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Vol 38  No 12
April 6, 2006


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Grenfell students pitch in to clothe needy children

Making noise for Ghana

By Pamela Gill

Ghana Project volunteers, from left, Brandy Hepditch, Stephanie Ganz, Amy Snook, Jennifer Messenger and Caitlin Dix.

Raising money for children’s school uniforms is the goal of the student initiative the Ghana Project.

The Ghana Project, a ratified initiative of the Grenfell College Student Union, got its start last year when a student from Nova Scotia generated interest in the student population. This year it’s still going strong.

Gerry Glode, a Grenfell student from Pasadena, says it’s the international aspect of the initiative that he enjoys.

“We’re doing something for people that you normally don’t hear or see from,” he said.

Grenfell student Amy Snook, who resides in Massey Drive, agrees.

“We forget sometimes that it’s not about us,” she said. “When you’re poor over there, you’re poor. Poor doesn’t mean you don’t have an IPod ­ it means you don’t have enough to eat.”

The group has done very well with recruitment and has a healthy membership. Ms. Snook and Mr. Glode attribute that to the fact that the goal is very real ­ the outcome can be measured. The students like the idea of the project because its goal is focused, and they know exactly where the money is going.

“I guess tangible is the word for it. It’s something so simple and obvious,” said Ms. Snook. “It’s poverty alleviation at a basic level ­ something as simple as clothes.”

The group has partnered with Camfed International.

“They’re excited we’re doing this work ­ every dollar goes to Ghana and buys uniforms ­ nothing gets lost in overhead,” said Ms. Snook.

The Ghana Project has raised money through conventional and more inventive means. They’ve raised money through simple events like penny drives and bake sales. Last weekend they held an event called Make Noise for Ghana; musical performances were combined with a silent art auction, held at a local Corner Brook pub. One of the more interesting events the group held was the Mend Your Wares event. In exchange for a donation, students, faculty, and staff brought in their old jeans that needed patching, socks that needed darning and shirts that needed buttons, and the volunteers on hand mended the items on the spot. So far the group has fundraised well over $1,000.

“Early childhood education is one of the best things you can put your money towards,” said Ms. Snook. “It’s about alleviating poverty through education.”

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