CARE International marks completion of second phase of PROSPER project

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CARE International Ghana, in collaboration with Cargill, has held a graduation ceremony to mark the successful completion and official exit of 96 communities under the PROSPER project in the Western North Region. 

The second phase of the project, which was launched in the Bia West District in the Region in 2020, sought to empower women, strengthen community governance and increase access to financial services as well as enhance financial literacy of cocoa farmers.

It was targeted at 11,700 cocoa farmers from 156 farming communities in six districts in the Western North Region.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency after the graduation and exit ceremony, Mrs Eunice Oduro, Project Manager, said the CARE and Cargill partnership had made significant strides in improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their households since 2008.

She said since 2016, the Western and Western North regions had been beneficiaries of their partnership through the PROSPER project, implemented in 157 communities in eight districts namely; Wiawso, Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai, Akontombra, Bodi, Juaboso, Amenfi Central, Amenfi West and Bia West.

According to her, the initial target was to reach 11,200 cocoa farmers directly and 44,800 indirectly at the end of its implementation period but exceeded by 47 per cent reaching a total of 16,512 directly and 66,048 indirectly.

Mrs Oduro mentioned the formation of Village Savings and Loans, financial literacy education, entrepreneurial skill training, community action plan development and child protection committees, nutrition promotion, and provision of child education support as the notable activities implemented and adopted under the project.

Others were that they built the capacities of community development committees, improved quality educational infrastructure contributing to increased enrolment and retention, and formed group promoter networks at the district and regional levels to support the sustainability of the project activities in the communities.

On some key achievements, she noted that the project had led to an increase in women leadership from 27.1 per cent to 60.5 per cent and improved women access to financial services from 32.8 per cent to 73 per cent.

Mrs Oduro lauded all stakeholders at the Regional, District and community levels for their support in the successful implementation of the project.

She asked the Western North Regional Coordinating Council and the various District Assemblies to continue to take charge, and provide technical support and periodic supervision to ensure sustainability of all the interventions under PROSPER project.

Mr Samuel Apana, Sustainability Operations Manager, Cargill Ghana, indicated that their collaboration between CARE International Ghana had made considerable progress in addressing a myriad of challenges that affected cocoa farmers and communities and by extension the sustainability of the cocoa sector.

He mentioned that in 2022, Cargill funded the construction of six school blocks through CARE International and that five of them were in the Western North Region alone.

He, therefore, reiterated the need for the various District Assemblies to lend their support to those who had graduated to ensure that they thrived for the benefit of their communities.

Madam Davidan Amoabeng Yeboah, Chairperson for Group Promoters, on behalf of the beneficiary farmers, expressed gratitude to the two NGOs for the initiative which, she said had helped not only communities but women, especially to undertake additional livelihood enhancing initiatives to support their families.

By Alex Baah Boadi

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