We are a a group of volunteers working in Tamale for 5 weeks this summer. We have so far found the guide and accompanying recommendations from fellow travelers very useful. But we wish to put in a recommendation about the wonderful place we are working, a community development project called GIGDEV (Girls Growth and Development).
One of the most rewarding places to visit when in Tamale is the GIGDEV (Girls Growth and Development) Centre. It was established in 1998 by Stella Nitori, a retired community health nurse/midwife after she became concerned about the number of girls out on the street and their future prospects, both regarding health and education. Originally she invited five girls to sit in her courtyard and taught them skills to enhance their employability and wellbeing under her tree using the walls as chalkboards. The popularity of Stella’s school grew rapidly, and the space opposite her home became the very first GIGDEV centre, with a further three subsequently opening around Tamale. Today it is run by her daughter Selina, and is heavily reliant on outside funding although it is hoped that before long the centre will be self-sustainable through profits earned by their shop.
The shop has a beautiful selection of products handmade by members of GIGDEV who are collectively working towards a brighter future not only for themselves but also for their future or existing families. Ranging from colourful aprons, a selection of bags and rucksacks, jewellery and clothing, this is an ideal place to pick up affordable, authentic gifts, clothing or even to have garments tailor made to your preference if provided with material!. The process of buying material is an experience to be had in the vibrant markets of Tamale, which offer an endless choice of African print material that can be purchased for a good price after a hearty game of haggling.
The shop is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 3pm located just left off the Jisonaayili junction on the Bolgatanga Road coming from town and new visitors are always welcomed. An invite to the centre itself can be arranged in advance through the contact page on their website, http://gigdevgh.org/