The Rebecca Foundation Relief Boxes Challenge has been launched in Accra to help mitigate the economic suffering of the vulnerable groups as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Relief Boxes Challenge, launched by the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo on Thursday, would focus on giving out food, personal hygiene and sanitary items to members of identifiable groups who are adversely affected by the situation.
The identifiable groups include Kayayei, the aged, the destitute and single mothers who live in the poorest communities.
The initiative, which is in partnership with corporate Ghana and other partners, would work towards supporting the most vulnerable women who have difficulties in providing food as well as basic hygiene products for themselves and their families in the light of the current situation.
Giving a background to the initiative at the launch in Accra, Mrs Akufo-Addo, who is also the Executive Director of the Rebecca Foundation, said the COVID-19 global pandemic had brought about significant changes in social and economic interaction and had adversely affected many, particularly women and children.
She said with the current situation where schools have closed and economic activities curbed, socio-economic burdens, especially for the very vulnerable, mostly women, had significantly increased.
"Women tend to be the primary care givers in households. They need to provide extra food and allot extra supervision time for the extra hours children spend at home, as well as in some cases, care for other vulnerable members of their families."
"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 14 days, will spell out great difficulties for women who are employed in the informal sector".
She said the ultimate objective of the initiative, was to provide respite from the social and economic hardship as a result of COVID-19, and to ensure that children, women of childbearing age and the aged, regardless of the current situation would have at least, one healthy meal a day for the next 14 days.
It was again, to ensure that families have access to hygiene products to enable them stay in line with the WHO recommended standards for reducing infection of the virus.
Mrs Akufo-Addo announced the Rebecca Foundation's very first partnership with Orca Décor Ltd under the Relief Boxes Challenge, saying, the Company provided the first tranche of 5,000 boxes of food and essential hygiene products to her Foundation for onward distribution to the needy families in Accra.
Among the items contained in each box are Chocolate drinks, milk, sugar, biscuits, Gari, KokoPlus, Rice, oil, canned tomatoes, canned meat and fish, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and sanitary pads.
The First Lady said the first relief items donated by Orca Décor Ltd. presented the platform for other corporate organisations and individuals to follow suit, by supporting The Rebecca Foundation with equal or more boxes of relief items to be supplied to many needy and vulnerable families.
She commended other corporate institutions and bodies who have already made donations towards alleviating the hardships that have arisen because of the health menace stating that, "the current COVID-19 situation should guide us to be each other's keeper in ensuring that we halt or slow down the process of spreading the infection".
Beneficiaries of the first 5000 boxes of relief items were Kayayei at the CMB, Tema Station, Tudu, Arts Centre, Agbogbloshie, Darkuman, Malata Market, Madina, Dome and Nima markets
Some elderly people, widows and single mothers in poor communities in Accra Central, Mamprobi, Chorkor, Santana Market, Kumasi, Osu, Bortianor, Ayigbe Town, Osu, Avenor, Teshie, Nungua and Nima have also benefited.