Tweredua (B/R), Sept. 23, GNA – Mars Wrigley, a chocolate producing company’s fully-funded five-year ‘Women for Change’ (W4C) project is making significant gains, financially empowering, particularly women, in cocoa growing communities in seven regions in the country.
Care International, a non-governmental organisation, is implementing the W4C project in the Bono, Ahafo, Western, Western North, Central, Eastern and Ashanti Regions which aimed at strengthening financial literacy, household savings and women income generating activities in those regions.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) gathered from CARE that the project implementation, spanning October 2020 to September 2025, would benefit 27,000 people with about 80 per cent of them being women.
It has targeted beneficiaries at Tuoton Cocoa operational areas, a company which buys and supplies Mars with cocoa for chocolate production.
Between October 2020 and December 2022, the project has directly reached 316 communities, benefiting 12,805 cocoa farmers, comprising 81 per cent females and 19 per cent males.
Additionally, it formed 540 Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) with the associations saving an amount of US$1,401,819.33 dollars and disbursing US$1,009,915.06 dollars within the period.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony held at Tweredua, a farming community, near Antwikrom in the Sunyani Municipality, Mrs. Berlinda Addison-Ansah, the Cocoa Sustainability Officer, Mars Wrigley, said the implementation sought to improve gender equity within households and communities and to achieve tangible benefits like increased savings, skill enhancement and income growth.
CARE organised the graduation which saw the passing out of 213 VSLAs established in the Bono and Ahafo Regions, as part of the W4C project implementation in the two regions with some of the beneficiaries engaged in soap and liquid soap production, snail rearing, mushroom production, pastries’ making and other economic activities.
They successfully went through intensive training on income generating activities, healthy family nutrition and financial literacy education.
Mrs. Addisson-Ansah explained the implementation of the W4C model, which originated in Côte d’Ivoire focused on four key areas – financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, gender equity and healthy families.
“Mars believes empowering women and girls in cocoa supply chains remains critical to transforming the cocoa supply chain as it catalyses progress towards increasing incomes, protecting human rights and preserving forests,” she stated.
Some of the beneficiaries lauded the implementation of the project and expressed appreciation to Mars and CARE, saying the project had given them insight and widened their scope of doing business.
Certificates were presented to the VSLAs.