Project Location: Wa, Ghana
Project Code: CP GWW0322

The Wa site equips parents of sponsored children with skills and resources to create their own economic opportunities and raise their income level. One natural resource in their area is an appealing and profitable business opportunity: shea butter. Chalice has been partnering with the White Fathers and the Diocese of Wa and Lassia Tuolu Parish since 1997. 

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The rate of poverty in their agrarian district is the highest in Ghana, which is attributed to a lack of job opportunities in rural areas. Government development projects are largely centred in urban areas, and so families in communities like Wa subsist on small-scale agriculture. So, the Wa site equips parents of sponsored children with skills and resources to create their own economic opportunities and raise their income level. One natural resource in their area is an appealing and profitable business opportunity: shea butter.

The villages surrounding Wa site have thousands of hectares of wild shea nut trees. The area is one of the world’s largest producers of shea butter, which is used in oils, soaps, cosmetics, skin care products, and as cooking oil. Ghana exports large amounts of raw shea butter every year to the world and the demand is high.

Unfortunately, the women farmers who do the work of collecting the seeds and producing the raw material that is exported in “butter” form have remained in poverty. As individuals, they must negotiate with middlemen for retailers, who have taken advantage of their inexperience and underpaid them. The individuals also must process the nuts by hand, instead of machine, which is a long and labour-intensive job. If the resulting shea butter is poor quality, the parents must sell it to local buyers for low prices.

The Wa site has created a plan to overcome these obstacles and take advantage of a profitable and abundant resource. The goal of this project is to create sustainable livelihood for women in the Wa Site to support the well-being of their families through the production of shea butter. With this project, they will build a processing centre and install the required equipment for extracting shea butter from shea nuts. The butter will be made to top quality standards, which will fetch a competitive price.

The centre will include two sheds, one for boiling and one for kneading nuts. There will be a room for machinery which process nuts into butter, and a platform for drying the nuts. There will also be a borehole well to ensure water access, both for the processing and for washroom facilities. The centre will also be used for meetings, training, and other community gatherings.

The Wa site staff have engaged professionals in the field to train and help the women become informed and confident manufacturers and businesspeople. As a cooperative, they will be able to sell directly to retailers, eliminating the need for middlemen.

The total cost of this project is $94,272.55 CAD, which includes the construction of the kneading shed, boiling shed, machine room, drying platform, toilet, and borehole water well. The site will contribute 63% of the cost of the shea processing machine but requires the balance as part of this total budget.

Your support for the shea butter centre will help 900 families, including 400 families of sponsored children, access sustainable employment, increase their income, and improve the lives of the families.


Budget in Canadian Funds: $94,272.55 CAD

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Please note that any donations that exceed the request will be used to fund other community projects/programs that may arise.

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