MEDA in the News

Hikers trek 900 km on fundraiser for Ghana's women farmers

As published on CBC: Kitchener-Waterloo

Two local entrepreneurs are wrapping up their hike of the 900 kilometers on Bruce Trail.

Elaine Shantz and Miriam Turnbull took on the walk to support a local initiative that aims to help women farmers in Northern Ghana grow and have access to nutritious foods.

"This project had a really key connection," Shantz told The Morning Edition's Craig Norris. "Because it's women who are supporting their families, women inspiring each other and women growing in their careers."

Greater Rural Opportunities for Women or GROW is an initiative of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates, that aims to empower Northern Ghanaian women farmers with the resources to provide for their families.

The project looks at helping these women increase their yields in soybean production, as well as generate income by selling the surplus soybeans.

"So it's both food security, but also income generation," says Helen Lofton, senior vice president of marketing and communications with MEDA.

GROW is a six-year project its fourth year, and has reached over 20,000 women in the area so far.

Listen to the full CBC Radio interview here.

Bruce Trail hikers to meet senior supporters

As published in the Owen Sound Sun Times

MEAFORD - Some Meaford Long Term Care residents have been walking the home's halls and in its garden in symbolic support of an end-to-end Bruce Trail walk underway by the president of the company that now owns the home.

Wednesday several residents will meet Elaine Shantz, president and chief operating officer of peopleCare, which recently purchased the facility. They'll meet at the Walter's Falls Inn, near where the Bruce Trail passes through Walter's Falls, and have lunch.

There are a number of teams, including peopleCare, supporting Women Walking to GROW, a fundraising supporting a Mennonite Economic Development Associates program which helps women entrepreneurs in Ghana.

Some residents of the 77-bed long term care facility in Meaford have been walking there to symbolically support the fundraising effort, Megan Garland, executive director of the Meaford home, said.

Shantz and her walking partner started walking the 855-kilometre trail some months ago. This month they're walking daily, covering 20 to 30 kilometres, with the aim to finish in Tobermory on July 31.

Shantz is walking with Miriam Turnbull, the general manager of ProResp Inc., which provides respiratory therapy in peopleCare homes. Others are joining them on different parts of the walk.

So far $63,000 has been raised towards the overall $100,000 goal, said Linda Whitmore, a spokeswoman for MEDA. Shantz and Turnbull's $2,500 goal has already been surpassed.

The fundraiser supports a MEDA program called GROW -- Greater Rural Opportunities for Women -- an economic development initiative which teaches women how to grow soybeans and other crops to support their families in a way that's sustainable and to become community leaders, Whitmore said.

**Thanks to our generous supporters and the committment of Elaine Shantz and Miriam Turnbull, we have exceeded our $100,000 fundraising goal!**

Scaling Up is the Challenge

As published in SeedWorld - by Dennis Thompson

Nestled up in the northwest corner of Ghana, is an entrepreneurial group of female farmers keen on gaining skills, generating revenue and reputations as Quality Seed producers. Several kilometers away, other women farmers watch over their commercial soybean fields and tout the value of Quality Seed. Stella, proudly but demurely, serves as the spokeswoman for the community of Quality Seed producers.

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