(TheAfricanDream.net) — Wo Ye Bra (which means “menstrual cycle” in Twi, a Ghanaian dialect) is a West African empowerment programme that develops female entrepreneurs. The organization teach females how to make and sell reusable sanitary pads, which according to them reduce female youth absenteeism from schools.
The Wo Ye Bra Program represents a major initiative of its nonprofit, mother organization, Infinity Global Empowerment (IGE). The program considers itself a contributor to the United Nations sustainable livelihood goals, through its dual purpose of training women to start their own businesses and encouraging girls to stay in school.
They accomplish this by “providing all of the resources and training for impoverished women to learn how to sew. This includes providing a free sewing machine, fabric, supplies, patterns and micro-funding, as well as marketing, sales training and finance education,” as stated on the organization’s website.
The organization was founded in Accra, Ghana in 2017 by Dr. Adrienne Booth Johnson, CEO of Infinity Global Connections, LLC, and a retired marketing executive of Coca-Cola company. According to her, her organization has successfully put “over 230 women in business in Ghana, Sierra Leone and other West African countries,” she said in an interview with theafricandream.net from the United States.
“As an American woman of African Descent, I am always grateful and excited to meet my African brothers and sisters here in America. My husband and I have been traveling to the African Continent for over 20 years. We have founded women’s empowerment programs in South Africa, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Our most impactful program is based in Ghana. To us, Ghana feels like home and we experience a tremendous kinship with the people there,” she added.
Dr. Adrienne operates the Wo Ye Bra Program from the United States and has also over the years used it to create warm diasporan welcome to students from Africa, she believes that connecting the African Diaspora with Africans visiting the United States is critical to nurture and support “global awareness and cultural responsiveness to create a passion for changing the world, one village at a time,” she said.
“In the past, I have spoken to Clara Ross Stamps, President of Kentucky State University, regarding the possibility of recruiting students from Ghana to attend her Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Frankfort, Kentucky,” she added.
She has also been creating collaborations with similar programs and institutions in the U.S. to help push her program’s initiative, recognizing the efforts of a particular institution – the Cass Tech High School. The institution according to Dr. Adrienne has the largest student body in Detroit with over 2,400 students, recounting the school’s volunteering.
“The principal of Cass Tech High School, Mrs. Lisa Phillips, and some of her students had previously volunteered to cut fabric to be used for the reusable sanitary pads for our women’s empowerment Wo Ye Bra Program in Ghana,” she said to theafricandream.net.
As part of its positive integration and follow up on benefactors of the organization’s training, Wo Ye Bra Program hosts a form of business reviews annually, that includes training on marketing, sales, customer service and social media.
According to the organisation, trainees are taken through practical means of maintaining the skills they have acquired in their competitive environment; their most recent review from 2021 took a dynamic twist.
“In our 2021 Business Review, we added a medical component where two doctors provided testing for diabetes, blood pressure screening as well as information on breast cancer awareness,” she further said in her interview with theafricandream.net.
All donations to Wo Ye Bra Program and the NGO, Infinity Global Empowerment, are tax deductible, according to Dr. Adrienne.
“We have donated nearly two thousand sanitary pads so girls can remain in school during their menstrual cycle. I can remember we also donated face masks for women in villages to protect themselves during COVID-19, amongst other things…”
She also noted that their tax-deductible donations can help more women and girls in rural villages in West Africa better their lives if they get more support from the public.
Learn more about this organization by visiting their official website at woyebra.org.
Written by Oral Ofori, edited by Arakunrin Lekan