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11.10.2005 Regional News

Dutch NGO supports C/R Catholic Women Associations

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Mankessim (C/R), Oct. 11, GNA - The Neer Friedesse Molen Foundation, an NGO based in the Netherlands has since last year, supported Catholic Women Associations (CWA) in 27 communities in the Apam and Mankessim parishes of the Cape Coast archdiocese with 27 corn mills, valued at 50,000 Euros.

Some of the beneficiary communities are Mankessim, Enyan Maim, Antseadze, Kwamankese, Ekumpoano, Essuehyia, Gomoa Mankessim, Gomoa Brofroyedur, Gomoa Borofo, Gomoa Mankessim, Gomoa Eshiem, Gomoa Obuasi, Nyakrom, Breman Esikuman, Bisease, Breman Essiam, and Kwaman. Reverend Father Jacques Smeele, co-ordinator of the project made this known, when representatives of the Foundation, accompanied by Mrs Mathilde Van Der Wiels, wife of the Dutch ambassador to Ghana and Patron of the Foundation in Ghana visited the mill at Mankessim to ascertain the income generated so far, on Tuesday.

Rev. Fr. Smeele said Mr and Mrs Van der Horst, a Dutch family based in Holland initiated the project and that its objective was to empower women through poverty alleviation.

He said what the women have been able to achieve within one year of the operation of the mills showed that the alleviation of poverty "was taking shape" and it had enabled them to use the proceeds to initiate their own development projects.

Rev. Fr. Smeele commended the women for their communal spirit, and gave the assurance that the project would soon be extended to other parishes in the archdiocese.

Mrs van der Wiel, said the project would go a long way to enhance the already cordial relationship between Ghana and the Netherlands and commended the CWA for its contribution towards the success of the project and urged it to encourage other groups to access the project to improve upon their living conditions.

Nana Ato Arthur, Deputy Central Regional Minister in a speech read for him, said the project complemented government's policy of poverty alleviation, and that such projects were mostly needed in the rural communities.

He said the government was much interested in such micro finance projects, which assisted women to generate some income and was hopeful that, the proceeds from the mills would replicate similar projects in other communities.

He suggested that the foundation should consider assisting women groups, who were into cassava processing with the necessary equipment to enhance their work.

Mrs Elizabeth Arthur, president of the association thanked the foundation for its assistance, adding that, it has gone a long way to improve their living conditions.

She said within one-year of the operation of the mill, the association has been able to generate more than 8 million cedis, some of which was being used to take care of the aged in the parish, and that it planed to use part of the money to purchase a piece of land for the St Paul parish at Mankessim.

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