Our Dear Friend and Colleague PCV Danni Dunlap (President of the Ghana AIDS Projects Committee), passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, April 28th, 2013. The Peace Corps Ghana community honoured and remembered her with a memorial service on Friday, May 3rd.
Below is the tribute read at Danni’s memorial service by Daniel Omane, PEPFAR Program Coordinator, on behalf of the entire GhAP Committee:
TRIBUTE to Danielle Dunlap (Read by Daniel Omane on behalf of the GhAP Committee)
I initially declined to publicly pay tribute to Danielle Dunlap, but considering the kind of relationship I had with her, I think I’ll be doing her a disservice if I don’t let the world know the kind of person our LEADER was and what she stood for. I stand here on behalf of the PCV HIV Committee (known as the GhAP Committee).
I got to know Danielle Dunlap through my work as the HIV Program Coordinator for Peace Corps/Ghana, but my close encounter with Danielle started when she assumed the position of President of the PCV HIV Committee, which I supervise.
During the 12 months of her presidency, we (the GhAP Committee) saw Danielle Dunlap to be a born leader who was able to motivate her team members, direct and lead them to work towards the achievement of a common goal. She had strong working relations with her team and always provided me with lots and lots of ideas on how to move the committee forward. Danielle was optimistic, innovative and curious as she always tried to explore better ways of addressing issues for improved results. I relied, at times, on Danni when I needed help with my planning; she’ll help me out with a smile, and without hesitation. She always asked that I contact her if I needed her or the committee to support me in any way in the future. I actually did see Danielle as my ‘Backbone’ because she was very instrumental in the discharge of my duties.
Today, our LEADER is gone home, but we continue to see images of her in our minds and remember the intimate working relationship we had together. She still lives amongst us:
· We see the AIDS Quilt, and we see Danni.
· We see the Committee’s constitution, and we hear Danni talking to us.
· We see the February page of the 2013 PEPFAR Calendar, and we see Danni smiling at us.
· We remember last January’s Community HIV Service Day activities, and we hear Danni asking us to update her on how next year’s event goes.
· We think of the committee’s upcoming elections in June, and we hear Danni wishing us well.
I still remember Danielle’s words to me after she had finished coordinating work on the AIDS Quilt. She said, “Omane, you see how I’m making you proud.” In response, I said “Yes, I know, Danielle and do let me know if you need anything from me.” She wanted to go to Graduate School, and so I gladly did one of her recommendations for her. She later on told me she’s got admission into two schools to pursue a Master’s program in Public Health, and that she needed to make a choice. She was ambitious and demonstrated her commitment to working towards the promotion of the well-being of humanity from all spheres of life. She always showed her excitement about her admission into Graduate School. But today, it hurts me so much that that dream will not come to fruition.
Danni, members of the GhAP Committee are shedding tears because you have always been part of us and we will continue to remember you.
We pray that the LORD take us through this moment of grief, pain and sorrow as we mourn our LEADER and what she stood for.
God Bless Us All.
May Danni rest in peace.