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Diasporian News of Thursday, 31 May 2012

Source: Naakuukni Forum

Bunpurugu-Yunyoo residents honour Jack Flowers

On May 23, 2012, residents of the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District (BYD), who belong to the Naakuukni Forum, recognized the continuous contributions of Mr. Jack Flowers to the development of their district since 1988. The recognition was presented to Mr. Flowers by Dr. David Nanang, who, together with his family, represented the Naakuukni Forum at a ceremony in Thunder Bay. It marked the occasion of the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF), the organization which Mr. Flowers served for many years. Mr. Flowers, who is now 91 years old, started out in 1988 as a representative of the CIF on the Twinning programme between Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada and Bunkpurugu in the Northern Region of Ghana. Even after the official Twinning had ended, Mr. Flowers continued his personal involvement in the development efforts of the District.

The Naakuukni Forum is the largest association of residents of the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District outside of Ghana, who are committed to the development of the District. The Association has members throughout the world including Kuwait, Norway, Australia, Canada, USA, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Naakuukni Award for Exemplary Life is the highest award to be given to any individual by the Naakuukni Forum. The citation read:

Mr. Jack Flowers (left) and Dr. David Nanang (right) during the award ceremony

"This Award is presented to Mr. Jack Flowers by the Naakuukni Group of the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District [Northern Region, Ghana] in recognition of your selfless dedication and commitment to the development of the District over the past three decades. The Award appreciates and acknowledges your outstanding contributions in health, agriculture, forestry and literacy, which have led to significant improvements in the lives of our people."

The citation captures the contributions of Mr. Flowers in several areas of endeavours in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District. Some of his contributions are noted below.

Since 1991, Mr. Flowers continually raised funds through his "Trees for Africa" programme to support the agroforestry and literacy initiatives of CUSO and BILFACU in the BYD. This increased awareness among the people which made them embrace agroforestry in this savannah zone of Ghana, thereby leading to an increased number of woodlots and cashew plantations in the district. The literacy effort helped local farmers gain literacy in their local language which facilitated the dissemination of agricultural and health information. As part of his personal contribution to literacy, Mr. Flowers funded the publication of a math book in the local language.

In 2006, Mr. Flowers collaborated with the Naakuukni Forum to purchase an ambulance which was donated to the Bunkpurugu Health Centre in a bid to enhance health delivery in the district and subsequently funded the renovation of the Bunkpurugu health centre in 2007.

Mr. Jack Flowers and the Bunkpurugu delegation

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