The Methodist Diocese of Obuasi in conjunction with the National Small Scale Business (NSSB), through the Rural Enterprise, has created over 1,500 jobs for members of the church.
This job creation agenda which is spearheaded by the Diocesan Lay Council has led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the church and the NSSB to train members in all their 15 identifiable programmes.
Four out of the 15 programmes namely Agric business, Bakery, Soap making which will cover a period of three years apprenticeship are ongoing with at least four hundred church members enrolled.
Speaking to the media during the tour of the programme sites, the Diocesan Lay chairman Brother Nana Ocran Darkwah, said the purpose of the programme among other things seeks create alternative livelihood for residents of Obuasi and its environs who engage in illegal mining otherwise known as ‘galamsey’, to desist from that activity.
The Lay Chairman said the programme will participants into 10 production units after completion to start their own businesses.
Again, the Diocese is to establish factories on a two acre land for these units to operate from.
Nana Ocran Darkwah expressed optimism that this entrepreneurship programme will create over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for residents in the Obuasi Diocese and beyond.
On sources of funding for the project, the Lay Chairman said the stakeholders include the Obuasi Diocese, the Connexion, Rural Enterprise, and the United Methodist Church, Canada.
With the business plan ready, the Lay Chairman thus appealed to individuals and cooperate bodies to come on board for the success of the project.
He said the project is expected to cost GH₵250,000, and should be completed within a three year period starting from 2019.
The Bishop of the Diocese, Right Rev Hayford Adusei- Poku who launched the programme, was full of appreciations to the Lay Chairman for spearheading such a noble idea to alleviate to make life better for church members.
He is of the view that the success of the project is a form of evangelism in itself, and hoped that it is going to benefit many more people.
Currently, there over 1,500 members of the church who have registered to be enrolled onto the programme.
According to the Lay Chairman, the remaining 11 identifiable programmes by the NSSB will follow as soon the selection and placement process is completed.
He assured members that everyone who has registered would be placed.
By: Ernest Kofi Offen|Information Services Department (ISD)