Hundred women in the Upper West Region have benefited from a Unilever Empowerment Women Programme, known as the Songtaa Project.
The project, which was initiated three years ago, was codenamed ‘Shakti Project’, an Indian word that means the ‘act of helping one another.’
At its launch, the project was given a local touch and rechristened the ‘Songtaa Project’ due to the positive testimonies some beneficiaries recounted.
They said the project had impacted their lives and that of their families, both socially and economically.
The Managing Director of the Unilever Ghana PLC, George Owusu-Ansah, at the launch of the project in Wa, last Thursday, stated that the women, who signed onto the programme would be offered products from the company to keep the profit and restock from the capital generated.
Mr Owusu-Ansah was firmly convinced that the opportunity extended to women in the region would be a huge success.
“This initiative responds to our new Unilever compass objective of contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world. I want to encourage our women to stay focused and work with determination to achieve the objective of improving their lives and wellbeing,” he noted.
The Managing Director of Unilever Ghana PLC, George Owusu-Ansah, revealed that 100 women had been selected from within the Wa Municipality, and three other districts within the region.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, thanked Unilever Ghana Plc for the initiative, and urged them to increase the number of beneficiaries to cover more poor women in the region.
“If in 2018 the beneficiaries were 100, and today it is still 100, I want next year the number to be increased to about 500,” he pleaded.
He encouraged the beneficiaries of the programme to make the best out of the offer given to them by Unilever Ghana PLC, so that other women could have the opportunity of enrolling in the programme.
The Executive Director of Pronet-North Martin Dery, whose outfit was partnering Unilever Ghana PLC on the project, stated that they had done lots of engagements with the beneficiary community members to remove all bottlenecks in the implementation.
“We, the men, are usually the key challenge when it comes to sustainable economic development. When our women begin any productive thing, and money starts coming in, we try to interfere because we want to drink more pito or marry additional wives.
“We have done those engagements at the community level to ensure that this business approach is understood,” he added.
The Home care category head of Unilever Ghana PLC, Yvonne Gyifuor, stated that the Key Soap brand would continue to support women in passing onut traditions to the next generation by championing the Ghanaian heritage and traditions.
She congratulated the women for successfully going through all the prerequisite and training modules, and, most importantly, for taking the bold step, not only to want more for themselves, but also for their families and community.
The beneficiaries received admonitions from all speakers, including the District Chief Executive for Nadowli, Katherine Lankono, and the President of the Upper West Region Queenmothers’ Association, Haala Kuoro Ajara Buktia, on the need to give off their best to keep the programme ongoing for other colleague women to also benefit.
Each of the 100 beneficiaries received assorted Unilever products to kickstart their businesses.
They were expected to sell and keep the profit, and restock the capital generated.