In Canada, your gardens are dormant now, until another spring awakening. But here in Ghana we are planting all the time – and what we’re growing might surprise you! We are growing hope.
Because of support made possible by WUSC and our donors, women and youth in Ghana are learning the skills they need to earn an income. This gives them hope that they can support themselves, no matter what the future holds.
Increased economic opportunities for women and youth is one of the most important development solutions WUSC donors support.
To make our development programs sustainable and scalable, we have cultivated a network of Ghanaian organizations working to support young people and women. Our focus is on job creation, entrepreneurship, and employment opportunities.
This type of development is especially needed here in Ghana, where women’s economic choices are limited by traditional values, and conditions can be unsafe for those belonging to marginalized groups.
The sad truth is when you don’t have any way to support yourself, you don’t have a lot of choices. And the choices you do have often aren’t that great.
That’s why choices are at the root of our work. One partner organization committed to creating opportunities and choices is Social Enterprise Ghana. This organization is a network of social businesses operating in Ghana. They seek to support and develop social enterprise ecosystems through works of policy, research, capacity development, and training.
Executive Director of Social Enterprise Ghana, Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, tells me he believes the social enterprise model is the best way to address the developmental challenges we find here in Ghana and Africa. He said, “I believe the social enterprise model presents a strong and a much more scalable and sustainable model towards addressing Ghana’s economic, social, and environmental challenges in a much more impactful way.”
Edwin recently told me about Beatrice, a refugee mother from Liberia who, with training and support from Social Enterprise Ghana, has started a small-scale mushroom farm. Beatrice told him, “Edwin, now I can start a small business and transform my livelihood. And I can now support my community, my children, and my family.”
We currently have a great project called Green Champions, which promotes green business development and initiatives among vulnerable communities, including refugees and people with disabilities.
WUSC works with our Ghanaian partners by providing additional technical expertise in scaling up projects and programs through business development, new partnership development, and integrating gender equality and women’s economic empowerment into their programming.
Collaboration with WUSC has made it possible for our partners, like Social Enterprise Ghana, to expand their programming to more marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities and underserved refugee communities. Now, people who previously had little hope of supporting themselves and depended on unreliable forms of support, have a means of generating an income.
This type of localized development, led by people and partners that come from local communities and serve those communities, is needed even more than ever. When you support this kind of work, your generosity can become a force multiplier for long term, sustainable empowerment for women and young people in Ghana and around the world.
Women have received a big boost to their income-generating activities thanks to our support of Social Enterprise Ghana. The Green Champions Project has supported one hundred women so far, and twenty women now have a small-scale business that is bringing them new income streams. Twenty may not sound like a lot to you, but I can tell you that for each of these women, it’s life changing.
That’s what your donations accomplish. When women like Beatrice start small businesses, they are not only making profit, but also making an impact in their communities, and showing other women what is possible. Edwin recently said to me, “I’ll tell you, Clara, this wouldn’t have happened without WUSC, we are so grateful for your support!”
This wouldn’t have happened without the support of WUSC donors who believe in our work. This holiday season, we are asking our network to make a special gift to support greater economic opportunities like these for women and youth. Please make your gift today and it will do more than you could possibly imagine.
Clara Nyarkoah Anim
Program Manager, WUSC Ghana