G-Roots Moves to the Final Round of the Project Fund Grant Selection!

It’s been an exciting four weeks as we unveiled all of the ideas coming from our Alumni Project Fund! From economic empowerment with palm oil to a daycare centre for women in Hebron, from a health clinic in a remote village in Ghana to recycled polystyrene blocks for housing construction, our alumni brought on some of the most high calibre proposals we’ve ever seen at OG!

We asked you, our vibrant community of backpacktivists, to tell us what idea you want to see move on to the next and final round of our grant selection process by liking or commenting on your favorite ones. Today we’re excited to announce the winner!

With a total of 382 votes, a huge congratulations goes out to G-Roots’ solar powered drip irrigation system!

For nearly four years now, G-Roots has been engaging OG’s West Africa program participants through research and various learning opportunities and it shows in their wealth of support! With a truly innovative project at hand, we are excited to see how far G-Roots goes!

A huge thank you to all of our incredible alumni who have shown us, year after year, what it truly means to stay aware, engaged and involved in the communities we travel to. A special shout out goes to the Ghana Clinic Project with RUDC who came in a close second with a total of 313 votes!

Our Project Fund Committee — made up of former and current program leaders, alumni, board members, and our Co-Founder — will now enter its last phase of deliberation before announcing the final winners of this year’s Alumni Project Fund. Stay tuned on the blog to see how it all goes down!

In the meantime…learn more about the solar-powered drip irrigation system G-Roots plans to implement in the Builsa District of northern Ghana!




In an area where agriculture is the primary means of sustenance, the rainy season poses serious issues – for example, what if it doesn’t rain? This problem presented itself to farmers in 2013. Almost all the farmers in the region suffered crop failure. Impact assessments in the project area revealed severe crop failure. While droughts have occurred in the past, last year was an anomaly and the probability of it occurring again soon is low. Nevertheless, the ability to control water is an aspect of farming that issues like drought emphasize. The solar-powered drip irrigation system allows farmers water control, which is important for two reasons: a) it allows farmers to have power over this crucial agricultural input, and b) it allows farmers to remove their dependency to rain water, allowing for significantly higher harvest potential. In reference to the latter point, year-round irrigation allows families to farm during the dry season, which is the season where employment opportunities are particularly scarce.

Project Builsa is a unique and innovative idea bringing together the old and the new. It builds on the strength and knowledge of community members by improving their access to solar and drip technology that can assist them in many aspects of life. This radically changes centuries of dependence of rain water for sustenance.


G-Roots is a Toronto-based non-profit organization created with the mission of providing organizational and financial assistance to self sustainable poverty alleviation projects. G-Roots finds its own roots in the town of Sandema in the Builsa District of Northern Ghana. In 2009, Executive Director Misbah-ul Haque was approached by Joseph Abobte – a prominent citizen of Sandema and coordinator of Horizons Children’s Centre, a Canadian orphanage in the town – about an idea he had for a seed-based loan system to alleviate the poverty levels in the Builsa District. And, as so, the seed was planted for Project Builsa.


The goal of this project is to establish a self-sustainable means for families to earn a significant part of an improved income. Self-sustainability entails the ability to reproduce the aims of the project independently.


Project Builsa has been an exercise in cross-cultural exchange since its inception. It was initiated because of a conversation between subsistence farmers in the Builsa District and OG backpackers, and that ethos has remained at the core of our operations. G-Roots has a stable presence in the Builsa District, and a healthy relationship with Operation Groundswell program leaders and participants. G-Roots has been engaging OG West Africa program participants since 2010 by partaking in various research and learning opportunities.