On Saturday, December 16, 2017, the Ghanaian Women's Association of Georgia (GWAG) celebrated ten years of community. And oh! What a night it was! What started as an association founded by a handful of women (and a gentleman) in a small cafe in Decatur, GA, came full circle as its thirty-plus members gathered with the community and invited guests to celebrate an amazing feat at the Atlanta City Hall atrium.
The night began with a warm welcome from Ms. Yvonne McCowin, who served as the mistress of ceremonies for the evening. Then followed by a farewell speech from the outgoing president of GWAG, Ms. Agnes Hayfron Barnor. In her speech, Ms. Hayfron Barnor, who has been a member of GWAG since its inception and has held several leadership positions, looked back over the last ten years. She recounted how the association was established out of a desire to improve the lives of women and children through community-focused initiatives, and how the association's decade-long journey has been one characterized by just that; "a commitment to give back and an insistence that our combined efforts can bring about positive change to others." That change, she emphasized, "only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and work together to make a difference." Ms Hayfron Barnor took the opportunity to highlight some of the association’s achievements notable among which are the biggest fundraising campaign in the organization’s history that has generated $60,000 in two years towards improving maternity care, the adoption of maternity wards in Elmina and Oda, and the donation of medical supplies to Yendi and Korle-bu hospitals as well as Adaklu, Ho West, and Ho Municipal polyclinics. Other proud moments she highlighted were the registration of GWAG in Ghana as an NGO to leverage its fundraising potential and also the establishment of a Friends of GWAG network in the US which allows supporters to contribute monthly recurring donations towards the association’s projects.
Other events of the evening included the launch of an educational scholarship, which was presented to Ama P. Kessie, a nursing student at Georgia State University, an awards ceremony with awards presented to various donors and individuals (including members) who have contributed to the success of the association, a cake cutting ceremony, and a handing-over and swearing-in ceremony of outgoing and incoming executives.
The guest of honor for the evening was Ms. Faith Abubey, an Emmy-nominated journalist and a news anchor with 11Alive News station based in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Abubey gave an impassioned speech tooting the outstanding work that the organization is doing and encouraged members and the community to stay the course in the years ahead.
The night ended with an acceptance speech by the incoming president of GWAG, Ms. Adiza Harruna, followed by a vote of thanks by Ms. Anita Wilson, who also chaired the 10th Anniversary Committee.
Pictures of the event are now available by clicking on the links below.