Thursday, July 09, 2009

S.Sudan: WOTAP in Wau helps women look after their families and set up small businesses

From Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 09 July 2009:
WOTAP Funds Women's Project in Wau
(Wau) – A women’s development group, Women Training and Promotion, WOTAP, based in Wau, Western Bahr El-Ghazal State provides funding to help women look after their families and set up small businesses. They get support from the FAO, the WFP and the state Ministry of Agriculture.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service in Wau on Wednesday, Linda Ferdinand Hussein, the director of WOTAP in Wau, explained how her agency empowers women in the state.

[Linda Ferdinand]: “We have two agricultural projects at the moment. We have a project called the Seeds Business Project. We are working with progressive farmers in six locations. One is in Wau and the other five are outside Wau. We train farmers to produce seeds in that project. 
We also have free seed distribution to the IDPs and the host communities. 
We also have vegetable gardening where we train women on how plant vegetables which are important to the health of their children and from which they also get some income. 
The Ministry of Agriculture sends us advisers who train our project members. We also have goat-restocking program where we give women outside town goats on a revolving basis. 150 women have benefited from this goat-restocking program.”
One of the beneficiaries, Juleta Mario, is in her sixties and lives in Momoi village, five miles from Wau town. Sudan Radio Service visited her in her grass-thatched tukul, where she takes care of her goats.

[Juleta Mario]: “These goats were given to us women who are abandoned by our husbands. My husband left me and bringing up my children was very difficult. So WOTAP gave us these goats to help me in bringing up my children, saying that when the goats deliver more goats they take the ones they gave us and leave us with the ones they delivered. WOTAP gave us these goats in 1994. They delivered twelve more goats. They took their parents and I remained with mine. When I have problems I sell some of them and now I remained with 8 goats. They are still delivering.”

Ferdinand said that members sell their agricultural produce and the group shares the income.

However, she said that one of the challenges her agency faces is that the donors restrict their use of funds and that prevents WOTAP from expanding.

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