On July 28th, 2021 SFC traveled north to Bolgatanga to meet our baobab oil suppliers, the Widows and Orphans Movement and their social enterprise, Attarah. We met with the Executive Director, Fati Abigail Abdulai and her team to learn more about WOM’s mission and approach.
Fati generously shared with us that the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM) was established as an NGO in 1993 by her mother, Betty Ayagiba. Betty was a widow herself and worked as a nurse in a hospital. During her shifts caring for patients she noticed that many widows and orphans could not afford to pay for their medical bills. Unfortunately, due to the stigma around widows no one wanted to financially or emotionally support these widows and orphans. This left them in desperate situations to manage on their own. Betty aspired to create a women’s rights organization which addressed changing generational attitudes towards widows roles in their communities. She also saw the need to create skills training and economic empowerment opportunities for widows to become self-sufficient, which is the inspiration behind WOM.
Today WOM has over 13,093 members over 6 regions and 154 widows groups they work with. Over 400 widows are directly working in baobab oil processing under Atarrah Ltd.