Lessons from women in Bunglung and DaireOxfam in Ghana, under the Women Economic Advancement for Collective Transformation (WEACT) project is partnering with Tungyeiya Women’s Association in Bunglung and Daire in the Savelugu Municipality to work with women and their families to enhance economic empowerment, wellbeing and inclusive growth of women.
WEACT is a five-year project funded by Global Affairs Canada through Oxfam Quebec and seeks to address the systemic barriers to women’s economic empowerment.
It is expected to benefit approximately 5,400 women and girls directly and 3,510 men and boys in the Shea and Cocoa chains across six regions in Ghana.
Oxfam plays a coordinating role, working with seven local implementing partners including Tungteiya Women’s Association.
Beatrice Vaugrante, Executive Director of Oxfam Quebec paid two days working visit to the project, accompanied by the Country Director of Oxfam in Ghana, Hamza Tijani and the Just Economy Program and Policy Manager.
The field visit was led by Theresa Baveng, the WEACT Project Coordinator and Fati Alhassan, the Gender Officer; and facilitated by the project team of Tungteiya Wowmen’s Association.
Beatrice Vaugrante’s visit was to give her the opportunity to have a feel of the project implementation on the ground and to interact with the beneficiary women.
This she said was of tremendous impact in her orientation of the projects being implemented in the Ghana program and especially as she focuses on marketing the project to old and new donors.
She had the opportunity to participate in a cross-learning session for women entrepreneurs in the two communities (Daire and Bunglung).
The women shared their experiences from the various training on entrepreneurship, some learning exposures and how they are applying the skills and knowledge to their businesses.
Each of the women gathered had a story of break through and triumph, as they shared how much their lives have transformed since their training and learning exposures.
The cooperative group in Bunglung are especially renowned for processing shea butter which they sell to Body Shop based in the UK.
They used the opportunity to demonstrate the processing of shea butter and show case some of their business wares.
Beatrice Vaugrante congratulated the women for their bravery by standing up to overcome legal and social barriers individually and collectively to their participation in agriculture and economic activities by taking advantage of the opportunities in the WEACT project to transform their lives and now have a voice in their homes and communities.
She urged them to continue to work to make their lives and that of their family members better.
In this way, together, they will bring about the great economic advancement which their community and nation desires.
The Oxfam in Ghana Country Director, Hamza Tijani resounded Oxfam’s commitment to working with development partners like the Tunteiya Womens Association to empower women and their families to realize and achieve their full economic potential and improve on their wellbeing.
He stated his appreciation to the women gathered for making time for the meeting especially during this farming season. He encouraged them to keep up the fight to gain economic and social independence in their homes and the community at large.
The women had very impactful stories to share about their participation in the WEACT intervention.
Madam Safura Abdulai, indicated that the entrepreneurship training and grant she received, has unearth her creativity and business skills, which has solidified her income. The profits she is making now has enabled her to send her child back to school and up to the tertiary level.
She also now has a regular savings plan. Madam Abiba Iddrisu, a farmer and shea butter producer, said the skills training she acquired had provided her a support platform to connect with commercial customers, build her confidence and she was able to save to support her son at the university.
For Madam Zeinab Mohammed, who makes soap, says “The skills training has enhanced my micro-enterprises in areas like selling farm crops, and soap-making business.”
Generally, almost all the women said they have gained voice to talk both in the homes and at the community level.
They feel respected now at home by their husbands and children because of the income they are now brining in to support the family.