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Regional News of Sunday, 20 February 2005

Source: GNA

NGO disburses 38,000 dollars to women's groups

Tamale, Feb 20, GNA- The African Women's Development Fund (AWDF), a fundraising, grant making and communications initiative NGO, has since October 2001, given grants totalling 1.5 million dollars to 179 women's organizations in 33 African countries.

The NGO has also disbursed 38,000 dollars to 25 women's groups in Ghana out of a component of its grants programme known as the "Small Grants Programme."

Ms. Stella Kofie-Yariga, Senior Programme Manager, Fundraising and Communications of the AWDF announced this when she addressed the closing of a three-day capacity building workshop for women's groups from the Northern Region in Tamale.

The AWDF organized the workshop, which was sponsored by the Swiss Embassy in Ghana.

The forum is aimed at building the capacity of women in leadership positions with skills in management, group dynamics, basic accounting, book keeping, marketing and selling, as well as fund-raising, legal literacy and women's empowerment.

Ms. Kofie-Yariga said it was the objective of the organization to mobilise funds to empower women to engage in economic enterprises to improve the quality of their lives and that of their families. She said: "The vision of the AWDF is for African women to live in a world in which there is social justice, equality and respect for women's rights".

The AWDF, she said, obtained most of its funding from institutional donors, especially from North America, Europe, the private sector and individuals within and outside Africa.

Ms Kofie-Ayariga said out of this funding, her organization provided grants to support non-profit making African women's organizations working for social justice, equity and peace.

Most of the participants at the workshop said since the AWDF started given them grants to undertake small-scale businesses their living standards had improved considerably and expressed their gratitude to the NGO.

They appealed to the organisation to include the physically challenged in the workshops they organize to enable them to update their knowledge and skills.

The AWDF has scheduled similar workshops for women's groups in the Upper East and Upper West Regions at Bolgatanga and Wa between February 17 and 23, this year.

The first two workshops in the series were held in the Greater Accra, Western, Central, Eastern and Volta Regions between August and September last year.