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Artisan of the Year supports colleagues with goats worth GH?15,000.00

The 2023 Artisan of the Year under the support of the Blessing Baskets Project Ghana, a basket exporting organisation in the Upper East Region, has supported members of her group with female goats to provide them with alternative source of livelihoods.

Madam Atampoka Ayamga, a straw basket weaver with the Bolgatanga-Nyariga-Doone Mothers Club ‘C’ in the Bolgatanga Municipality was adjudged the best straw weaver for 2023 by the Blessing Baskets Project Ghana and its United States of America based partner, ‘Ten by Three’.

For the prize, she was given $250 (GH?3,000.00) as personal reward while $1,250 (GH?15,000.00) was also given to her to undertake community development of which she chose to support her group members with 25 goats to rear to rake in additional income apart from the basket weaving business.

The Artisan of the Year is an innovative initiative being rolled out by the Blessing Baskets Project Ghana and Ten by Three to award straw basket weavers under their supervision who can weave quality and
many straw baskets as well as establish at least three other businesses aside the basket weaving.

The initiative is meant to motivate the weavers to increase production of high-quality baskets that meet international standards and invest their proceeds wisely to improve upon the lives of their households and their community.

Madam Ayamga noted that she chose to buy goats for the members to help have alternative source of livelihoods to help reduce poverty and be able to support their husbands to take care of their homes.

She said the vetiver grass, used to produce the baskets were procured from Southern Ghana and was expensive and appealed for support to have the grass subsidized to help increase production.

Mr Abdulai Asuah, the Executive Director, Blessing Baskets Project Ghana, noted that the awards scheme had been running for three years and each winner was given $250 as personal reward and $1.250 for the winner to undertake community development in the areas of education, health and support to group

Madam Anafo Atanga, the 2021 winner from the Zorkor-Awaa Noyine weavers used her money to buy 18 sheep to support her group members while Madam Adombila Aweligya, the 2022 winner from the Bolgatanga-Nyariga-Donne Mothers Club ‘A’ used her money to construct a pavilion to serve a community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compound at her community.

The Executive Director noted that since the start of the project in 2004, apart from the construction of weaving centres for many women groups in the region to serve as good places of work, many boreholes had also been constructed for several communities.

‘We have built Nyariga-Doone Junior High school, a computer laboratory and furnished it with 20 computers and a projector, we have also supported many brilliant but needy students up to the tertiary level,’ he said.

He said the aim of the project was to take the women out of poverty and therefore had been paying fair trade prices for the baskets and assisting the women to invest their profits into
other productive ventures.

Mr John Akaribo, one of the opinion leaders in the Bolgatanga-Nyariga community, commended the Blessing Baskets Project Ghana and its partners and noted that the basket weaving had helped to transform the lives of the women.

Mr Joseph Ayamga, Assemblyman for the Bolgatanga-Nyariga Electoral Area, believed that the goats given to the women would help add financial strength to their households.

Source: Ghana News Agency