Best Practices

Widows Alliance Network (WANE) for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana

Empowering widows through lifelong learning
Name of the Organization: 
Widows Alliance Network (WANE)
Geographical Reach: 
Number of beneficiaries: 
6 000
Project Holder: 
Mrs. Joyce Dongotey-Padi

Widows Alliance Network (WANE) for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana

About the Project

WANE link to webdocThis project is also featured in the WISE Book 'Learning a Living'

What is WANE?

Launched in 2007 by the Mama Zimbi Foundation (MZF), the Widows Alliance Network (WANE) project aims at emancipating Ghanaian widows from the social, cultural and economic deprivation brought about by the prejudices they face because of their status. Through WANE, 300 widow groupings have been formed in Ghana with membership swelling to 6,000 nationwide.

The project was introduced to equip widows in Ghana with the prerequisite employable skills, human rights education, reproductive health and social integration programmes to create a paradigm shift in how Ghana’s communities perceive and treat widows. WANE is implemented through four complementary approaches: training workshops for widows in employable skills such as dressmaking, beekeeping or small-scale farming; an annual national Widows Alliance Conference for advocacy and cohesion; business financing schemes called NNOBOA (literally meaning “group rotational finance aid packages”) to help widows generate income to support their children; and education and rights protection projects.

As a result, widows’ status, economic empowerment and rights have now improved in ten communities and towns throughout Ghana and widows have acted as agents of environmental, sexual and reproductive health progress in their communities.

Future perspectives:

The MZF is endeavouring to set up a national widows vocational skills training centre to increase the rate of providing employable opportunities to widows in Ghana. It is also establishing an Akumaa Children’s Home (ACH) to cater for orphans in the communities where its widow clubs are based. Using its Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) project, girls in Ghana are educated on healthy and responsible living as they transit to adulthood. The project offers opportunities for replicability in other geographical regions and for various subject matters such as the empowerment of physically challenged persons or populations in emergencies.

Featured partners and stakeholders:

Ghana’s Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, Multimedia Broadcasting Limited owning Adom FM radio and Internet broadcasting network and its 15 affiliated radio stations, Women and Juvenile Association, Ghana’s Ministry of Employment and Manpower Development, the Federation of International Women Lawyers.

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