WO YE BRA in the Ghanaian dialect Twi, refers to the menstrual cycle of women. There are two phases of the program; the skill acquisition phase and the business development phase.
Instead of “giving them fish WO YE BRA taught local Ghanaian women how to fish.” In 2017 Wo Ye Bra Program began training 20 women how to make and sell reusable (washable) sanitary pads. They provided each woman with a free sewing machines, fabric, sewing tools, training by local seamstresses, meals, transportation expenses, and micro-funding. As of January 2020, they have created 100 women entrepreneurs in Ghana and Sierra Leone who are sustaining themselves and their families as a result of their program.
The first phase identifies and selects women, especially those in rural Ghana, who are financially challenged. They receive 3 days of fully-funded intensive training in making and marketing reusable and washable sanitary pads/towels for sale to the women in their communities. The goal is to curb menstrual poverty and shaming that affect most school-age girls who cannot afford sanitary supplies. Research conducted by the WO YE BRA Team in 6 rural community schools shows that some school-age girls do not come to school regularly due to this occurrence.
Most “women” in rural communities cannot afford disposable sanitary pads each month, so the reusable sanitary pads are a perfect economic and convenient aid in providing an alternative to disposable pads at a “minimal cost.”
The second phase provides graduates a method to make sanitary pads and other fabric accessories, including dresses and other clothing items. All graduates are given the WO YE BRA “starter pack” which includes: a New Manual Sewing Machine, Sewing Accessories (tape measure, needles, thread, etc.), fabrics, and startup capital. This also includes training by professional seamstresses, marketing, and sales training.
This is a customized service learning program that consist of the followign elements
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
- Customized virtual volunteer activities
- Shared learning from WoYebra participants who will share their stories of challenge and triumph
- Question/Answer and Panel Discussion with WoYeBra entrepreneurs
- Peer to peer learning
- Participants will gain knowledge of how a social enterprise works
- Students will learn about the successes and challenges of women entrepreneurs in a developing country
- A portion of the program proceeds will go to our non profit partner – WOYEBRA
- Program supports helps pave the way for programming that empowers women economically and socially by giving them a marketable skill to become financially independent, increase their self-esteem and self confidence.
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