By Mandlakazi Nqeketo
Lopou Manet, 37, of African nationality (Guinean) launched a project for change on January 1, 2014 to empower 2000 women to improve their capacities and their income through endangered businesses and gender inclusive value chains.
The objective of the project is to promote and protect women’s rights and women’s socio-economic empowerment. “The need to provide our country with a quality contribution in addition to the efforts made by the Guinean Government to improve the living conditions of girls and women in general, and that of the most vulnerable in particular convinced me to launch this project,” said Manet.
The project is supported by internal resources, such as membership fees, technical support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the community company Laguine Dakhamoui, which specializes in dyeing tradition in textiles, leather goods, agriculture and agro-industry.
“This project will change the living conditions of thousands of women”, commented Manet.
Manet and a global businesswoman and founder of the Be able foundation, Nolubabalo Mcinga, plan to create a microfinance bank to finance the start-up of businesses for women, people in precarious situations (in rural areas) and / people with disabilities (in particular those with reduced mobility), after their training in the trade of dyeing, commerce and business management.
The project generally faces lack of financial and technical support. The project was affected by the Covid 19 pandemic both in terms of economic and human resources, hence the failure to achieve the objectives of the 2019-2022 action plan.
Operationally, a decline in productivity due to changes in the implementation of programs, suspension of field activities and layoffs of employees due to travel restrictions. ‘The other part of the staff had to adopt working from home as an alternative to the usual physical work in the office and in the field, despite the lack of space to work and the technological gaps,’ said Lopou.
Lopou added that it was therefore necessary to put in place other mechanisms that would make it possible to reach the targets (generally living in peri-urban and rural areas), by means of transport, communication and appropriate sanitary equipment, in order to reach the sites where young girls and women live (in vulnerable areas), in order to inform them and make them aware of the actions to take to protect themselves from Covid-19.
Unfortunately, the project lacked funding.