A four member team led by Miss Ghana of the United States of America (USA), Hilda Frimpong has partnered Beyond Aid, a non-governmental organization aimed at empowering women through Bamboo Craft, as part of their effort at promoting women with strong interest in education, humanitarian issues and the Ghanaian culture.

During “I Am Because We Are” Women’s Summit, held by the partners in Accra recently, Ellen Osei, the Director Miss Ghana USA, disclosed that their association with Beyond Aid forms of their conviction of ensuring the maintenance of their cultural connection as Ghanaians living in the USA.

The occupational therapist also added that, for now their concentration will be to assist in empowering the young women who have shown the willingness to build an entrepreneurial skill in Bamboo Craft to make them self sufficient. They see this as a way of giving back to their home country, while they acquaint themselves with all that the project entails.

Gloria Opare, the president of Miss Ghana USA expatiated on the need for tolerance, trust and mutual respect for one another when working as a group or in a team and urged the partners to endeavour to identify themselves with people who believe in their vision and aspirations to enable them succeed in all times.

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Miss Ghana USA
Miss Ghana USA 2012 – Hilda Frimpong with Jamilla Mohammed, 1st runner up, in a group picture with the participants. Photo: Style Afrique.com

“Beyond Aid, align with our vision and mission of empowering women and to see self growth, but the fascinating thing about them is the use of Bamboo to make products like Bags, Tool kits, Sandals etc,. In the USA, you cannot find the raw materials, you can only find the finished products, which is more of a factory touch, but here everything is done manually, it is so natural and from the scratch.” the president noted.

According to Mrs. Sefakor Fummey a Training Coordinator at Beyond Aid, her outfit which is well grounded in five out the 10 regions (Volta, Eastern, Ashanti, Central, and Greater Accra Regions) in Ghana is very much enthused about the above partnership. She was of the hope that the move will go a long way to help sustain, maintain and expand the project throughout the country and subsequently in the Diaspora as well.

“In all the various communities in the above regions where we operate, we have introduced (cultivated) new Bamboo Species called ‘Bambusa Vagaris’. This has been one of our sources of raw materials which offer us the requisite specification that facilitate our Bamboo Craft project” she divulged.

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Interacting with the Miss USA Ghana Team, Mrs. Sefakor talks about the harvesting of the raw Bamboo, going through the curing process of soaking it over some time to get rid of its sugar and starchy content to make the material more flexible to work with, splitting it into the required segments, treating it to ensure its durability, drying and sorting out the final materials as some of the practical procedures they go through before its final use.

After the interaction, some raw materials and tools were made available to the new partners, who tried their hands at weaving and having a real practical experience of how the whole process unfolds. They expressed great satisfaction at the exercise and wished to acquire some more experience.

Participants were also taken through some Craft Techniques, how to work as a team, Aerobics, Self Maintenance and Physical Health, Modeling Poses among others. Among members of the USA Ghana contingent who were very instrumental in the whole project were Hilda Frimpong, the Miss Ghana USA 2012 as well as Jamilla Muhammed – Miss Ghana USA 2012, 1st Runner Up.