Makeba Goes to Ghana!

#MakebaTravels 

I ended 2016, blessed to have sealed a new relationship with the SHRM Foundation who forged a new partnership with ACDI-VOCA, a Washington, DC-based international development organization experienced in managing impactful, skills-based international volunteering programs. Fortunately, they offer professionals international volunteer opportunities at no cost to the professional or their organization. I am thrilled to be the first recipient of a SHRM Foundation/ACDI-VOCA International Volunteer Opportunity. Also this project is generously supported by USAID an organization that I’ve worked and volunteered for several times in the past.

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Partnering on this project with the Techiman Maize Traders Association (TEMTA) in Ghana is an amazing opportunity that allows me to demonstrate my commitment to global workforce diversity through public service. Public service is a value that was instilled in me as a child through both of my parents. Growing up, I witnessed their tremendous efforts giving their time, talent and fiscal resources to individuals and organizations in our Upstate New York community.

I deliver strategic business and operational solutions in human resource management through my business and this international opportunity and its complexity with the need for a true understanding of integrating diversity immediately excited me! Through my work, I provide targeted trainings including organizational leadership, technology, diversity and inclusion strategies, and project management. I will creatively integrate these strategies during my time partnering with the Maize Farmers, situated in a rural area of Brong-Ahafo Ghana.

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I am on a mission to understand their challenges and triumphs in order to help them attain realistic future goals for their businesses. I want to see from the lens of these hardworking farmers in the agriculture industry. While abroad, I will share tactical operational strategies that can in the future enable the farmers to become more efficient while improving their business practices.

I believe grasping a sincere cultural understanding is critical in every human interaction. This is especially true when working cross-culturally.  As experts in our respective fields, we sometimes make assumptions about what we view as the problem within an organization without framing our point of view from a holistic perspective. In order to create integrative solutions that make sense to all stakeholders, we must take into account key factors when operating in the global marketplace. It is also important to bring things full circle by linking the history, culture, ways of being, and the contemporary context of the people within that community. Toward that end, I have had to study about the cultures within this region of Ghana, and I have also had to gain new knowledge about the Agriculture industry. I did this in order to gain a substantial understanding of how to link best practices in business management operations within their cultural context.

As I head to Ghana later today, I look forward to working with the farmers associated with the Techiman Maize Traders Association at the launch of an extraordinary partnership with the SHRM Foundation and ACDI-VOCA that reflects my commitment to social responsibility and inclusion.

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