On this week’s episode of MTN Heroes of Change 2019, the MTN Foundation highlights the works of Mawusi Awity, the Executive Director of the National Vocational Institute. Through her Network of Women In Growth (NEWIG GHANA), a self-funded project based in Dansoman, she offers vocational skills training and acquisition of entrepreneurial skills to women who lack such skills.
From the beginning of time, women have always been at a disadvantage in society. But times are changing. With more and more women becoming politically, socially and economically empowered, society is getting more equal with every passing day.
That is why the work of Mawusi Awity, must be acknowledged and thanks to MTN Heroes of Change, she is being highlighted this week. For a decade and a half, Mawusi has been working to economically empower women to not just be independent but support their families.
As the Executive Director of the National Vocational Institute, through her Network of Women In Growth (NEWIG GHANA), a self-funded project based in Dansoman, she offers vocational skills training and acquisition of entrepreneurial skills to women who lack such skills.
“We build the capacity of women to become producers and not just consumers and to bringing value to the raw materials we have in Ghana,” she said, adding that innovation is what the Ghanaian woman should take up.
“My project reaches out to our mothers and even the youth to train them to have something of their own, work towards it and not depend on anybody. When I see the struggles of women, I get motivated to empower them and also make them know there is more to gain in life through vocation and entrepreneurship.
I see men go on with their day to day activities and I realize all women should have the same zeal in waking up every morning to a job they have created for themselves and feeding their families off it. So I get motivated to continue with passion, what can build women and the nation as a whole,” she said.
With 80percent of funding coming from her salary and that of her husband, she goes around the county to impact and empower women, train them and make them acquire skills they can benefit from. After the training, she buys them tools, materials and equipment's to start something on their own.
She has trained over 7,000 women across the country over the past 15 years but to Mawusi, her biggest achievement is the training of over 100 women at the Gambaga Witch camp. “For me, I think that is my major achievement because these women were seen as outcasts and now they feel important and also give back to the community. Anytime I see them, I get so happy and motivated.”
Also, a lot of her trainees have mastered their craft and also training a lot of the youth in their various rural communities. Through her project she has been able to create jobs for a lot of women. “Women who have undergone our training are skilled in various disciplines and are entrepreneurs who also employ people in their field.
Also, many have taken me as their role models so they work and learn to impact women and people in general. Some of my trainees have established their own NGOs, schools and even bigger projects of which they acknowledge me for.”
Her biggest challenge is the lack of support from the state, because when requests come and so many people want to have the training but she does not have the capital to respond to these requests, she gets dejected.
“I feel like I don’t have money of my own, because, when you get it, you have to give it back to people who need it the most. Like these women. They need me, and I can’t pretend or turn my back on them, but there is not enough capital. It is always from me, my husband or my friends. Also a lot of people wants to be trained but the dormitories I have now cannot take more people.”
Impact and future plans
Despite her feelings of disappointment from the lack of support from the state, when most of the beneficiaries call her to appreciate her works, she looks forward to a new day.
Mawusi plans to establish a Vocational Institute that will train women in male dominated vocations like Plumbing, Electricals, Carpentry, etc. She also wants to establish a driving school that will only train female drivers and later help them to gain jobs.
Mawusi was nominated by Selasie Awity, her son. According to Selasie, she grew up seeing her mother taking other people’s problems at heart even more than hers. “She is restless when she sees people who need help and she can’t provide. I still have not seen anybody as selfless as her so I decided to nominate her so MTN can recognise her impact and hard work.
“Madam Mawusi finances almost everything by herself. Sometimes I see how her project is draining her, but she still does not give up. I think if she gets the help she needs, she can empower more women to be entrepreneurs and also execute her future plans well.”
More on Heroes of Change
Commenting on Mawusi’s project, the Corporate Services Executive of MTN Ghana Samuel Koranteng said “we initiated the MTN Heroes of Change to identify and reward individuals and projects such as Mawusi Awity and her passion.”
The other nine nominees are Diana Adjei, David Hagan, Louisa Enyonam Ansah, Rev Fr. Akologo Dominic Alale Azumah, Justin Yelevielbayire, Charles Ofori Antipem, Daniel Owusu Asiamah, Frank Abeku Adams and Benjamin Akinkang. Their projects which range from health, education and economic empowerment have benefited members of their communities over the years.
MTN Heroes of Change Season 5 was launched in November 2018 and submission of entries ended on 25th January 2019. Since the inception of MTN Heroes of Change in July 2013, a total of 40 people have been identified and recognized on MTN Heroes of Change platform for committing their personal resources to improve their communities and brightening lives.
Four out of the total number emerged ultimate winners. They are Dr. Abrokwa-Yenkyera, a plastic surgeon and founder of Grafts Foundation; Madam Paulina Opei, founder of Save our Lives Orphanage; Genevieve Basigha founder of Research Utilization School for the Deaf; and Naomi Esi Amoah of Blessed Home Orphanage.
Heroes of Change Season 5 is airing on:
Friday: 6:00 pm
Saturday: 5:50 pm
Sunday: 5:50 pm
Saturday: 4:50 pm