Care International, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) with focus on poverty alleviation, social justice and inequality, has ended its five-year “Adwuma Pa Project” in the country with several vulnerable women and girls benefiting from the project.
A total of 3,780 vulnerable women and girls received business start-up support while 1,201 girls between the ages of 15 and 17 were put in vocational skills training.
Similarly, 3,065 vulnerable women were trained in microenterprises and provided with business advisory services by Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA).
Under the project, 124 micro-enterprises were registered with the GEA with 5,625 vulnerable women and girls provided with functional literacy and numeracy training through Complementary Education Agency (CEA).
The project also helped to reduce child labour in the implementing communities from 68.4 per cent to 42 per cent with hazardous child labour reducing from 67.2 per cent to 19 per cent.
A national close-out ceremony for the Adwuma Pa project was held in Accra on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
The ceremony brought together various stakeholders whose contributions helped the NGO to achieve the targets of the project.
The ceremony had in attendance representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations; ILO Galab Project; Complementary Education Agency (CEA); COCOBOD; Youth Opportunity and Transformation in Africa (YOTA); Child Rights International (CRI) and Olam Food Ingredients.
Some beneficiaries (participants) from the project’s implementing areas— Tano South Municipal; Asunafo North Municipal; Bibiani-Anwhiaso-Bekwai, and Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, took turns to share their experiences.
The Adwuma Pa project was introduced to reduce the risk of child and forced labour and other exploitative labour practices, by improving the economic participation and empowerment of women and adolescent girls within cocoa-producing communities in the country.
The five-year project implemented in 80 communities in the Ahafo, Western North, and Central Regions, which started in 2018 to 2023, was funded by the United States Department of Labour, Bureau of International Labour Affairs.
The project targeted 2,500 vulnerable girls between the ages of 15 and 17, and 2,500 vulnerable women as direct project participants.
The Country Director of CARE International, Rose Tchwenko, said the purpose of the close-out event was to enable the organisation to reflect, learn "and celebrate the incredible work that has been achieved by the project over the past five years".
She explained that the Adwuma Pa project sought to transform and lift vulnerable women out of poverty, saying, "We want to lead people out of poverty."
In addition, she noted, Care International as an organisation was interested in ensuring that every human being was treated with dignity.
For her, the Adwuma Pa project would serve as a reference point for future works of the organisation in the country.
Madam Tchwenko praised the close partnership the project had with government agencies, pointing out that such collaborations helped the project to achieve its impressive outcomes.
She said she was particularly happy that the project had helped to strengthen women's voice as well as reducing child labour in the implementing communities.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, commended Care International for the project and appealed to the organisation to introduce phase two.
For him, the project had helped to lift many vulnerable women and girls from extreme poverty, noting that the project had helped to reduce child labour in cocoa-growing areas.
He said child labour have detrimental consequences on the child’s total development, pointing out that achieving resounding success in the fight against child labour “is a shared responsibility that requires time and resources of all interested parties, including communities, governments, the industry, and the international community”.
“I am very happy about the achievements of the project.
It seems that the project exceeded almost all its targets which is very impressive,” Mr Baffour-Awuah noted.
He reiterated the government’s commitment for the continuous implementation of measures that would ensure total development of children and elimination of child labour in all its form and all sectors across the country.