Madam Consolata Dassah, Director of Programmes at The Hunger Project (THP) Ghana, has encouraged managers of Anyansu Epicentre to ensure the concept is maintained to reduce severe hunger and abject poverty.
She described the executives as pillars, and said it was high time they owned and managed the centre effectively to ensure “the community becomes self-reliant as THP withdraws its support.”
However, she assured the members that the Project would continue to monitor the progress of the epicentre periodically, before it [community] was eventually weaned off.
Madam Dassah was speaking during a programme organised for the exit of the Anyansu Epicentre at Anyansu, a farming community in the Asuogyaman District of Eastern Region after 13 years.
The community was assessed to have passed the benchmarks set out by the Project that aims to change people’s mindset through building capacity of members to move away from dependency to self-reliance.
The Epicentre concept was developed by THP Ghana to help cut down and eliminate extreme hunger and poverty in the country’s deprived communities.
The Anyansu Epicentre consists of a food bank, library, community bank, conference hall, clinic and nurses’ quarters.
As part of the system, every epicentre had eight years to migrate to a self-reliant stage, with the first two years used to mobilise communities and partners together.
The third year is for the construction of physical building, while the next three years is for programme implementation in health nutrition, gender equality, security and agriculture and wash, literacy and education and also micro-financing.
The last two years is the transition stage to self-reliance, where the leadership of the epicentre is allowed to champion their development and strengthen partnership with local government structures.
The Anyansu epicentre was initially constituted by 10 communities, when the mobilization was done in 2008 and by 2009 when actual construction of the epicentre building started, Aboabo and Koranchie eliminated themselves.
The remaining communities that survived till date are Anyansu, Mpakadan, Mpakadan Quarters, Abomayaw, Domeabra, Aboasa, Kwanyarko and Nnudu.
Anyansu Epicentre has spent 13 years on the programme, exceeding the eight years duration required due to lack of sponsorship from The Hunger Project, and therefore needed to be exited for the community to own the facility.
Madam Dassah said the various components within the Epicentre – library, food bank, community bank, clinic, nurses’ quarters and conference hall must be utilised to benefit all the people in the area and advised that a place like a library, due to its proximity to Anyansu D/A Primary and Junior High schools could also serve as a counselling unit to help shape the school children.
“The Executives of the epicenter must ensure that the school children patronise the library facility,” she added.
Explaining the exit process, she said “it does not mean Hunger Project will not come to the community again,” adding, “They will continue to liase with the community on other projects as and when they come.”
She appealed to the District Assembly, health and education directorates and other relevant stakeholders in the Asuogyaman District to support the Epicentre since they were exiting to help maintain the high standard of the place.
Currently, Mr Paul Addo, a Trainer of Trainers (TOT) at the Epicentre said, over 350 women and about 170 men were saving with the Anyansu Epicentre Micro Finance explaining that the microfinance administered loan facilities to several people coming from far away Juapong, who were not even part of the eight communities.
He said since the community was exited and become self-reliant they would strengthen their accountability system to ensure proper accounts were rendered to the people.