15 Mar My experience as a Communications Fellow in Ghana with YCI’s partner, Norsaac

Written by Sheilagh Newland, HerStart Communications Fellow in Ghana


Through YCI’s HerStart Fellowship program, I had the unique opportunity to work as a Communications Fellow in Tamale, Ghana with their in-country partner, Norsaac. 

Norsaac was established in 2002 and can be described as a “pro-marginalized and policy-influencing organization” that empowers women, girls, youth and excluded groups. Norsaac is working hard to create a “healthy and empowered society where everyone enjoys their rights and lives a life of dignity.” In order to make this mission a reality, over the past two decades they have partnered with over 30 organizations and currently have over 20 projects on the ground. These projects focus on a range of social justice issues such as sexual and reproductive health rights, gender equality and livelihood and skills development.  

YCI has partnered with Norsaac to deliver the HerStart program in Tamale. Through this partnership, the HerStart program has been able to reach a greater audience, create change in the communities and empower young women across Northern Ghana. 

When I arrived in Tamale I wasn’t sure what to expect, and if I am being frank, I was a bit nervous. I knew my role involved communications, but I had no idea what was in store for me.  

Being placed with a partner organization allowed me to witness the impact that development projects have across Northern Ghana. I got to work on projects which advocated to stop sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and promote women and girls’ equality, including the right to education and women’s economic empowerment (WEE). I attended events, participated in activities, conducted research and even worked on a documentary!

Over the course of three months, I worked with an amazing group of people from both Norsaac and YCI. Working with a diverse team of the most dedicated and passionate individuals I have ever met in my life was the highlight of my placement. The conversations I had and the lessons that I learned from my peers and mentors at both Norsaac and YCI are ones that I will never forget.  

I am very thankful to the team at both Norsaac and YCI for welcoming me into their organizations, teaching me more about the field of development and communications, and supporting me every step of the way. 


Learn more about YCI’s HerStart Fellowships for Canadians of all ages to contribute their skills and gain international volunteer experience while collaborating with women and global partners to drive social entrepreneurship and gender equality.