By Jack Adom

IMG_6725One hundred members of the Obuasi Miners Wives Association were ‘graduated’?on Wednesday?after successfully participating in? a – 3 month course in soap and beards making, grasscutter rearing , interior? and exterior decoration,? communication skills and basic bookkeeping. In Obuasi.

The association, which is affiliated to the Ghana Mineworkers Union, was set up in 2012, to empower its members socially and economically, so that they can work independently to generate job opportunities and sustainable income for themselves. It currently has 800 registered members, most of whom are wives of AngloGold Ashanti employees. Supported by AngloGold Ashanti? and the Ghana Mine? Workers Union, the? association is undoubtedly one of the well-organized? community women groups in the country.

The skills training? was sponsored by Red Nose Foundation, a poverty reduction group in Finland through SASK, the Swedish Trade Union Solidarity group with Euro 70, 000 for two years of which half of that was spent on the current graduates.

IMG_6719In her opening remarks, Mrs. Doris Appiah – Kubi, secretary of the association,? was full of praise for the SASK and Red Nose for the donation, which she said would? enable the association to train more of its members next year. “We certainly thank SASK and Red Nose for their contribution in translating our dreams into reality, and hope we will? continue to collaborate and build on our achievements”.? On challenges facing? AngloGold Ashanti, which have affected their husbands , she said the association would? ?” we understand what is going on in the company, we will continue to pray for the mine to ensure? that strategies that are? been implemented by management work well for the? future viability and profitability? of the operation”. She also said “we have hope that when the mine recovers? our husbands and children will be employed”.

On her part, Marinnan Nyanatakyi, the West Africa representative of SASK, expressed his happiness with the judicious way the miners’ wives? were using the grant to improve their skills and? their lives. Collectively she urged the women to work extra hard with their new skills to improve not only their welfare but the lives of other people in their respective communities.? Ms. Nyanatakyi also advised the association not to rest on its oars but should extend the association to embrace their fellow women in other mining communities, so that together we can free our people from poverty.

Mr Eric Melful, Chairman of the Professional and Managerial? Staff Union, Obuasi branch of AGA ;? who chaired the function, advised the new graduates to produce more quality soap for both internal and external markets, adding that ‘this will enable you to employ people and generate substantial income for yourselves”. He said the big soap manufacturers in the world started their business in their garage in a small way, so they should not be afraid to compete with them. Mr Melful also commended the management of AngloGold Ashanti and the Ghana Mineworkers Union for their contribution to the welfare of the workers and their families? and hope they will continue to improve the wellbeing of women? on and outside the mine at all times.

All the new graduates were given certificate in recognition of their participation.

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