Building peace at home in Ghana’s cocoa communities

Meet Emmanuel Adja and his wife Anku Sitsope from the Dodi Papase community in Ghana’s Kajebi district. Emmanuel is a farm owner, and a recipient of the MASO social and financial education training. Through the MASO programme, he learned how to manage his farm like a business and saved up enough to build a house for his family. The impact of the programme has gone beyond the farm, as Emmanuel improved his public speaking and social skills, and also began taking a more active role at home, helping out with house chores and childcare.  

“Aflatoun trained me to know that the duties in the house are not dependent on either a man or a woman alone. This taught me to help each other at home as husband and wife, and this has brought peace, unity and love to our home.” — Emmanuel

Even though cocoa farming dominates Ghana’s agricultural industry and is the largest source of employment, the country is producing below its full potential. This has been attributed to the farming industry being dominated by an ageing demographic of farmers, and younger people not seeing farming as a sustainable source of income. In response to this, the MASO programme taught young people to see farming as a business with opportunities for economic growth. Additionally, an impact evaluation study of MASO found that there were unintended side-effects of the programme on social norms, intra-household and community relationships, and knowledge transmission and sustainability.  

“It is good that he went to the training. [Without] this, the unity, love, and care wouldn’t be there, because every day in my community, there are fights and quarrels between spouses, but in my home, there are no issues.” — Anku

From 2016 to 2020, the MASO programme was focused on creating employment opportunities for youth (aged 18-25) in Ghana’s cocoa communities. The programme worked to link young people to quality employment or start their own businesses in Ghana’s cocoa sector, and train young farmers and entrepreneurs to expand their cocoa-related business to create further employment opportunities. MASO is part of the Youth Forward initiative, a partnership led by The MasterCard Foundation, Overseas Development Institute, Global Communities, Solidaridad, NCBACLUSA and GOAL. 


Watch Emmanuel’s story and find out how the MASO programme benefited him both financially and personally: 



Read more about the MASO programme and how it contributed to the economic empowerment of young people in Ghana’s cocoa communities here.