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12.08.2004 Regional News

JICA empowers women in Nadowli District

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Kaleo (U/W), Aug. 12, GNA - Two years after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had supported nine women groups in the Nadowli District of the Upper West Region, the women have now been empowered financially and now contribute towards the upkeep of their families.

Apart from that, the women who hitherto could not generate any income; now save money in various banks ranging from about 300,000 cedis to two million cedis.

All these came to light at a day's evaluation workshop held at Kaleo to assess the performance of Kaleo Baptist Women Development Programme (KBWDP), the implementing non-governmental organisation.

Madam Miyuki Tan, Coordinator of Community Empowerment Programme of JICA, said the KBWDP had excelled in food security, reproductive health, animal traction and food storage, which had further enhanced the living status of the women.

She said their evaluation had revealed that the women were not only knowledgeable in family planning, food security and reproductive health but were practising them to their benefit.

Madam Tan said based on the final evaluation report the programme, which had been effective and beneficial, could be augmented and replicated in other communities.

"I am so much impressed that the women can live on three meals a day and sell the remaining foodstuff for their family needs, something they never experienced before," she said.

Mr John Bagonluuri, Executive Director of KBWDP, said most of the women through the literacy programme could now read road signs and budget for their projects.

"A lot of them now have animals and foodstuff to sell and support their husbands unlike in the past when they wholly relied on their husbands for everything."

Mr Bagonluuri said many more women were now engaged in agro-forestry and other income-generation programmes to improve their living standards.

"They have now set up their own communal health insurance in their communities which is laudable," he said.

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