Lena Marshall Foundation Partners with a Women's Group in Ghana
We at the Foundation have been very active over the last few weeks. Very excited to be working with the women's group called Tebitaaba from Ghana.
Mrs Gertrude Grumah-Gomnah (Founder)
TEBITAABA Women’s Development
TEBITAABA which directly translates as “support one another” is a Christian based women’s group in Nalerigu in the North East region of Ghana. Its membership however, is open to women with different faith backgrounds either than Christianity. The region is one of under development and very high illiteracy especially among the female population. The main source of livelihood for the people is subsistence farming. Thus, a pointer to high poverty rates and low quality of life. This is rightly the case of women of Nalerigu and the region in general. The region, in the area of education is also poorly rated as there is increasing numbers of school drop outs and cases of early marriages among the girls. It important to mention that the North East region is one of the newly created regions in carved out of a then Northern region in 2019. As such, is not without fundamental developmental challenges. The group was founded to achieve one major goal-to bring deprived and economically struggling women together to support themselves to each achieve financial empowerment through applying biblical principles which will lead to their economic independence to impact community development.
TEBITAABA, started in Nalerigu about two years ago in 2018 with three women. These three women as individuals processed sheanuts they picked from their husbands’ farms and wild into shea butter as is the norm in the northern part of Ghana. They then carried the shea butter on their heads from house to house for people to buy just for domestic (cooking). Their challenges however were that, they recorded very low sales as almost every household produced their own butter.
Additionally, they had only a season’s opportunity to engage in this trade once in a year because the shea tree like many crops fruits for a particular period in a year (mid-April-June) and their low income status meant that they could not buy and store extra nuts to work with once the season ended. This situation left them impoverished and very much economically dependent on their husbands and other family members for their basic needs and those of their children.
The founders of TEBITAABA, Gertrude and Grace who are among the few privileged women to have received formal education and natives of Nalerigu out of benevolence and a passion for women empowerment decided to provide some support to improve their plight. Their support was in two fold; first, they gave a little financial support each of the three women to enable them purchase and store a little more nuts.
Secondly, they provided readily available market for the butter produced. In this regard, they bought the butter from them and also contacted buyers from other parts of the country to buy their products. After about six months of doing business, each of them reported they were happy with their proceeds and added that they were able meet their own needs and those of their children without haven to depend on husbands or family.
Gertrude and Grace felt terrific about the impact their widow’s might had achieved and so went on to bring all three women together under the name TEBITAABA Women’s Development (support one another) in 2018. Since then, the group has significantly grown in membership with about thirty women of different faith and marginalised backgrounds including widows, single mothers, and school dropout girls. The production quantities of the organic shea butter has increased significantly meaning more money for the women. As a result, financial literacy has been introduced as part of the group’s activities to build the financial management capacity of the women.
In the second quarter of 2020, TEBITAABA got in contact with the Lena Marshall Foundation, United Kingdom, which also works for the course of women and girls’ empowerment across the globe and are exploring opportunities to accessing the international market for the organic shea butter produced by TEBITAABA women.
TEBITAABA Women’s Development is looking forward to in the very near future providing other skills training in the areas of soap and pomade making using shea butter by way of value addition to the shea butter. It is also working on a “back to school” project targeted at dropout of school girls and girls in early marriages (teenagers) who want to go back to school.
TEBITAABA is optimistic that, an eventual partnership with Lena Marshall foundation and other organisations working for women and girls to have dignified lives will go a long way impact positively women of TEBITAABA, their families, communities and the region as a whole.
HOW CAN YOU EMPOWER TEBITAABA
This is a golden opportunity to set up a successful business while serving Africa.
Selling African products high in demand in the West may be your answer.
Shea Butter Industries
Personal Care & Cosmetics
Food & Beverage
Not only does it require little financial investment to start, but it offers the prestige of working with clients from all over the world.
All you need is the desire and determination to make it work. You don’t need previous experience in the field, but you should have a good head for organizing.
Once you get the business underway, you will be supporting Africa’s development in real terms.
TEBITAABA wants an opportunity to sell their products to an international market.
Read more on the Shea Butter Industry Insights.
It's been a pleasure sharing Tebitaaba's story with you.
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Join us in EMPOWERING OUR SISTERS from Nalerigu, the North East region of Ghana.
TEBITAABA directly translates as “support one another”
Stay Strong, Healthy and Positive