Touton Ghana assigned GLOWDEP the task of implementing the Gender and Women Empowerment Component of the CocoaAction Project in 33 selected communities in Western North, Sunyani, Ataase and Kasapin operational Districts. The project sought to achieve the following outcomes;
- Increased participation of women in community development issues
- Greater gender awareness in the communities
- Improved economic status of women through IGA and Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA)
- Health and Nutrition through Nutrition Education and Cooking Competition.
During the period under review, GLOWDEP undertook community development programmes which were geared assessing the needs of women as well as increasing their capacity and opportunities for empowerment.
The activities were;
- Mapping of Women Groups in communities;
Under this objective, GLOWDEP;
- Introduced the project to the stakeholders
- Sensitized community members about the women empowerment issues
- Identified existing Women Groups and formed new ones in areas where none existed
- Sampled and administered questionnaires towards a Gender Needs Assessment. This was to build capacity of women to be part of the decision-making process in community development.
Project In Pictures
2, Training of women groups in communities
- Revamped the Women Groups by facilitating the selection of the group names and leaders in all thirty three (33) communities.
- Sensitize and build the capacity to participate in Community Development Activities.
- Educated the women in Food and Nutrition which was geared towards the Cooking Competitions/Food Demonstrations to celebrate the International Women Day’s Celebration.
- Undertook sensitization programmes on the importance of Girl Child Education
Project In Pictures
3, Gender Training for Field Officers
GLOWDEP facilitated a training workshop on Gender Mainstreaming in Development Programmes as a strategy towards improving community development and other programmes.
A Consortium was formed comprising of Global Women Development Promoters (GLOWDEP), Child Rights International (CRI) and All Family Life Network (AFLINE) thus this workshop was to train Touton Officers as well as Consortium members.
Touton found it necessary to train the District Officers as they would be assisting the Consortium Members i.e. Child Rights International (CRI), GLOWDEP and in the implementation of the Child Labour Remediation, Gender and Women Empowerment and Community Action Planning Activities programmes.
Some key messages from the training workshop were that;
- When women and men have relative equality, economies grow faster.
- Gender equality helps reduce the root causes of poverty and vulnerability. It contributes to sustainable growth.
Gender equality leads to faster achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Project In Pictures
4, Marking International Women’s Day – Cooking Competition in districts
Touton and GLOWDEP marked the 2019 International Women’s Day celebrations with a Cooking Competition in the eight (8) communities in Ataase and Food Demonstartions in the 25 communities in Sunyani, Kasapin and Western North Districts
The objectives were to;
- Assess the success of the prior training received on nutrition and its impact on their food
- Give participants the opportunity to practice the skills acquired from the training.
Promote Unity and team work for sustainable community development.
- The women in groups, prepared foods/dishes to meet the nutritional requirements of the following categories of people;
- The Aged
- Pregnant Woman
- Lactating Mother
- Growing Child
- Marks were awarded based on Choice of food and ingredients, Preparation, Handling of ingredients during food preparation, Arrangement of cooking utensils, Personal and Environmental hygiene, Laying of tables and Presentation of food and dessert on table and Taste of food.
- Based on the marks, prizes were given out to the winners.
Preparation Of Dishes
Display Of Dishes / Awards Presentation
- Food demonstrations were also held in Kasapin, Sunyani and Western North communities with the following outcomes realized;
- Creation of a platform for community members to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding on nutrition.
- Education on Nutritional requirements for Healthy Living.
- Promotion of unity and peace among community members.
Preparation Of Dishes
Presentation Of Dishes
5, Support for VSLA Set-up and Trainings
A Village Savings and Loan Group is a group of 15-25 people who save together and take small loans from those savings. It is a member-managed group in that although members are trained by experts, the operation and management of the funds accumulated are solely managed by the group members.
The objective of the scheme is to encourage the habit of savings and also to provide some form of capital for additional livelihoods for generation of income when the cocoa was out of season.
More than 98% of the VSLA groups have been very receptive from day one whiles the remaining 2% are progressively improving
The concept has been helpful so far as members can now save their disposable income. The women feel economically empowered as they have some kind of savings to fall back in case of uncertainties.
It has been observed that many people including males have developed interest in the VSLA and are in anticipation of second groups to be formed in some of the communities.
The success of the concept was heard abroad as other people began to call for the VSLA implementation in their communities though they are not Touton communities.
6, Support for Income Generating Activities (IGA) as requested by the women
As part of GLOWDEP’s responsibility to facilitate the needs assessment process of Income Generating Activities requested by the women, the women were which would serve as a means of additional income for the women.
They were advised to consider factors such as sustainability, availability of raw materials, demand rate among others. Therefore, each suggestion was supported by information based on these factors.
They undertook simple feasibility studies to assess the viability of the top two projects they had selected.
As a result, some of the women have started additional livelihoods in snails, poultry etc. as a way of improving their nutrition