A total of 22 community members in the Northern Region have received start-up kits to engage in production of facemasks, and liquid soap to support the country’s efforts at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twelve of the beneficiaries received sewing machines, clothes, thread, irons and seed money, whilst the rest received quantities of chemicals, basins, bottles amongst others and seed money to support their operations within the first three months to excel.
They were amongst a total of 108 community members drawn from various districts in the region, who had undergone a series of trainings on production of facemasks and liquid soap, as well as imparted with soft skills such as book-keeping, marketing and customer relations to help them excel in the business.
This formed part of the COVID-19 Intervention and Awareness Outreach (CIAO) project being implemented in some districts in the region by Health, Education, Research and Policy (HERPol) – Africa, a Tamale-based non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with Stratcomm Africa and funded by MasterCard Foundation.
The CIAO project seeks to educate and remind the population about the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to promote the observance and adherence to the safety protocols.
It is also to broaden the scope of the COVID-19 awareness campaign while providing self-employable skills to help improve on the livelihoods of residents in implementing communities.
Dr Osman Dufailu, Executive Director of HERPol-Africa, who handed over the start-up kits to the beneficiaries in Tamale, said the support would help to sustain the campaign for continued adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols to protect the population from the disease.
Dr Dufailu said the CIAO project had been encouraging as evidence suggested that people were aware of the safety protocols and the need for them to adopt them to protect themselves and the larger population.
He told the beneficiaries that “This is an opportunity for you to change your destiny. Sewing is a fashion industry. If you take it seriously, you will become the pioneers of brands in your communities. This will help you to expand even beyond your communities.”
Madam Binta Sulley, a beneficiary from Jana community in the Nanton District, who received a sewing machine amongst others, expressed gratitude to the CIAO project partners for teaching her skills to help her excel in her business in terms of facemasks production.
She said she would use the support to produce facemasks to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as engage in fashion design to make additional income to support her family.
Madam Azara Yahaya, a beneficiary from Nyanshegu community in the Sagnarigu Municipality, also expressed gratitude to the partners for imparting them knowledge on how to do business especially in the area of liquid soap production.
She said the support would help them earn some income while protecting the population against the COVID-19 pandemic.