A targeted 1,468 vulnerable rural women from Kpandai, Kabonwule, Kitari, Wiae, Bakamba, Bladjai, Mbowura, and other communities in the Kpandai District, are to benefit under the second phase of an economic empowerment initiative budded, “Promoting Resilience for Improved Incomes through Capacity Enhancement (PRICE) for Women Project”.
The 3-year Project which is funded by Misereor, a Germany-based Catholic funding agency, was launched at Kpandai on September 30, 2020, by Very Rev. Fr. Matthew Yitiereh, the Vicar General, on behalf of Most Rev. Philip Naameh, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale.
The objectives of the Project are to improve access to financial services for rural women in the Eastern Deanery of the Tamale Archdiocese, improve the capacity of beneficiaries in enterprise development through capacity building and also to promote gender sensitize practices towards reduced inequalities.
The Project uses the Village Savings and Loan Association concept to mobilise funds from a group of people who save together who then take loans from their savings in cycles over a period of time after which the accumulated savings and accrued interests are distributed to members to enable them expand or engage in income generation businesses, etc.
During the pilot phase of the Project which ended in March, 2020, 468 women benefitted as against 250 women who were initially targeted.
At the Project launch, Very Rev. Fr. Yitiereh appealed to men to support their wives to ensure the success of the Project as it would ultimately benefit their homes and the Church at large.
He stated that the mission of the Church is focused on two key aspects namely, preaching the Word of God to convert people to enable them enter the kingdom of God and human development under which the PRICE for women project falls.
He commended the women for their resourcefulness in turning round they loans they received during the first phase of the Project and for paying back their loans which made it possible for the donors to agree to increase the scope and fund the second phase of the Project.
In his address, Rev. Fr. Sebastian Zaato, the Tamale Archdiocesan Development Coordinator who also doubles as the Coordinator of the PRICE for Women Project, stated that it was introduced to address pressing issues women in the area faced.
He named some of the pressing issues as domestic violence, gender inequality, lack of access to start-up capital, stereotyping, among others, which he said he was confronted with during his work as Parish Priest of St. Kizito Parish at Kpandai from 2010 to 2011.
He explained that the Project was designed and anchored is on the transformative principle of the Sustainable Development Goals which stipulates that, “All development efforts must ensure that no one is left behind”.
He expressed satisfaction that the pilot phase of the Project was successful, having achieved all its short-term objectives and indicators in excess of 50 percent but charged members of his Team to work extra hard and with commitment to be able to meet the ambitious targets set under the second phase of the Project.
He used the opportunity to expressed gratitude to Misereor and Archbishop Naameh for their financial support and guidance.
Mr. Atta Emmanuel Kofi Tatablata, the District Chief Executive, in a solidarity message which was read on his behalf by Mr. Damma Mumuni, the District Coordinating Director, gave the assurance that the Kpandai District Assembly will support the Project by creating the enabling environment for it to succeed, adding that it will contribute to President Nana Addo Dankwa’s Akufo-Addo’s vision to build a Ghana beyond aid.
The President of the Tamale Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, Madam Fabiana Amonzem, in a similar message, urged the women to encourage their colleagues to join the Project which she noted has come to relieve women of the Archdiocese of the financial burden and stress they go through in taking care of their families. He praised them for their diligence but charged them to exhibit the same resourcefulness they demonstrated during the pilot phase.
Pastor Francis K. Amewondey of the Church of Pentecost, Kpandai, who also gave a solidarity message, lauded the Catholic Church for implementing the PRICE for Women Project to better the living conditions of women in the area. He, however, cautioned beneficiaries to desist from uncontrolled spending which could erode their working capital and ultimately affect the viability of the Project.
Madams Esther Nsiadong from Kpandai, Agnes Bowu from Kabonwule, Mavis Sachapu from Katari and Vivian Nimoh from Wiae, who are beneficiaries in their testimonies, said the Project has inculcated the culture of savings in them. They added that it has also equipped them with the skills and resources to manage and expand their businesses, afforded them financial independence and contributed to improved living conditions of their families.
Present at the launch which was chaired by Mr. Obed Isidore Mendo, Chairman of the Parish Laity Council of the St. Kizito Parish, were Rev. Fr. Joseph N. O. Sackey, Director of the Department of Pastoral and Social Communications of the Tamale Archdiocese, Dr. Joseph Asitik, a Consultant for the Tamale Archdiocesan Development Office (TADO) and Mr. David Issaka, Director of Livelihoods at TADO.
Also present were Rev. Frs. Kenneth Ongsong, Vitus Naameh and Vitus Zogho, Curates of St. Kizito Parish, Christ the King Parish, Jamboai and St. Stephen Rectorate, Bakamba.
- Very Rev. Fr. Yitiereh launching the PRIZE for Women Project
- Zaato addressing participants at the launch
- Dignitaries with participants at the launch