The Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (CESRUD), a Non- Governmental Organization (NGO), working at Sumbrungu in the Upper East Region has supported and empowered over 80 women groups in income generating activities.
CESRUD is a voluntary, humanitarian, community organization which aims at supporting local communities through training, economic empowerment and education to bring about sustainable development.
Mr Rex Asanga, the Founder and Executive Director of CESRUD, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, said the NGO has over the years offered leadership and financial training and support to over 2000 women in the region and this has instilled in them business skills, confidence and awareness of women’s rights and gender roles.
He said some of the women were engaged in basket weaving, pito brewing, groundnuts oil processing and other economic activities and were earning a decent living.
“We started with about ten groups at the time we were putting up the structure and the association was named Sumbrungu Business Women Association (SUBWA) but now the number has risen to about 80 groups with over 2000 members. The main objective was to promote women and income generating activities in the community. The women have been given leadership training and financial support in the form of revolving credit, goats’ loan scheme and administrative expenses,” he said.
Mr Asanga said CENSRUD also collaborates effectively with Friends of Africa Village Library (FAVL) to institute community libraries to improve basic education in the communities.
“Through the partnership between CESRUD and FAVL, we have been able to construct three libraries in Sumbrungu, Sirigu and Gowrie Kunkua in the Bongo District and stocked them with current books and relevant materials for pupils to study for free. We also organize classes for the pupils during the holiday which has improved their performance especially at the BECE level”, Mr Asanga said.
He said a Teachers Resource Centre had also been constructed to organize teacher refresher courses for trained teachers to keep them up to date with current issues.
Mr Asanga expressed concern over the lack of support from government after several appeals have been made to the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly for assistance.
He urged government, particularity the Municipal Assembly to include community libraries in its annual budgets to expand and absorb the salaries of some of the staff so as to promote quality and sustained education in the region.