The Honorable minister for Gender Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba, was in the Mfantseman district to monitor the 48thCycle LEAP Payments. Prior to her final stop at the Ndasiman community, she paid a curtesy call on the Central Regional Minister and the Municipal Chief Executive of Mfantseman.
In her speech to beneficiaries gathered at the Ndasiman pay point, the minister explained the essence of investing the LEAP grant into productive businesses; she stated that, social protection programmes should not be considered as handouts but rather economic levelers that provide an opportunity for each beneficiary to thrive.
The desired outcome of the LEAP programme is to graduate every beneficiary out of extreme poverty into a state of self-dependency. In line with, the LEAP Plus initiative based on the framework of productive inclusion has been designed to assist LEAP beneficiaries or caregivers with the innate desire to work and be productive. This assistance is non-monetary but rather a transfer of skills that reflects the capacity of the local economy. This training includes but not limited to; basket weaving, beads making, processing of shea butter etc. She explained that the LEAP plus initiative will effectively become an economic conveyor belt.
The product in this case is the rural entrepreneur who is seizing the opportunity of a lifetime to change his or her own life and while at it, to change the outlook of their families and community as well. Productive inclusion as a policy directive seeks to give beneficiaries the chance to take the agenda of changing lives into their own hands and to create beneficiaries out of their own businesses and opportunities. The ongoing project by Japan Social Development Fund, where selected LEAP beneficiaries are trained in basket weaving and production gives us a sneak peek into the endless opportunities that exist for all our beneficiaries.
Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba further advised all beneficiaries to adopt healthy eating habits and ensure that children within their households are adequately provided for. She urged the beneficiaries to implement the advice of the Health Officer and incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet.
In her closing remarks, the honorable minister stated that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) is committed to safeguarding the life of every vulnerable and marginalized person, but however cautioned that this mandate cannot be achieved without their cooperation.