Ghana is rich in natural resources and has one of the strongest emerging economies in Africa. The capital city, Accra, is one of the wealthiest and modern cities on the continent, and is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Although the country’s GDP continues to rise with oil production, gold mining and other industries, the majority of this wealth is not distributed among the population due to high corruption. As a result, less than half of all women have received secondary education and almost a third of the population is living on less than 80 pence a day. Most of Ghana’s poor live in rural areas without basic services such as health care and clean water. Small-scale farmers, who are affected most by rural poverty in Ghana, depend on outdated farming tools and lack access to improved seeds and fertilisers to increase crop yields.
Our Work in Ghana
The Hunger Project has been working in Ghana since 1995 and is empowering 250,000 partners in 49 epicentre communities to end their own hunger and poverty. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicentre Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with partners to successfully access the basic services needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and lead lives of self-reliance.
The Epicentre Strategy
In Africa, The Hunger Project works to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicentre Strategy. An epicentre is a dynamic center of community mobilization and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Through the Epicentre Strategy, 15,000-25,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages, giving villages more clout with local government than a single village is likely to have, while also increasing a community’s ability to collectively utilise resources. Over an eight-year period, an epicentre addresses hunger and poverty and moves along a path toward sustainable self-reliance, at which point it is able to fund its own activities and no longer requires financial investment from The Hunger Project.
There are 49 epicentre communities in Ghana, reaching approximately 545 villages and 338,061 people. Through integrated approach to rural development, The Hunger Project is working with partners to successfully access the basic services needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and lead lives of self-reliance.
The Hunger Project in Ghana has pioneered the Women’s Empowerment Programme (WEP), which empowers women to become strong leaders in their households and communities. The WEP is a series of workshops that focus on legal, civic and reproductive health rights as well as leadership skills for selected women. The trained women, also known as “animators,” then carry out community-based educational activities using drama, mini-lectures and discussions. These animators are also trained to provide counselling and distribute non-prescriptive contraceptives.
Through its Microfinance Programme in the first half of 2012, The Hunger Project disbursed loans totalling £190,030. Partners in Ghana deposited £87,458 in savings during the year. Of the Epicentres that are operating in Ghana, three now have government-recognised Rural Banks.
Meet Samuel Afrane our Country Director in Ghana, learn more about the key initiatives that are empowering people to end their own hunger or take action now and get involved.