A great success: First training sessions with appointed leaders of 20 new Daddy’s Clubs and Mother Support Groups

Early May saw the first round of two planned training events in which the designated leaders of the Daddy’s Clubs and Mother Support Groups of 10 Adaklu communities were provided with key information and skills needed for their role. Four persons (two women and two men) from each of the ten communities participating in the project attended the workshops. The 10 communities are Amuzudeve, Golokope, Dawanu, Seva, Dorkpo, Dzakpo, Have, Ahunda Kpodzi, Gavorkope and Kpodoave.

The workshops were designed in the form of “train the trainer” activities with the objective to make group leaders understand their role as key facilitators of a community-wide process through which to discuss gender roles and stereotypes, stronger male engagement in the family and the need for female empowerment.

The workshop with the appointed leaders of the 10 new Daddy’s clubs aimed to discuss, in particular, the potential of male engagement in maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). It took place on May 3rd. Male engagement here means men taking an active role in protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of their partners and children, which requires a substantial and lasting behavioural shift towards more gender-equitable relationships between male and female partners. The training also included discussion of masculinities, i.e. the set of attributes, behaviours, and roles commonly associated with men and boys, and how they keep men (and women) from enjoying more fulfilling and equitable partnerships.

The workshop with the leaders of the 10 new Women Support Groups (also called Women Clubs) dealt with the methods to be used for empowering women and girls to be become more productive members of their community and to make their own decisions e.g. in matters of health provision for themselves and their children. The training also focused on addressing gender biases that are still commonplace in Ghana as a result of cultural and social traditions that have relegated women and girls to the background and also allowed the persistence of violence against women and girls. The session took place on May 4th.

Both sessions were organised as a mix of presentations, exercises, group interaction and lively debate. The exercises, each of which designed, tried and tested by the GYDF team, included “Value Clarification”, the “Hours-in-a-day” discussion, a roleplay called “Persons and Things”, the “African Woman tool” and the “Women box”.

Both workshops were conducted at a central training location in Ho, the capital of the Volta Region. The location was chosen because it can be reached comparatively easy from any part of Adaklu. Each attendees received a training manual, refreshments, and reimbursement of travel costs. They were also provided with a t-shirt bearing the project tagline and logos, which will allow them to signal their role in the project to fellow people in their home community.

Finally, participants were informed about the next steps to be taken in the project. Group leader are supposed to involve their local group in a discussion based on what they have learned during the training session. They will be supported in this task by the GYDF team through monthly, scheduled visits by the field officer in charge, during which new exercises will be conducted and input for the discussion provided; by meetings of the GYDF team with chiefs and local opinion leaders in each participating community, who in their role as gatekeepers are also key stakeholders of the project; and through digital communication channels, namely Whatsapp Groups set up for the purpose of connecting group leaders with each other and for sharing content (infographics, video clips, short guidelines) that will help members in their work. A second round of workshops is scheduled for later in 2021.

Attendees showed a lot of commitment and participated in the workshops with much enthusiasm. They voiced satisfaction with the content of the training and now look forward to start their their new role as group leaders once back in their community.

GYDF Director Jacob Ahiave talks about Covid-19, Volta Region and new community engagement project

The Director of the Grow Your Dream Foundation (GYDF), Mr Jacob Ahiave, talks to journalist Günther Michels, who is also a member of the Board of HITA, a German NGO. Ahiave gives an update on the Covid-19 situation in Ghana and the Volta Region, and talks about the new project run by GYDF with the support of HITA and the Schmitz Stiftungen, a German donor organisation. The interview was recorded on 18 May, 2021, and can be accessed here.

Grow Your Dream Foundation kick-starts project on gender equality, women empowerment & health in 10 communities across Adaklu

Adaklu-based Grow Your Dream Foundation (GYDF) is partnering with a German donor organisation and a German NGO (HITA) for an 11-month project from which communities across the District will benefit considerably. The project focuses on community engagement for strengthening gender equality and its role in social development, as well as health education and how to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The project commenced on February 1st with the community entry activity. Followed established protocols, the GYDF team first contacted the opinion leaders, chiefs and elders of each community and introduced the project to them. Once their support was ensured, we were able to start interacting with the members of each community and to present to them the project, its objectives and contents. This also allowed us to assess whether there is sufficient interest among community members (fathers, mothers, adolescents) to actively participate in the project, i.e. to take part in the monthly Club meetings to be chaired by the GYDF team. In each village we obtained the consent of individual community members. Our initial meetings also acted a platform designed to allow an open, initial stage discussion about the project, the need for activities of this kind, and the potential benefits for the community.

Each of the ten communities we approached have warmly welcomed the project and committed to give it their maximum support to ensure its success. Fathers (Daddy’s) and Mothers Clubs have already been established, and a Club Leader designated for each of them. Adolescent Clubs will be added later based on interest, once the communities have made experience with the format.

The ten communities participating in the project are thus confirmed: Ahunda Kpodzi, Amuzudeve, Dawanu, Dorkpo, Dzakpo, Gavorkorfe, Golokope, Kordiabe, Kpodoave and Seva. Total number of people who participated in our introductory meetings in the ten selected communities has been 654 (303 women and 351 men). The next step in the project is a “train the trainer” workshop to be organied in late March or early April this year, to which all Club Leaders will be invited.

New Project together with HITA, funded by German donor organisation

Adaklu’s Grow Your Dream Foundation (GYDF) co-operates with German NGO HITA for a new 11-month project, from which communities across the District will benefit considerably. The project, which commenced on February 1st 2021, is based on prior work by GYDF and focuses on strengthening gender equality and its role in social development. GYDF already runs several Fathers, Mothers and Adolescent Clubs in communities across Adaklu, to which every interested community member is invited to participate in a discussion about gender roles, the division of responsibilities between men and women and overcoming traditional barriers that prevent women from participating in decision-making processes. Other topics include sexual and reproductive rights, new ways of generating income, women’s access to micro-credit and – since March 2020 – preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The new project aims to make these activities more effective and efficient through a “train-the-trainer” programme and by harnessing the potential of digital tools. Club leaders from at least 10 communities will receive training to enable them to take a pro-active role in promoting gender equality and social development in their community. Monthly club meetings are made more effective through the use of handouts and other printed materials as well as materials in digital format (available on tablet). Groups are set up on online social networks such as WhatsApp so that club leaders can use their own smartphones to network and share content across locations. An impact analysis in the affected communities will be carried out by means of focus groups, supplemented by questionnaire interviews where necessary.

These activities will create the basis for the subsequent expansion of Fathers, Mothers and Adolescent Clubs to the entire District. Adaklu is one of the poorest Districts in the whole of Ghana and is lagging behind in development, as evidenced by the high maternal and newborn mortality rates and the number of teenage pregnancies.

The project is funded by a German donor organisation, the Schmitz Stiftungen, and GYDF partner HITA. For more information about the project, please get in contact!

Looking back to a successful 2020

I am writing this note to thank you for your continued interest and commitment to advancing gender equality and building a healthy society in Adaklu District and beyond in Ghana.

When GROW YOUR DREAM FOUNDATION was founded in Ghana over 6 years ago (then still under the name DreamsAlive), we hoped to challenge the way we think, change the way we interact, and ultimately, shift the systems that shape and support gender inequality and unhealthy ideas of what it means to be a healthy society. We believe that men must be partners in the revolution for gender equality: the revolution that women and women’s rights activists lead. We are still working every day in service of this mission.

Will you join us by making a contribution today, to advance the work of GYDF?

Over the course of this year, COVID-19 has laid bare the critical nature of this work. In the face of a pandemic that has claimed more lives than any other global event of the past decades; we witness men in positions of power who see caring for themselves and caring for others as a weakness. We see women exiting the workforce, demonstrating what we know to be true – that the responsibility of unpaid care work rests unfairly on them. We have also seen men’s use of violence against women spike, and have seen women quarantined with violent male partners. And, we see that people of low-income families are being hit the hardest.

We have contributed to address these problems through a range of activities. With your support last year, we:

  • Launched an initiative to engage teachers, parents, and coaches to support boys and girls with school bags and face masks in Adaklu District – Ghana;
  • Worked with survivors in Adaklu to help them to heal, and to break free from legacies of violence;
  • Partnered with GHS and other institutions to mainstream efforts to boost men’s participation in parenting and care work;
  • Provided policymakers, business leaders, and purpose-driven brands with research, evidence-based strategies, and programmes that contribute to system-level change.

Together with our partners, we have demonstrated that change is possible. As we head into next year, we will continue to build on our evidence-based approaches and global advocacy to prevent violence, promote healthy society, and advance gender equality around the world.

Grow Your Dream Foundation – Ghana

We celebrate International Day of the Girl 2020


The international observance day was declared by the United Nations in 2012 and is celebrated each year. This year’s theme was “My Voice: Our Equal future” seized the opportunity to reimagine a better world to inspire adolescent girl. It focused on demands to live free from gender based violence, harmful practices and HIV/AIDS.

In Adaklu, the Grow Your Dream Foundation is using community based information centres to reach out to thousands of this girl. Pertinent issues affecting the lives of these girls generate discussions and help find ways to remedy them. Our Community Volunteer Groups formed a year ago were also encouraged to strengthen and maintain fruitful discussion on this year’s theme to gain proper attention in their various communities.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of funds to organise mini durbar and community meetings, we redirected our strategy by using this medium to reach thousands of Ghanaian in this part of the Volta Region. Community Health Nurses in several villages around Adaklu used the occasion to focus on engagement around the HIV/AIDS topic; they provided detailed information to many girls in our target audience.

Grow Your Dream Foundation as an organization is looking forward to ensuring children in deprived areas or from marginalised groups of the society in Ghana are equipped and supported with adequate tools and information to ensure their health and well-being. We have already inspired thousands with programmes which tailored to advance their safety and development.

Helping Adaklu schoolkids protect against COVID-19


In August 2020 Grow Your Dream Foundation, with the financial support from a German NGO, donated 330 nose masks to Junior High Schools in Adaklu Helekpe.

Final year students in both Junior and Senior schools in Ghana resumed school to prepare for their final examination earlier in the year, while all other students were asked to remain at home. The Ghana government is committed to supply every school children with 3 nose masks, but our observations at schools across Adaklu and Ho suggest that most children received only one mask, if at all. Because experts emphasize that students need to wear nose masks on school campuses to help avoid a further spread of the virus in Adaklu communities, the GYDF team entered into discussions with HITA, a German NGO with a focus on health education in Ghana and beyond, on how to obtain additional nose masks. Shipping personal protective equipment from Europe is prohibitively expensive and would take many weeks. The best solution, therefore, is sourcing masks in Ghana. Because of the Volta Region’s long tradition in textile manufacturing, finding tailors capable to produce large numbers of nose masks from local fabrics presented no problems. Based on our investigations a decision was taken to use Calico as the best suited fabric for the purpose of producing masks protecting against the spread of COVID-19.

Once the masks were at hand, we approached Junior and Senior schools across Adaklu to find out who is in most need of nose masks. The following schools were selected: Goefe JHS, Helepke JHS, Kpetsu JHS, Abunda Boso JHS, Meyikpo Community School, Adaklu Sikama JHS.

At Helepke JHS (see photos below) Mr Jacob Ahiave, the founder of GYDF presented the items to the school a brief ceremony. He underscored the need for observing COVID-19 prevention measures, and also wished the student success in their final Examinations due in September. The Headmaster thanked the foundation for the donation and pledged to make good use of them. Mr Agama Johnson, The Education specialist of GYDF, also reiterated the need for observing examination rules and regulations adopted by Ghana Education Service to avoid cancellation and withholding of their certificates.