IBWPPI Answers to Ghana’s Call

From The Desk of President Barbara A. Perkins
My return to Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, was nothing short of inspiring and life changing. It was 5 years ago, in 2014, that a small group of women joined me for a site visit to begin planning for what was to be our first international conference.


We traveled to meet the Queen Mothers in Accra, build relationships with other women’s groups and to see how best to begin our humanitarian and policy building efforts. Since then, IBWPPI Board Director Dawn Sutherland, has retired from Corporate America, built her home and is residing full-time in Kumasi, Ghana. Vice President Kathlyn Adams Seay and I spent 5 days in Kumasi last month with an agenda put together by Director Sutherland that has set the direction of our work in Ghana for many years to come.


Our eyes and hearts were opened to the many possibilities and potential for long-term partnerships. Bridge to Africa, the nonprofit 501(c)(3) founded by Director Sutherland,  is a perfect match for IBWPPI as they are dedicated to investing in women's health, the education of young girls, and the social and economic development of the communities they live in.


In the months ahead, with your help and membership in IBWPPI, we will continue to grow our global network, deepen our engagement in the continent of Africa and successfully develop the next generation of international women leaders.  Stay tuned for the announcement of our International Leadership Training Series early 2020.


In Peace,
Barbara A Perkins, President

Our Work in Ghana: Changing One Life at a Time

In just one month, the International Black Women Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) has already made considerable progress in laying the groundwork for our long-term engagement in Ghana. We explored new community partnerships, visited schools, medical facilities, conducted assessments of local needs and hosted conversations with residents of villages.

We were excited to be hosted by IBWPPI Director Dawn Sutherland, Founder of Bridge-To-Africa Connection, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. During our trip to Ghana, we started work on projects that involved increasing access to health care and education, promoting hygiene, and creating spaces for female empowerment.

Vice President Adams Seay and President Perkins meeting with teachers at a primary school in Bunuso Village
Vice President Adams Seay distributing supplies to women in Bunuso Village
Children at a primary school adopted by IBWPPI


President Perkins and Vice President Adams Seay at Director Sutherland’s new clinic in the Feyiase Village
President Perkins leading a coaching session with teachers in Kumasi Village
President Perkins and Vice President Adams Seay with Blessing, one of Director Sutherland’s mentees

Our Impact at a Glance


IBWPPI has entered an agreement with a new medical clinic founded by Director Sutherland in the Feyiase village, the only local medical facility where mothers can give birth in a safe and secure space. Our organization will adopt the birthing room by providing furniture, hygiene kits, birthing kits and two barrels of supplies donated by our partner MedShare.

IBWPPI convened fifty women for a new women’s empowerment group in Bunuso Village. We supplied them with hygiene kits and will continue to send gifts for their group convenings. The group selected three co-leaders to organize regular meetings.

Their first action item is promoting hygiene and establishing the village’s first public restroom. IBWPPI will donate a toilet to assist the group’s efforts in preventing the spread of harmful diseases.

IBWPPI has committed to donating funds to go towards books, supplies, uniforms and meals for children in primary schools. Learn more about our childhood literacy work below.

Empowering Ghanian Children Through Literacy

Young people are at the center of the work that we do as we aim to ensure all children have access to a quality education.

While visiting Kumasi, Ghana, President Perkins and Vice President Adams Seay met twelve girls who were previously either failing or not attending school at all. The girls have experienced personal transformation after Director Sutherland went beyond the call of duty and invited the girls to her home for weekly meals, provided them with school supplies and connected them with a tutor and mentor. The group is affectionately known as the “Sunday Morning Girls” as they have met in her home every Sunday for the last few years. It’s with this type of compassion, that we want to continue to empower our young people.

Please see a snapshot of our educational activities :

  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EDUCATORS – President Barbara Perkins, an experienced executive coach, led a group coaching session with educators at a State Experimental Basic 1 School in Kumasi. IBWPPI has also committed to supplying the school with two computers, student uniforms and books for their library.
  • PROMOTING HYGIENE IN SCHOOLS – Board members of IBWPPI attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Khloe Living Waters Toilet Facility and learned that the school secured water basins so students can regularly wash their hands, which will help prevent the spread of deadly diseases.
  • READING ROOM INITIATIVE – For our ongoing Reading Room initiative, we have earmarked funds for a school in the village of Mampong Bunuso. IBWPPI’s donated funds will go towards providing breakfast for 600 children, school supplies, school fees, uniforms and other areas of need. We will also provide a monetary donation for students at an elementary and junior high school that will go towards new books for their library.


Update on Our Hurricane Dorian Response

Thank you to those who have donated money, boots and emergency items for our hygiene kits. We have begun to ship items to the Bahamas. While the hurricane season continues and fear of more devastation looms, IBWPPI is focused on a one-year plan to provide assistance to 200 families impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

We are identifying the 200 families who were evacuated and are living in temporary relocation housing via a needs assessment . These families have immediate needs as many lost a majority of their belongings if not everything. There has not been a decision made for the survivors about whether or not they could return to their homes. We want to provide assistance to them during this relocation phase and then work on long-term restoration efforts.

Please consider donating to our relief fund so we can continue to provide ongoing support to families through 2020. T oday, we have secured enough funding to give 80 families $500 cash stipends (USD). These much needed funds have been greatly appreciated by the families and we thank our donors. Please continue to help us by continuing to give to this effort.


Membership Spotlight

Ingrid Johnson

Thank you to IBWPPI member Ingrid Johnson for her major efforts and contributions to IBWPPI Boots on the Ground Initiative-Bahamas Hurricane Dorian Response. She has secured over $11,000 USD from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Council of African American Parents and other associates in her personal network by sharing our GoFundMe campaign. We thank you Ingrid and appreciate your service to the people of the Bahamas. We value your membership and your contributions to the work of IBWPPI.


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