The “Golden Line” project, a five-year women empowerment programme, rolled out in 2016 within some mining communities have impacted the lives of over 5,000 women, giving them entrepreneurial skills and economic freedom.
The project, which closes at the end of 2020, was an initiative of Simavi, an international non-profit organisation, in partnership with Solidaridard, Hope for Future Generation (HFFG), Healthy Entrepreneurs, and the Presbyterian Relief Services and Development, with funding from the Dutch Government.
At a close-out ceremony in Accra, many of the community members and women beneficiaries shared with stakeholders, and the media how they had benefitted from the Golden Line programme, and thanked the initiators.
They called on local collaborators to sustain the programme.
Ms Irene Owusu-Poku, the National Project Coordinator of Golden Line, said the project targeted selected gold mines and communities and worked towards economic empowerment of women living in and around artisanal and small-scale gold mines in the Western and Ashanti regions.
She said through the project, opportunities were created for women to raise their voices and increase their access to, and control of resources.
She said other programmes under the Project included the establishment of village savings and loans Associations, training in leadership and business skills, supporting menstrual hygiene and family planning, engaging men’s groups in discussing practices to prevent gender-based violence as well as engaging women to be change-makers in the communities.
Ms Owusu-Poku said miners were trained on responsible mining practices using the Fairminded standard, while many women’s capacities were built to run businesses in health and safety products.
Expressing their gratitude for the project, Ms Davidine Amoabeng Yeboah, Ms Felicia Adjei, Ms Joana Manu, and Mr Emmanuel Kofi Tamaklo, beneficiaries in the project areas, around Tarkwa Nsuaem, Prestea Huni-Vally, Wassa Amenfi East District, were full of praise for the project, which they recounted had improved on the health and socio-economic lives of the community members.
Mr Ron Stikker, Dutch Ambassador, said he was impressed about the astonishing results of the programme, which was run in partnership with civil society.
He said it was so that civil society supported the government to improve the lives of citizens, adding that government, on the other hand, had to provide the free atmosphere needed to operate.
He, therefore, commended the Ghanaian Government for creating the conducive atmosphere that promoted civil society engagement and inclusion in empowering the people.
Ms Cecilia Senoo, Executive Director, Hope for Future Generations, called on the country, especially, the District Assemblies, the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry and the Health Ministry to own the Golden line project as its implementation period ended in the country.
Ms Suzan Adwoa Yemidi, Country Lead, Solidaridad, on her part, charged the beneficiaries and the traditional leadership within the communities to keep the touch burning to sustain the gains.