A Partner West Africa News Story
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Partnership working in Ghana, West Arfica

Does voluntourism benefit locals?

Date Posted: 05/06/2017

One of the overriding elements discussed in this article about whether volountourism benefits local people, is Partnerships.? Partnerships are something Partner West Africa (PWA) know a bit about…it’s in our name!

One of the overriding elements discussed in this article from the University of Toronto about whether volountourism benefits local people, is Partnerships.

“The research…[pointed] toward mutually beneficial partnerships”

“Each partner has something to offer towards meeting a common goal or solving a common challenge”

“Solid partnerships are built from the ground up and over time…This is the only way to build solidarity and true partnership — when your partners see that you’re in it for the long haul”

 

Partnerships are something Partner West Africa (PWA) know a bit about…it’s in our name! We recognise that it’s both unethical and impossible to work alone, assuming that we and we alone can ‘solve’ development problems. Our foundation is based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 17: Revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development and as such working in partnership is the cornerstone of all our work.

We maintain partnerships with different groups, each with a unique input into our work.

We partner with the communities that we both live and work in. We conduct needs assessments, informal discussions and focus groups to identify the community’s development needs, what difficulties they’re facing and what might make a change to this. The people have a say in how the identified issues are tackled and often in implementing the projects as well. In short, the community are at the heart of everything we do and every decision we make.

We partner with other local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and local government services, for example, the Ghana Health Service. We understand that they have knowledge to add, to inform our projects and programmes, to add direction. They have inside knowledge on the communities we work in to add to our own, in addition to specific skills that we as an NGO can’t provide. For example, during our Malaria Prevention Programme screening events we employ local nurses, supported by our volunteers with relevant knowledge and skills, to fulfil the need for trained and experienced staff to undertake the clinical work.

We partner with universities, colleges, schools and individuals. We offer bespoke volunteer placements to students and other individuals with relevant knowledge and skills which adds to the knowledge of our staff and local partners as well as them adding to the volunteer’s knowledge. We also offer cultural exchange trips to schools that include working with PWA to enable students to explore some of the ethics behind the work we do.

 

Our 3 types of partnerships come together to enable us to deliver ethically designed, community centred projects and programmes that benefit the local people and communities we work alongside as well as fostering shared knowledge, culture, ideas and expertise; in short without all types of partnerships we just wouldn’t be Partner West Africa!

 

Fin out how you can partner with Partner West Africa through volunteering here and see our current volunteer opportiunties here.

Author: University of Toronto

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