Women all over the world are facing various challenges, key among them is economic challenges and how to cope with the increasing economic hikes that is being experienced globally. Those that are most hit are single mothers who have not learnt any trade or have not had any formal education to guarantee them the “pen” jobs or even if they are educated, may be unemployed.
To help women face some of these economic challenges, the Widows and Orphans Movement in collaboration with the KGL Foundation Group of companies have trained nine women groups from the Bolgatanga Municipality, Builsa North and the Talensi District on black soap making as a means to empower them to be self reliant and economically healthy.
In response to the high cost of the raw materials for the soap production which is mostly bought from Accra and Kumasi and which sometimes keep women out of business, the women will be trained on how to use indigenous raw materials like the Ash of the shells of baobab fruit and nim oil from the community to produce the soap.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the training at Pusu-Namoo, the Executive Director of the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), Madam Fati Abigail, said it has identified soap making as a women economic empowerment model to strengthen the livelihood activities of various women groups.
She added that due to hikes in the prices of the raw materials that are used for the production of the soap which are mostly gotten outside the jurisdiction of the women , some of the women usually fall out of Business because of their inability to purchase the raw materials. WOM has therefore identified substitutes which are indigenous to the locality of the women to reduce the highg cost associated with producing the soap.
” For sometime now we have been looking at women economic empowerment especially strengthening the livelihood activities of our women groups and one of the key livelihood activities over the years has been soap making. In the past we’ve trained these women on how to make soap using the normal ingredients that are used from other parts of Ghana.”
“However, we realised that most of them couldn’t produce again because (1) they were struggling to get the raw materials because they were not indigenous to the their locality (2) The raw materials were also expensive. So one of the things we have done is to look at the baobab value chain where we are using the pod of the baobab to produce potash which can be used to substitute for costic soda and shea butter to reduce the cost of production.”
The first batch of trainees who are drawn from nine groups from three districts including Bolgatanga, Talensi and the Builsa North District, will be trained by a trainer and they will then serve as trainers trainer to also train their group members.
Madam Fait Abigail added that the Women will be expected to use the indigenous products to produce soap in large quantities to reduce the high cost of production and produce in large quantities and run their business successfully.
Madam Alisa Rita from the Zamsataba Yong Women group in the Talensi District explained that they have been selected to be equipped with the skills of using local raw materials in the community to produce black soap which will increase their income.
” We are using the back of the baobab fruit which is common in our communities and this will help us save the money that we usually use to buy the materials. After this training, I will carry it back to my group and add it to the activities that we are undertaking so that it will boost our empowerment. “
During the three days programme, the selected women would be introduced to the appropriate procedure of producing black soap using the indigenous raw materials.
As part of the program which is a one year programme targeted at women groups to empower them economically to alleviate poverty, the Wakii women group have already received training and empowerment through the construction of a rice Miller and other accessories which is being used by the group.
By: Simon Agana Blessing/mywordfmonline.com