Globally, women and girls are more likely to live in poverty and less likely to be educated, or to have formal employment than men. This is often compounded by a lack of rights to ownership or inheritance. Women in sub Saharan Africa face many rights violations including gender violence, female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, barriers to inheriting and owning property, plus lack of political participation, decision making powers and proper representation at all levels, from community level up to national parliaments.
Through our partners, we work with women, men, girls and boys, local institutions and traditional leadership structures to raise awareness and slowly create a sustainable change in which women’s voices are heard and their rights respected.
Village Savings and Loans
Although Ghana is considered a middle-income country, many rural communities do not have access to financial services. These obstacles to financial independence are detrimental to the development of rural communities and ending the cycles of poverty.
African Initiatives has partnered with the Community Self-Reliance Centre (CSRC) to financially support poor farming communities in Northern Ghana. The one year project- launched in January 2016- has established an alternative to inaccessible bank loans. The Village Savings and Loans (VSL) project encourages a community borrowing network which offers flexible repayments. The project promotes female economic empowerment to improve self-esteem and increase female involvement in community decision making.
HIV and Intervention Programme
This two year project (2016-18) increases knowledge of HIV prevention amongst teachers, children, and their parents in two districts of the Kilimanjaro region of northern Tanzania. Using the support of local governments and health facilities, we provide testing and early access to care and treatment. The project directly reaches 720 children in 12 primary schools, 36 teachers, 1,000 parents and 36 local government leaders. African Initiatives has partnered with the Tanzania Women Research Foundation (TAWREF) to deliver this project.
We are constantly working with our partners to develop new projects to respond to the needs of communities in Tanzania and Ghana. African Initiatives are seeking funding to pursue the following projects:
Accusations of Witchcraft
African Initiatives is seeking financial support for an eighteen month pilot project to reduce allegations of witchcraft, banishment and violence against women in five communities, located in the northern region of Ghana.
It also aims to achieve the empowerment and reintegration of some of the women and their children already banished to one of the witch camps in the area. The project will be implemented by our Ghanaian partner, the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation.
Preventing Early Forced Marriages
Ghana has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rates in the world. 21% of girls in Ghana are married before the age of eighteen, with rates as high as 40-50% in the northern region of the country.
African Initiatives is seeking financial support for a two year project to work with schools, the local community and government to support female education and challenge the cultural tradition of Early Forced Marriage (EFM). The project would focus on five communities in northern Ghana to tackle the exceptionally high child marriage rates.
Watch the video below which shows a dramatization produced by filmmaker Chloe George, in collaboration with our partners the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation.