Wednesday, July 5 – Celebrated Ghanaian Reggae/Dancehall Musician, Stonebwoy, known in private life as “Livingstone Etse Satekla”, will be engaging various cocoa farming communities in the Volta Region this Thursday, July 6, 017 together with the MASO Team. Also lined up with this initiative, the 2-time BET Awards Nominee (Stonebwoy) would be giving a brief concert for the people of Akome Gborta, in the Ho West Constituency, where the programme would be held. He touched down from the USA after honouring the 2017 edition of the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in Los Angeles.
MASO, an innovative programme targeting young people in cocoa growing communities is organising a series of activities in the Volta Region from July 6 to7,2017. The activities are to create an opportunity for Stonebwoy- the MASO Brand Ambassador – to interact with participants in the MASO Programme and their communities. MASO focuses on creating employment opportunities for youth aged 18 to 25 in the Ashanti,Brong Ahafo,Western,Central and Volta Regions.
The goal of MASO is to empower the youth to be drivers of change in the cocoa sector by making cocoa farming and businesses in cocoa growing communities, an economic career choice for them. MASO trains and mentors beneficiaries of the programme to become professional cocoa farmers or service providers to support the cocoa industry in their communities.
MASO is part of the Youth Forward Initiative (YFI) which is a partnership between The MasterCard Foundation, Overseas Development Institute, Global Communities, Solidaridad, NCBA-CLUSA and GOAL.The “Youth Forward Initiative” brings together multiple organizations to train and help transition young people into sustainable jobs in the construction and agricultural sectors in Ghana and Uganda.
Since 2016, MASO has implemented two academies, The MASO Agro Academyand Business Academy. The MASO Agro academy trains young people tobecome a profession cocoa farmers . The MASO Buiness Academy , trains young to become professional service providers in the cocoa sector in the communities. The two academies provides enterpreneural , life skills, mentoring and coaching . So far , a total of 4758 number of youth have joined the two MASO academies. Almost 2000 are about graduating either as professional cocoa farmers or service providers in the cocoa sector in tehir communities. An additional 2759 enrolled in the two academies this year.
In 2016,Solidaridad appointed Stonebwoy as its Brand Ambassador MASO. As Brand Ambassador, Stonebwoy is supporting the overall objective of creating career opportunities for youth in the cocoa sector. Stonebwoy is using his influence to promote MASO at the national level aswell as encourage Ghanaian youth to establish careers in the cocoa sector.
A trip has been planned by Solidaridad in collaboration with Stonebwoy to visit select participating communities in the Volta Region from July 6 – 8, 2017.