USAID, USDA to support DWM, others

9 11 2009

The 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM) and other women and agricultural organisations in the country are to benefit from support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Department of Agriculture, (USDA).

This was revealed when officials of the two organisations paid a courtesy call on former President Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman at their Ridge residence recently.

In an interview after the meeting Mrs. Rawlings said the courtesy call was borne out of a promise by officials of the two organisations to explore opportunities to work with women organisations when they met the former first couple in Washington two years ago.

“At the time we held informal discussions on how the two organisations could support women development in Ghana and mentioned education as a priority.

“During the meeting the two organisations expressed interest in supporting women and children projects. I specifically requested for support in education and my husband emphasised the inroads that have been made by women in several facets of national development,” Nana Konadu said.

President Rawlings reportedly told the visiting delegation that he believed in gender balance and touted the hard work of women over the past 20 years, which has translated into economic and political empowerment.

The delegation led by a Director of USAD expressed their organisations’ readiness to assist with education, especially with the early childhood development centres established by the 31st December Women’s Movement.

Nana Konadu later led the delegation to tour the Chorkor and Nima Early Childhood Development Centres and Primary Schools. They also had the opportunity to observe a training programme for head teachers organised by the DWM.

The Movement has been very active over the past month with several branches within the Weija constituency of Greater Accra being inaugurated by the president of the movement Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings at a ceremony at Mallam junction, Race Course and Gbawe in Accra.

The branch executives drawn from Gbawe, Mallam, Tetegu, Aplaku, Pentecost Prayer camp area, McCarthy Hill and Galelle were sworn into office with a challenge to lead their local branches to ensure the total achievement of the movement’s set objectives which, include the provision of employable skills for women, education for children, poverty reduction and women empowerment.

The inauguration was witnessed by the high profile personalities such as District Chief Executive, Mrs. Ahulu, national General Secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Nicole Ghana’s Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mrs. Kuma Mintah, Ms Hetty Ken, Mr. John Ampah, spokesperson for Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah and Madam Sahadatu Ladi.

In an address Mr. Ampah commended the leadership of the movement for its positive contribution over 20 years, which has improved the lives of women especially those in the rural communities. He said the level of commitment the 31st December Women’s Movement has shown should be recognised by all successive governments.

Mr. Ampah advised them to attend non-formal education classes irrespective of their ages to help them read and write.

In her address the founder and President of the movement Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings expressed her gratitude to members for their dedication and firm stand behind the movement. She said the movement has grown stronger than ever and the membership has significantly increased.

The former First Lady noted that the eight years of harassment, intimidation and vindictiveness the movement suffered from the NPP administration was over and therefore the executives were working hard to roll out a strategic plan to resuscitate its poverty reduction and empowerment programmes for women.

She explained that during the course of the programme members would be helped to have access to loans and also educated on sound saving habits and the purposeful use of their income.

She cautioned women against unnecessary spending on material things and instead invest in their children’s education.

Nana Konadu said, “I want to see every Ghanaian child prosper and rise to any level she or he wants to be.

The DWM President charged parents to pay proper attention to their girl child since some of these girls engage in all forms indecent dressing and negative practices. She tasked the newly elected executives to demonstrate leadership skills with love and humility in order to attract more people since they are there to serve.

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