peopleCare and ProResp supporting women in Ghana through Women Walking to GROW


Although peopleCare has been supporting the international economic development organization MEDA for a few years now, this year they are taking their support to a whole new level. Elaine Shantz, President & COO of peopleCare, along with Miriam Turnbull, COO of ProResp, are hiking 900 km to raise money for women in Ghana and are calling for others in the sector to come together to support this cause. 

MEDA was founded in 1953 by a group of Mennonite business professionals who partner with the poor to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses in developing regions around the globe. Their goal is not to provide a hand-out, but rather a hand-up, offering economic development tools that are meant to ultimately enable self-sufficiency among women, youth and the rural poor. 

One of MEDA’s programs is GROW, which stands for Greater Rural Opportunities for Women. According to MEDA’s website, its GROW project focuses on improving food security for families in Northern Ghana by “assisting women farmers to grow more soybeans and forge market links that will increase incomes.” The project provides training and technical assistance to help women make better nutritional choices and manage their limited resources more effectively.

Elaine and Miriam have decided to show their support this year by raising funds for walking the entire Bruce Trail in July – all 900 km of it! What’s more, GROW is funded by Global Affairs Canada and the federal government has committed to matching all of the funds raised through their efforts by nine times. Their goal is to raise $100,000 for GROW through their efforts, and are inviting others in the long-term care sector to join them and walk the last 100 km of the trail alongside them. 

“Our vision is: Changing the world of senior living,” says Elaine. “The 100 km trek challenge is a way of creating an opportunity for all of us in long-term care to walk together for a common goal and purpose, supporting the Ghana GROW project, as well as leadership and team development.”

The women are encouraging others to form a team and join them for a week at the end of July on the trail. Teams can trek each day together, complete the 100 km in relay-style, or do a combination of both. Teams are encouraged to commit to a minimum fundraising goal of $2,500.

Women Walking to GROW has already received a commitment from Chartwell Retirement Residences, who signed up a team of four women from their corporate office.  Chartwell’s “Aggressive Trailblazers” are excited about joining the trek and the opportunity to give back to those less fortunate. 

“It’s a great idea to bring long-term care colleagues together to take on a challenge,” notes Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association, who is also planning to join the campaign and participate in the trek. “Not only is this a very worthy cause that I am personally happy to support, but getting out of our regular zone is also the best way to spur innovative thinking and build new connections.” 

For more information about Women Walking to GROW, including how to make a donation or sign up your own team, click here. Questions can also be directed to Jennifer Killing, Vice President of Quality and Innovation at peopleCare, at 519-513-5260 x 210 or jkilling@peoplecare.ca