The Ghana Friendship Groups is an independent and apolitical association with the object to develop friendship and cooperation between friendship groups in Denmark and Northern Ghana, and through self-help projects, exchange and other aspects of cooperation contribute to raising the standard of living of the population in Northern Ghana.
In 1984 the first development project based on help to self-help started in Northern Ghana. From 1986 Danida has also supported the big voluntary work financially. And the results are numerous and varied: The people’s high school Simli Centre (Friendship centre) in Dalun, where people are taught everything from carpentry to local leadership and democracy; Radio Simli (Radio Friendship), Ghana’s first popular development radio; School for Life, which from 1995 through mother tongue teaching and modern pedagogy has educated more than 100.000 children who would otherwise not have learned to read, write and calculate. Since then a project digging wells has been added giving water in 750 villages and sanitation to thousands of farmers in Northern Ghana, projects about adaption to climate changes, a youth initiative with new ideas and a big locally based popular movement for development.
People from the Danish towns and villages Silkeborg, Glamsbjerg, Ølgod, and Maribo decided in 1979 to start a different developmental activity in Ghana, based on friendship contacts and the local wishes and needs. They were inspired by Dr. Johannes Holm, who had made contact with Dr.Abubakr Al-Hassan, who had been studying architecture in Denmark.
You can read more about the start of the projects in Ghana in the special edition of "Ghana Handshake" from 2004 to celebrate the first 25 years of GV.
Later Århus and Farsø have been added and the overall organisation is now Ghana Venskabsgrupperne i Danmark (The Ghana Friendship Groups in Denmark) consisting of the four groups: Silkeborg, Glamsbjerg, Farsø, and Århus, and a few individual members all over the country.
The office is in Århus and is manned with a co-ordinator and an assistant. All other work in connection with the programmes is made by voluntary members.
The General Assembly and the four annual Common meetings are the suppreme decision makers. The day to day business is administered by an Executive Committee FU and subcommittees for the different programmes, who have the direct contact with the Ghanaian partners and are responsible to DANIDA, who sponsors most of the activities.
The annual General Assembly elects the Chairman, the vice-chairman and the treasurer who make up the FU together with representatives from the subcommittees and are responsible to the common meetings and negotiate with DANIDA.