Faustina Vimariba founded True Vision Ghana (TVG) in 2006 after her very personal experience with the devastation of HIV/AIDS. Her sister’s struggle with this terrible disease and the stigma of being an HIV+ person compelled Faustina to start TVG to ensure that other HIV+ people can live in dignity and get access to the treatment they require.
The Canadian branch of TVG was founded in 2007 to help with fund raising, monitoring and evaluation, policy development and communications and outreach. Faustina and Evelyn Tanaka had a chance meeting on a road in Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana in 2004 while Evelyn was traveling overland from Ghana to Burkina Faso and Mali. They met again the next day while waiting for a trotro (minibus) to Bolgatanga, Faustina’s home village. The two kept in touch and Faustina visited Evelyn the next year in Brong Ahafo Region where Evelyn was living for 4 months while collecting data for her Master’s research on black and white colobus monkeys. After Faustina’s sister passed away, Faustina approached Evelyn to start the Canadian branch of TVG to provide support and funding for her new NGO. Evelyn agreed and formed a Board of Directors and created a not for profit Canadian branch of the organization.
Since TVG’s beginning this small organization has had a large impact in the communities around Wa, Upper West Region where our work is focused. We have:
- Supported over 40 AIDS orphans with school fees, nutritious food, health care insurance, ARV treatment (for HIV+ orphans)
- Formed sex education clubs in a number of schools so that students can gain knowledge about the transmission of HIV in order to protect themselves and their partners
- Hosted annual events on World AIDS Day (December 1) including sex education club quizzes on HIV/AIDS knowledge, outreach and education with community members and more to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS
- Established an Economic Empowerment microloan program that enabled caregivers of AIDS orphans to access some investment money to start a business or expand an existing one in order to provide money to support their families and the AIDS orphans in their care
- Worked with volunteers and students from all over the world (Canada, Germany, China) who completed field work or project work in support of TVG
Faustina is a Ghanaian director of True Vision Ghana. Faustina works to ensure the TVG beneficiaries are getting the appropriate help they need when they need it.
Lambert is an inspirational and tireless advocate for vulnerable children and marginalized communities in Ghana. Lambert is a long-serving Project Manager and has been instrumental in launching and supporting TVG’s Economic Empowerment Program, a community capacity building program that works with women to break the cycle of poverty and promote community development. Lambert helps with planning, research, and fundraising and Holds a Bachelors in Development Economics and an MSC in Energy Management.
Evelyn has had a life long fascination with Africa and has traveled to Africa on three separate occasions: Madagascar and Kenya in 2003, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali in 2004, and Ghana again in 2005. In total she has spent over 9 months in 5 different African countries. The majority of this time was spent in Ghana.
In Ghana, Evelyn lived at the Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in the Brong-Ahafo Region where she did her Master’s thesis research on black and white colobus monkeys (Colobus vellerosus). She lived in a basic guesthouse without running water or electricity for a few months, survived malaria, spent a lot of time in the forest with the monkeys, and overall had a once in a lifetime experience! Evelyn learned a great deal about the Ghanaian health care system through her personal experiences. She lived in a small rural village of about 200 people and saw the difficult situation that rural farmers face in terms of access and affordability of healthcare.
Evelyn met many wonderful people in her travels that taught her about community, generosity, and eternal patience. One of those individuals that she met and kept in touch with was Faustina, the Founder and Executive Director of True Vision Ghana. Evelyn was honoured to be appointed as the Canadian Director of TVG from 2007 – 2015 and happy to volunteer her free time to giving back to the children of Ghana.
Evelyn currently is a stay-at-home mom of two young boys.
Maurita is the Canadian Secretary/Treasurer for TVG. In addition to the administrative tasks required to keep TVG running smoothly, Maurita also assists with fundraising and has an artistic eye to help us make our crafts/cosmetics beautiful.
Meghan was introduced to TVG in 2007 when a friend of a friend found out she was traveling to Ghana with her (then) new husband Kwesi Haizel after their wedding. Meghan met Faustina and brought back crafts for TVG to sell. That one meeting with Faustina was enough to build a life long relationship!
Meghan has continued to help fund-raise for TVG and is currently managing the administrative side of the Canadian organization. In 2009, Meghan went back to school to complete a BA in Development Studies to better understand inequality in our world. Meghan current runs Akesi Farms with her husband Kwesi. Before purchasing the farm in 2014, Meghan and Kwesi traveled to many countries in the world and spent time in Ghana with Kwesi’s family and with Faustina. We have much to learn from one another.
Kwesi is a Canadian director of TVG. Kwesi helps with planning and ensuring the other TVG volunteers have everything they need when they need it.
Hazel is a Canadian director for TVG. Hazel has volunteered in Ghana and continues to assist with fundraising in Canada.