Leaders Feed Their Communities – 2019 Impact Report – Kukuboso, Ghana

These stories were originally featured in the 2019 Impact Report.

Kasim and Dora are two community members in Kukuboso pushing to ensure that their families and their communities have access to nutritious food.

A leader determined to mobilize his community to feed its children.

Kasim Gyamfi is no stranger to hard work. The 62-year-old farmer and community leader works long days on his five-acre farm planting and tending to cocoa, pineapple, maize, and a variety of vegetables. His income exclusively comes from the work he does on his farm and he uses this income to support his wife and six children.

Kasim serves as the chief’s representative in Kukuboso and he has been instrumental in ensuring the successful implementation of Self-Help programming in the community. When Kasim learned about Self-Help’s School Feeding Program and the Agricultural and Entrepreneur Development Program in 2019, he told Self-Help staff that he would organize community members and get their support for introducing the two programs to Kukuboso.

Kasim partnered with local school officials to organize the entire community and tell community members what would be expected from them if they worked with Self-Help. He was key in establishing the School Feeding Program. He secured the land that is now used to plant the Quality Protein Maize (QPM) for the program and he mobilized community members to clear and prep the land for planting the QPM. When the School Feeding Program encountered challenges, Kasim encouraged the community to donate two bags of QPM to the program so that the program could keep running.

Kasim is such an instrumental leader in Kukuboso that the chief of the community decided to let Kasim manage the community’s programs in 2020. Kasim donated an acre of his own land to support the School Feeding Program and he continues to organize and motivate community members to tend to the school feeding plots and plant QPM.

A mother who has dedicated herself to helping other mothers in the community.

Dora Owusuwaa (pictured on the left handing out eggs) is 41 years old, a mother to eight children, and a source of inspiration to mothers in Self-Help International’s Growing Healthy Food, Growing Healthy Children (GHFGHC) program in Kukuboso.

When GHFGHC started in Kukuboso in 2019, Dora heard about the program through a conversation with a friend and wanted to get involved. During enrollment, Self-Help’s Promoting Good Nutrition (PGN) staff members asked the women to appoint leaders and the women chose Dora. Dora was determined to be involved and to be a leader and accepted the nomination.

Although Dora lived in a home 5 km (more than 3 miles) from Kukuboso, and usually had to walk the 5 km to the GHFGHC meetings on an unpaved road that sometimes flooded during the rainy season, she did not allow the distance to impede her working to promote good nutrition in the community.

Dora was determined to be involved and to be a leader and she proved that the distance from her home to Kukuboso would not be an impediment to her working to promote good nutrition in the community. She participated in all of the integrated agricultural and nutrition education activities run by Self- Help: farming orange-fleshed sweet potato; preparing and roasting the ingredients for the weaning supplement the mothers feed to their children; organizing the women for education and training; and sharing food supplements with the women.

Dora is known among the mothers as Maame Doe, and serves as one of the community lactation coaches, helping mothers who have questions and concerns about breastfeeding. She also helps settle disputes and solve problems that sometimes arise because she commands so much respect in the community. Dora’s leadership and the commitment of dozens of mothers participating in GHFGHC are helping make chronic malnutrition a thing of the past for children of their community.