|Mrs. Rosemond S. Kuma|
The Danish Development Agency (DANIDA) of the Danish Government has allocated 8.7 Million DKK (GH¢4.5 million) to the Ghanaian Developing Communities Association (GDCA) to enable it expand its Empowerment for Life (E4L) programme in the Northern Region of Ghana.
“This funding covers only the whole of 2015”, Programmes Advocacy and Communications Officer at GDCA Rosemond Suraya Kumah, told journalists at a recent media review meeting held at GDCA’s headquarters in Tamale. She added that: “it is a yearly budget for 4 years”.
Mrs. Kumah explained that the support from DANIDA was in view of the fact that GDCA chalked significant successes under the first and second phases of the implementation of the E4L programme which began in January 2010 and ended in December 2014.
“The E4L phase 3 is informed by lessons and experiences of phase 1 and 2 plus ideas from an independent mid-term evaluation results. Phase 3 seeks to empower community structures; the major role of the programme is now facilitation”, she emphasised.
According to Mrs. Kumah, under this new funding package, six more districts aside the initial 15 beneficiary districts would also benefit from the E4L programme which spans between January 2015 and December 2018. “Karaga, Savelugu-Nanton, Kumbungu, Saboba, Mion and East Gonja Districts are the new districts to benefit from E4L”, she stated.
E4L is jointly implemented by the GDCA and the Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL). The budget for the first and second phases of the programme was GH¢5,554,055.28. E4L is aimed at empowering the poor, vulnerable and marginalised groups in the beneficiary districts to have the capacity and ability to improve their quality of life through education, employment, local organisation as well as better access to and management of food and water resources on the basis of a right-based approach.
Initially, the programme targeted a primary group of 66,545 people and a secondary group consisting of 64,815 people. It was grouped into two phases with the first phase covering the period from 1st January 2010 to 31st December 2011 whilst the second phase covered the period from 1st January 2012 to 31st December 2014.
E4L relies on strategies that would focus more on advocacy as compared to service delivery and also focus on tracking all root causes of inequalities and making them known to those who should fulfil those rights.
Following the implementation of E4L in the last five years, a complementary basic education policy was formally signed as a policy of the Ministry of Education and now, government can allocate resources for its implementation. “The programme targeted 9,000 out-of-school children and achieved 9,125 (5,121 Boys and 4,004 Girls) for the literacy classes”, Mrs. Kumah cited.
She also pointed out that, E4L has been able to influence community based organisations (CBOs) in all beneficiary districts to prepare community action plans and presented them to the District Assemblies. “Consequently, community priorities will inform the 3-year strategic plans of the districts. Through the CBOs engagement with MMDAs, a total of 192 communities have gained access to various facilities in health, education, water and sanitation, road network and electricity”, she noted.
Furthermore, youth participation in the work of MMDAs has increased. “They are being invited to sit in MMDA General Assembly meetings and are informed of various development activities in the district. Up to 270 households have now put up toilet facilities in their homes with great awareness on Community-Led Total Sanitation issues in the target districts”, Mrs. Rosemond Kumah mentioned.