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Widows Alliance Network (WANE) project for sustainable socio-economic development of widows

The project integrates economic, social and cultural transformation tools into an educational package to alleviate the hardships of widows

Photo of Joyce Akumaa Dongotey-Padi
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Launched in 2007 by her Mama Zimbi Foundation, Widows Alliance Network (WANE) project for sustainable socio-economic development of widows, integrates economic, social, sustainable and cultural transformation tools into an educational package to alleviate the untold hardships widows experience in Ghana. To date, WANE has formed over 400 widowhood clubs and associations to its credit with about over 8,000 widows in free membership. The widowhood clubs are then encouraged to learn to grow in self-confidence, develop new skills as well as new friendships to develop their families and communities. The network was originally an amorphous movement aimed at making visible the plight of these women, but quickly developed into a way to help widows become financially self-reliant. WANE supports local widows’ groups to identify opportunities for small businesses that might be viable in their area, and provides them with startup funds and the necessary education to make them possible. The project is not interested in education in theory, because there has to be an avenue to practice for it to have impact.

WHO BENEFITS?

Providing these widows in Ghana with adequate vocational and informal adult literacy education, and also making resources and funds available for them, as the WANE project does, will help them achieve sustainable socio-economic independence through training, and they are also able to take care of their children properly by providing them with the basic necessities of life and formal education.

PROTOTYPE

The WANE program areas include: Widows Training Workshops (WTC) for Community Self-Help Activities, the National Widows Alliance Conference (NAWAC) for Advocacy and National Widows Cohesion, and Business Financing Schemes called NNOBOA. WANE focuses entirely on breathing economic life into widows in Ghana. In terms of the impact of the project, the widows have come up with 20 small-scale ventures and businesses to provide them with financial independence. The ventures range from agro-processing industries, bakeries, soap-making factories and traditional cloth weaving to fish farming and herbal medicine production. The 20 ventures employ a total of over 500 working widows, and are fully managed by trained widows. A further 3,000 widows have received vocational, business and entrepreneurial skills training to commence income-earning ventures in their communities.

FEEDBACK

We have a segment of our weekly show on Adom FM and Multi TV where we discuss widowhood issue. We there is where we call for feedbacks and they are addressed adequately. On regular basis, Ghanaian news dailies carry reports and news items on our work to the Ghanaian populace and feedbacks are also gotten from there too. When we meet the beneficiaries and their community leaders we deal with the feedbacks as well.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

Our project activities can be replicated by many a women-oriented civil society organizations in Ghana, West Africa and other parts of Africa. The successful formation of over 400 widow clubs across Ghana justifies the scalability and replicability of the project. We need partnership with organising who can help fund our projects and implement it in. We need funding to build a ‘Center for Skills and Entrepreneurship Training’ (CENSET) to train and increase the rate of providing employable skills

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

It is an NGO based in Accra, Ghana. It is in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN. It is affiliated with the World Innovative Summit for Education (WISE), Coalition of NGOs Associated with UN-DPI Ghana (CUNANGOS), and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection

IS THIS AN IDEA THAT YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO TAKE FORWARD?

  • Yes, and I am looking for a partner working with refugee communities to implement this idea.

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"No person has the right to condemn you on how you repair your heart or how long you choose to grieve, because no one knows how much you're hurting. Recovering takes time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace."

Ivy Preko is a young 20 year old female who has been chosen to be one of Miss Ghana USA's Finalist for this year's competition that will be located in New York, NY. She is a current collage student that attends Radford University pursuing two degrees one in fashion design and the other, communication. Her objective for Miss Ghana USA is to promote female entrepreneurship with a focus on widowers who have lost their significant others and are forced to be self-reliant. She wants to be an advocate for them and encourage them to rise up successfully as productive members of their society and for the future or their child/ren. Ivy's Grandmother who was a widow is the reason behind this movement. She's asking you today to help sponsor her with any amount that your heart so desires so that her motivation to help Ghanaian women who have lost their significant other, rise and become great in Ghana. Please help Ivy as she competes against 9 beautiful women for the Miss Ghana USA crown. She is opened for interviews via phone and would love it if you could help her promote herself via media. "No person has the right to condemn you on how you repair your heart or how long you choose to grieve, because no one knows how much you're hurting. Recovering takes time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace."


Thank you
Ivy Akosua A. Preko

P.S. Keep up the great work!

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