Africa Skills Hub, an international non-governmental organisation, has launched the Nneka Women Empowerment Scheme, a support programme in Ve-Agbome in the Volta Region to increase livelihoods to women in communities in the Afadzato South District.
The scheme in partnership with Canada World Youth and Global Affairs Canada under the Women Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods Initiative (WELI) looks at increasing livelihoods of women through the creation of various local women’s co-operatives in the palm oil sector.
Madam Anatu Ben-Lawal, Programmes Director, WELI said the Initiative would be committed to support the co-operatives and the community since WELI had the vision to better the lives of the residents of Ve Agbome and its surrounding communities during these uncertain times
“By partnering with the Nneka Women Empowerment Scheme, support services such as the provision of physical infrastructure, business development services, reinforcement of technical capacities, and psychosocial support will enable the women to build resiliency against further shocks that continue to leave them vulnerable.”
She said the support would enable the co-operatives to move to increase productivity and better the livelihoods of adolescent girls and young women to ensure lasting financial stability.
“We have a vision of achieving this by enabling the growth of the palm industry in this part of the country, which is renowned for producing the tastiest ‘dzomi’ (palm oil).”
The Programme Director noted that the Initiative also aimed to help them brand their production, standardisation, and certification and licensing to be able to sell to a wider market.
Madam Ben-Lawal noted that when women had money and resources they could be assured of the well-being of children and communities.
She called on other donors, stakeholders, and members of the Volta community to assist in seeing the dream of thriving women-led industries emerge from the area to enable a radical leap in their socio-economic status.
The Director said COVID-19 had adversely affected livelihoods and employment leaving already disenfranchised women in rural areas at greater risk of poverty, and sexual and gender-based violence.
Madam Ben-Lawal said to create the enabling environment for women in the district to thrive, the WELI Programme also sought to address the roots of gender violence of which the region reported some of the highest statistics of 6,144 teenage pregnancies in a single year of COVID-19 according to the Ghana Health Service, 2020.
She said these would be done by holding dialogues between both sexes, community sensitisation, and training on interpersonal communication for safe sex negotiations adding that, over thirty communities had been reached through local advocacy channels.
Madam Ben-Lawal said WELI had provided social contributions support in form of a shed, borehole, tricycle, ladder, and poly tank to the facility to reduce the backbreaking work of the women as a way of improving the co-operative capacity and physical infrastructure.
Mr Etornam James Flolu, Afadzato South District Chief Executive (DCE), lauded Nneka and its partners for their various projects and assistance for the Ve communities.
He encouraged all women in the co-operative and the palm oil business to make good use of the action and contributions provided by WELI, and ensure cleanliness and its sustainability.