October 01, 2016
Greg Budd ’16, of Kennett Square, Pa., traveled to Changbuni, Ghana, this summer, with the organization Saha Global. The opportunity, suggested to him by Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Kathy Straub, brought together his interests in economics and earth and environmental sciences, his major and minor, respectively.
Saha Global is a nonprofit organization addressing the lack of clean drinking water in the Northern Region of Ghana. It helps launch businesses, run by women within the affected communities, that treat contaminated water from dugouts.
“This is economic development at the grassroots level,” Budd explains, “through a sustainable business that is providing access to safe drinking water at an affordable price.” He sees a “powerful combination” in the ability to provide clean water and a source of income for local women.
During the three-week trip, Budd, the son of Susquehanna alumni Steve ’78 and Jean Hedrick ’78 Budd, served as one of four field representatives. Accompanied by a driver and a translator, the team pitched the enterprise to villagers, assembled the business, trained its entrepreneurs, and provided education on safe drinking habits. Prior to the trip, team members raised funds to cover start-up costs.
Budd appreciated the chance to enter into the village’s culture and get to know the people living there. Saha Global continues those relationships after a team leaves—regularly checking in on businesses to help ensure their success.
Budd also connected with residents of Tamale, the city where his team stayed, as he and teammates explored everything “from the best roasted guinea fowl stand … to the more popular nightlife attractions.” Some of the trip’s most memorable moments arose from casual interactions in the city, such as a conversation Budd had with a Ghanian man about relationships between the country’s different tribes and Ghana’s relationship to the rest of the continent.
Overall, the trip reaffirmed Budd’s sense of direction: He says he wants to help those “struggling and stuck in an impoverished and unfair system” to access “the opportunities I have been blessed with my entire life.”