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Wa: 35 widows benefit from Mara Foods’ skills training and feast on CEO’s birthday

At least 35 widows in the Wa Municipality have benefitted from a skills acquisition and empowerment training programme organized by the Chief Executive Officer of Mara Foods, Annie Maria Johana Yuorpor as part of activities to mark her birthday celebration.

The women and youth empowerment champion brought together the women from diverse backgrounds and religious orientations to a buffet on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at the premises of the Regular Baptist Church, Wa.

The widows were trained on various soap-making skills including cake soap and liquid soap after being treated to a buffet of sumptuous delicacies and drinks.

Madam Maria Johana Yuorpor who is the CEO of Mara Foods, Mara Closet and Beautiful Smiles Project, said the programme dubbed “Birthday Lunch and Skills Training for Widows” aimed at putting smiles on the faces of the widows and helping them to get out of the shackles of poverty and helplessness occasioned by the loss of their husbands.

She said life is the most precious gift of nature that must be lived to the glory of God, and that on such an auspicious occasion of her birthday, she looks out for the needy to touch their lives with her widow’s mite.

She indicated that one must not have enough to give out in charity to others saying “I have always said it is not that I have money but my every blessing should be shared with others.”

“At church today, the preaching pastor said everyone should give out in charity and as Catholics, we are encouraged to do ‘corporal works of mercy’ and I am glad I have these women [widows] here,” she said.

Amongst the participants, five of them were supported with starter kits to begin small-scale production of the soap and were encouraged to make the maximum out of the support.

Madam Yuorpor urged the women to take the trade seriously in order to improve their economic fortunes to cater to the needs of their children and families and assured the rest of the women of her support when she have the financial muscle.

Known for her advocacy for the formalization of women groups, Madam Yuorpor bemoaned the non-formalized structure of widows in the Wa Municipality and other parts of the Upper West region.

She thus urged the women to put themselves in a formalized or recognized group to stand a chance to gain greater support from benevolent and other quarters, offering to support them to get regularized.

The queen mother of Duori, Duori Pognaa, Pognaa Amamata Mumuni Kungsaansew observed most widows in the society live in distress and helplessness following the demise of their husbands, especially when they have nothing to do or any means to earn income.

She thus commended the efforts of Maria Johana Yuorpor for looking out the way of the widows to feast with them and teach them a skill that would enable them to earn decent livelihoods.

Pognaa Amamata called on other members of the society, especially well-to-do ones to also go out of their way to support the widows and children in our communities to live meaningful lives.

The participants expressed their deep-seated gratitude to the Mara Foods CEO for showing them love and offering such a rare opportunity to learn a hands-on skill to help improve their living conditions.

Madam Christina Yelvielbayire, a beneficiary, said she learnt a new skill which she would put to practice to enhance her financial gains and ultimately the livelihood of her family.

She confessed that she least expected such love and care extended to the widows in the community and that when she heard the news, she was stunned and thanked God for such a rare gesture.

She prayed for God’s blessings all through the life of their benefactor and also called on her colleagues to put the skill learnt to their optimum advantage.

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