Written by Andrew Malcolm, Photographed by Rachel Santillon
To combat poverty and develop communities, it's crucial to give women and children access to education, work and the access to medical care and social support. In three of northern Ghana's most impoverished regions, Bernice Dapaah's Bright Generation Community Foundation (BGCF) provides the sevital survival tools to women and children. Taking advantage of Ghana's economic strengths, Bright Generation has been able to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction for women and youth. Dapaah, who's earned international recognition for her work, creates programs that are not only fundamentally effective in community development, but are inventive and relevant to the people they serve. For example, Bright Generation was able to initiate a program that provides menstrual pads to youth; this simple program eliminated months of absences from school, reducing vulnerability to infection created by make-shift pads.
“....using local resources to benefit the communities and livelihoods of women and youth, Dapaah’s bamboo initiative, for instance, provides bicycles made from the abundant local bamboo providing transit to community members that would otherwise have no transportation.”
On a larger-scale, women in these regions of Ghana are now able to setup bank accounts, register for medical insurance and train in agriculture. Using local resources to benefit the communities and livelihoods of women and youth, Dapaah's bamboo initiative, for instance, provides bicycles made from the abundant local bamboo providing transit to community members who would otherwise have no transportation.
About the Photographer: Rachael Santillan has substantial experience in professional photography, specifically in working to support women and children in need of aid through her company Cotton Dahlia. She traveled from North Carolina to Kumas to meet with Dapaah and document the work of BGCF for PWB. Her photography was particularly inspired by Dapaah and the special connection she observed between her and her young pupils.
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