Women take over responsibility
In the Anoshe Women Project, in the Chereponi District of Ghana’s northeastern region, we support 450 women by helping them plant cash crops. The head of the project, Nicholas Lambini Kombat, originates himself from Chereponi and is aware of the arduous everyday life of the women in this rural region of Ghana. The organization provides seeds and ploughing services. It guides the women during the whole growing period, offers storage space and organizes the selling of the yield. In this current state of the project, we aim to include the women in the organization and the decision making process of the Anoshe Women Group. In other words, it is time to take them on board and to let them come to power, too. The organization of the project is to be done by a newly founded NGO, the so called Rural Development Angels, short RDA. Representatives of the women’s group from each of the participating villages are in the board of RDA.
During our visit in June, the third meeting with the board of RDA and the management team of the Anoshe Women Group takes place. We intently watch how the representatives will adopt their new role. The meeting takes a surprising course. In a businesslike manner Nicholas makes a report about the work of the Anoshe Women Group. The women are tense, the discussed subjects are difficult to understand. But they are elected. They are supposed to convey information to their home villages. Everyone is very attentive.
At this point we have the impression that the women are not able to integrate the information into their everyday life or into their responsibility. They don’t seem to understand their role as a participative one. But how should they? They are not used to it, the aim still is unknown. We ask them if they know how much a tractor actually costs? The mentioned sum forces their respect. Also, do they know how much the reparations for the tractors have cost? Silence. What would happen, if there were no more reserves to repair the tractors, especially now, as ploughing services have begun.
They are totally attentive now. They count one and one together and immediately realize how fragile the system of income and expenses is. They understand the importance of building reserves, and realize how complex the logistics are and how great their responsibility is. They seem to be able to translate the information into their own reality, now. Nicholas offers a detailed financial statement. It is like an awakening. A lively discussion arouses between the women. No, we do not need a translation. We do not want to stop the flow of words and the commitment of the women. But we can feel that the women understand the importance of their role, now. They seem to be willing to take over responsibility and to work for their project. We are deeply impressed.
The room nearly bursts from the power and the confidence of the women.
They call themselves „Angels“, now.