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SCA-UEW, German NGO Empower Weavers & Students with Handloom Project

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Published: Tue, 02/20/2024 - 19:30

The School of Creative Arts (SCA) at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), in a bid to foster economic empowerment and skill development, has embarked on an initiative in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) from Germany aimed to revolutionise handloom production.

The project will benefit both students studying fashion and textiles at UEW and professional weavers within the Effutu community.

The project, which began on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, and spans a comprehensive three-week training is divided into three phases. During the training, participants will actively engage in creating, designing, and weaving on a 63-inch handloom, thus equipping themselves with valuable skills for sustainable livelihoods.

The brainchild of Prof. Osuanyi Kweku Essel and Prof. Patrique deGraft Yankson, the project materialised following their networking efforts with Rami, the head of the German NGO.

Prof. Osuanyi Kweku Essel
Prof. Osuanyi Kweku Essel

Prof. Essel underscored the project's potential to not only enrich the academic experience of students but also to uplift the socio-economic status of local weavers. He highlighted the efficiency and marketability of the wider handloom, which offers greater speed and versatility compared to traditional methods.

Looking ahead, Prof. Essel revealed plans to extend the project beyond the initial two-year funding period, with aspirations to establish a cottage industry for proficient weavers. This vision aligns with UEW's commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and fostering local industries, with an eye towards international markets.

With sponsorship from GIZ, the project comprises four modules designed to train and empower a cohort of 50 students and professional weavers. The initial phase involves intensive training by experts, followed by a six-month practice period. Subsequently, trained participants will become instructors for subsequent training modules, ensuring knowledge transfer and sustainability.

Prof. Victor Antwi
Prof. Victor Antwi

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Victor Antwi, formally launched the project on behalf of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stephen Jobson Mitchual, expressing gratitude to the trainers for their dedication. Prof. Antwi accentuated the potential of the initiative to generate employment opportunities and enhance the livelihoods of community members. He pledged the university's commitment to maximising the project's benefits and ensuring its long-term success.

Echoing this sentiment, Registrar Mrs. Wilhelmina Tete-Mensah, Principal of the College for Distance and e-Learning (CODeL) Prof. Frimpong Kaayire Duku, and Dean of SCA Prof. Emmanuel Obed Acquah lauded the collaborative efforts and foresight behind the project. They emphasised its transformative potential, not only for the beneficiaries but also for the broader community, paving the way for sustainable socio-economic development.

As the training progresses and participants hone their skills, anticipation builds for the positive impact this initiative will have on the lives and livelihoods of those involved. With innovation, collaboration, and a shared commitment to excellence, SCA-UEW and its partners are charting a path towards a brighter, more prosperous future for all.

Trainers and trainees at the Council Chamber for the official launch
Trainers and trainees at the Council Chamber for the official launch
A group picture

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