Actress and Chief Executive Officer of Smartty’s Productions ‘Selassie Ibrahim’, on Monday 27th May 2019, led a team of actors under the umbrella of a non – governmental organization called ‘Jabneel Impact’, to initiate the ‘Hope for Future’ programme at Dzolopkuita in Ho in the Volta Region. The programme seeks to address the poor living conditions of orphans and widows by making available resources to assist in developing the socio – economic capacities of the participants.  Items such as sewing machines, towels, hair rollers and so on, were presented to selected orphans who were also commissioned into various apprenticeship modules including the disbursement of ‘business support funds’ to selected widows in the area. The ‘Hope for Future’ programme is part of a series of empowerment programmes being organized concurrently in 3 regions in Ghana.

The Executive Director of ‘Jabneel Impact’, Selassie Ibrahim, said that it was their main objective to improve the standard of living of the orphans and widows in the society and this was her passion and also a God – given task. She expressed her joy in seeing the initiative being implemented and said it gave her a sense of fulfilment. “I am delighted today because the rolling out of the ‘Hope for Future’ ; programme serves as a fulfilment of a command from the most high God who directed me to sooth the pain of the under privileged. I will therefore not fail to be part of an occasion like this which seeks to bring relief to the vulnerable segment in our society. I am, therefore, happy that today, this call has become a reality. Today, 31 widows and 15 orphans gathered here from ‘Ho West’ and Adaklu districts will be receiving support, and the trainees will be graduated in 24 months”, she said.

The veteran actress added that assisting the less privileged has been a habit of hers for a while but now decided to formalize her operations as part of her calling. “I have been looking after people, paid hospital bills, made several personal donations to the needy, enrolled people on to the National Health Insurance Scheme, adopted families and taken care of them amongst others. But, in obedience to the call, I decided to formalize these activities hence ‘Jabneel Impact”, she added.

In explaining the mode of selection of the beneficiaries of the ‘Hope for Future’ programme, the Coordinator of the ‘Hope for Future’ programme Togbe Demadetadza 1, said that the selection was based on applicants who fulfilled the criteria of the programme. “We administered questionnaires to enable us do a selection of the potential beneficiaries. All these was done to ensure that we don’t just pick anybody into the programme but deserving ones. We wanted people to benefit from the programme based on their merits and so, those that are gathered here today are here because they qualified based on the criteria ‘Jabneel Impact’ set for the applicants”, he explained.

The District Chief Executive of Ho West, Hon. Ernest Apau lauded the efforts of Selassie Ibrahim and her team and said it was a good gesture worthy of emulation. “On behalf of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo – Addo, the Volta Regional Minister and all stakeholders of the area, we are very grateful and promise to keep supporting all these private initiatives, especially from non – governmental organizations, to ensure that we get more support for the entirety of ‘Ho – West’. He further advised the beneficiaries of the programme to take advantage of the opportunity in order to make the best out of it. 

The District Director of Social Welfare for Ho West, Roland Kumfo, also praised the initiative and described it as a new beginning of a better future for the inhabitants of the area. “It is my belief that this project will provide livelihood support and improve the general standards of living for all in this locality. Personally, I see the launch of this project as the beginning of many good things to come to ‘Ho West’and ‘Adaklu’. Therefore, we shall continue to show dedication to this project”, he said.

John Dumelo, Nadia Buari, James Gardiner, Roselyn Ngissah, Vicky Zugah, Kalybos, and Beverly Afaglo were some of the popular faces from the Ghana movie industry who accompanied Selassie Ibrahim as a show of solidarity for the project. They assisted in presenting items like sewing machines, towels, and so on including cash awards to beneficiaries of the programme.

The ‘Hope for Future’ programme is being piloted in 4 districts in 3 regions in Ghana namely ‘Ho West’ and Adaklu districts in the Volta Region, Bole district in the Savannah Region and Tamale Metropolitan in the Northern Region. According to Selassie Ibrahim, in time, about 103 beneficiaries comprising 40 vocational skills trainees and 63 widows will be receiving assistance. Out of the 40 vocational skills trainees, 28 will learn dressmaking, the other 11 will focus on hairdressing and makeup, and one in bakery. ‘Jabneel Impact’ aims to reach a minimum of 1,000 beneficiaries in the next 4 years and spread across the 16 regions of Ghana.  

By Jerry Wonder

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