is eager to partner in such an endeavor and corporate sponsors are being approached in anticipation of several prestigious events, in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Projects require investment. Whether financial, material, expertise and/or time, contributions are critical to accomplishing our foundation goals.
Our public charity, KBF is vital to the sustainability and expansion of our sister charity Excellence in Africa Neuroscience and Health – Canada’s operations, fulfilling the vision and mission of Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation. A report I read earlier this month identifies how donors in Canada are diminishing in numbers while the donations of individual donors are growing. Consequently, keeping our donor base energized and devoted to repetitive giving is simply life giving for our organization.
Quite astonishingly, project objectives are being achieved, one by one, in spite of significantly limited financial resources. How? Because of the amazing and faithful contributions, both non-monetary and financial, of our volunteers and foundation partners. However, KBF recognizes that expertise in efficient and effective fundraising continues to be a top priority, so that major project work, currently on hold or waiting in the wings, can be expedited. Consequently, KBF strives to find ways to improve the message and the delivery of that message.
Mark Warawa, MP, Langley, and Chair of the Parliamentary Environment Committee in Ottawa is a longtime loyal KBNF supporter and donor. Christina and I had the privilege of having lunch with Mark during an Ottawa visit in October. An update on KBNF was a large part of the agenda.
KBNF is pleased to report that Mark will be joining a KBNF Executive meeting this winter. A video sharing our role in West Africa, hosted by Mark, is also anticipated. Information on the logistics of preparing for an anticipated official Canadian visit of the President of Liberia is being facilitated through Mark’s office.