The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has launched an initiative for Corporate institutions, to provide food and other essentials to the less privileged during the lockdown.

The Initiative, referred to as the Rebecca Foundation Relief Boxes Challenge will focus on identifiable groups such as Kayayei, the aged, the destitute and single mothers who live in the poorest communities, and can hardly feed themselves during the two-week lockdown.

Speaking at the launch, Mrs Akufo-Addo, said the closure of schools and the halt in economic activities, have increased the Socio-Economic burden on the vulnerable, particularly women.

She urged corporate Ghana to join the cause to bring relief to them.

Giving a background to the initiative, the First Lady said the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown of parts of the country has brought significant changes in the way interactions take place and are carried out, a situation which has adversely affected women in the informal sector.

This is because women are the primary caregivers in households and need to provide extra food, allot extra supervision time for the extra hours children are at home, as well as care for other vulnerable family members in some cases.

Additionally, more women than men who live in the lock-down zone of Accra and Kumasi are engaged in the informal sector, earning their wages on a day to day basis in many cases.

Hence the current shutdown and complete closure of economic activities for the next fourteen (14) days, will spell out great difficulties for women who are employed in the informal sector”.

She said the ultimate objective of the initiative is to provide some respite from the social and economic hardship consequent from COVID-19 firstly, to ensure that children, women of childbearing age and the aged, regardless of the current situation, have at the very minimum, one healthy meal a day for the next fourteen (14) days and secondly to ensure also that families have access to hygiene products that enable them to stay in line with the WHO recommended standards for reducing infection from COVID-19.

Mrs Akufo-Addo said the ultimate objective of the initiative is to provide some respite for such women and their families.

ORCA DECO LTD took the first challenge by providing five thousand boxes of food and essential hygiene products.

Managing Partner of ORCA DECO LTD, Rayan Sharara said the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is to give back to society.

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Items including drinks, milk, sugar, biscuits, Gari, Rice, oil, canned tomatoes, hand sanitizers and sanitary pads will be distributed to kayayei, the aged, widows and single mothers in poor communities like Teshie, Aygbe Town, Tema Station, Tudu, Arts Centre, Agbogbloshie, Darkuman, Malata Market, Madina, Dome and Nima market, Bortianor, Osu, Accra Central, Avenor, Nima and Kumasi, Accra Central, Mamprobi, Chorkor, Santana Market, Kumasi and Osu, Kumasi, Nungua and Santana Market.

The first set of items were distributed to hundreds of head porters popularly called ‘Kayayei’ at the Tema Station in Accra.

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STORY BY: DOREEN AMPOFO

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