The Ghana-Union Mannheim-Ludwigshafen is a non-profit organisation settled in Mannheim, Germany. The members of the Union use their migrant background to promote development in their host country of Germany and their Country of origin, Ghana. To achive this, the Ghana-Union relies on unity, peace, understanding and integration between different people, cultures and communities. We had the chance to ask the general secretary Francis Owusu Peprah some questions about the Ghana-Union:
With what aim did you found Ghana-Union?
At the beginning we had a lot of aims in mind. Among them was to foster peace and unity among Ghanaians in the Rhein-Neckar area in their Ghanaian tribal diversity. Also, to contribute towards helping the people and institutions in need in the country of origin Ghana. However, with the evolvement of migration and of development concept, Ghana Union Mannheim/Ludwigshafen has intensified and broadened its scope of activities.
How many people are working for Ghana Union, and how can one become part of the team?
According to the constitution of the association, seven executive board members are elected every 2 years to tier the affairs of the association. None of these executive board members are being paid. But, one does not need to be a member of this board to work for the association. Everyone is always invited and encouraged to work for the association, so far as it does not conflict the core values and principles of the association, because our social responsibility image is of utmost concern for the association and its members.
In which projects are you currently involved in?
Currently, we are not involved in any active projects directly due to financial constraints. But indirectly, we are always involved in ad hoc projects as they come by. That means, if the need arise, we do our job. That is why we are being contacted by many people and institutions to carry out ad hoc activities.
When do you meet, what do you do?
We meet once a month and discuss next activities ahead of us. We use this time for feedbacks on issues that have been delegated to members for follow-up actions.
Do you organize/participate in events to gain fame (Like Workshops, Social Events, Festivals etc.)?
We have been organizing Barbecue Parties, Picknicks, and end-of-year parties to amuse our members and friends of Ghana. Furthermore the association is an active participant of the Afrika-Tage-Festival in Mannheim every year.
How do you contribute to a better german-african relation/communication?
We create the awareness that, despite the challenges that African countries are facing, there are other positive aspects that cannot be ignored. Some of us are qualified trainers who have been organizing seminars to portray the positive side of Africa and Ghana. This is because the western and the German media are not interested in those aspects that portray the positive sides of Africa and Ghana. They prefer investing money to portray the negative sides of Africa to their people.
What is your opinion on the ”Afro-German” generation?
The second Afro-German generation is being affected by the challenges their parents face in Germany. In this case, the majority of these children are found below the education ladder as compared to the children born to parents in countries like America, U.K. France and Holland. This is due to the fact that, language barriers and little knowledge of the education system in Germany hinder the parents which has got direct negative effect on their children. Of course, some parents do seek the help and advice of those who have knowledge to help their children. Ghana Union Mannheim/Ludwigshafen is creating the awareness to the parents and their children that there are opportunities available for them. Recently, the association in association with the ministry of education of Mannheim organized an educational program for Ghanaians.
What do you want to accomplish in the future?
We want to follow the Turkish example to see many of Ghanaian children also working in every German institution. This will erase the misconception that the environment has on Africans. It will also help change the definition of racism.
What is your next planned activity?
There are many planned activities in the pipeline, but we will need funds to execute them. But we are ready to work with any institution and organization who buys into our aims.
Please visit the Website of the Ghana-Union for further Information: www.ghanaunionmalu.com