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Welcome to COMWELF’s website, where you can know how we are contributing to rural economic development through innovative and participatory approaches to sustainable development. The livelihoods of millions of Ghanaians are linked to ecosystem services (cultural, provisioning, regulatory and supporting): lands for food production, housing and transport; forests for wood, bush-meat and honey; wetlands for fisheries, dry season gardening and materials for handicrafts. Current research from Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) shows evidence of ecosystems change; many parts of West Africa severely degraded, with the loss or critical threats to biodiversity. Due to environmental degradation the livelihoods of up to 80% of Ghanaians, who are dependent on one ecosystem or the other, have become vulnerable, since biodiversity, the building block of sustainable livelihoods, have been lost. COMWELF supports sustainable development in rural Ghana by adopting an integrated community based approach. Work is carried by three interlinked agencies: Community Development Services Agency (COMDESA), Community Finance & Resources Mobilisation (COMFIRM), and Communication for Research & Development (COMFORD). Detailed description of these agencies, their programmes and projects can be obtained by clicking on the links on the right side opposite. A major strategy in our interventions focuses on helping poor, rural communities to adapt to climate change in the savanna and transition zones.

These ecosystems are vulnerable to climatic variability and have become severely degraded over the past five decades (1950s to 2000s). Our important contributions to sustainable livelihoods have been COMWELF’s promotion of sustainable agriculture and participatory woodlands and wetlands management for food security and ecosystems conservation over the past two decades. All our work is carried out in partnership with local stakeholders, policy advisors and academic/research partners

Legal Status:  COMWELF is a Ghanaian Community Foundation, registered with the Registrar-General as a Company Limited by Guarantee; and by the Department of Social Welfare as a Voluntary Organisation. Starting from humble beginnings in two villages in Upper East Region in 1992, COMWELF now operates in four regions of Ghana, with plans to extend programmes to the fifth region soon.

Thematic Focus and Strategy: As a community foundation, COMWELF provides innovative financial security to support local development initiatives in four key thematic areas: ecosystem services & rural development; health & wellbeing; governance and rights; and participatory research & communication. We have three key strategies: partnership working; enhancing adaptive capacity for change; micro-financing/micro-insurance for community cooperatives and social enterprises. We specifically target women and young people, empowering them to be agents of social and economic change.

Mission: COMWELF highly values local/traditional knowledge and innovation, which has been acquired through decades of local experimentation and practices. We are committed to working in partnerships with local stakeholders, public and private institutions and international development community to improve the knowledge and capacity of local actors to find practical solutions to their development problems. COMWELF will achieve its mission by enhancing the capability of local cooperatives and social enterprises to acquire business skills and finances to boost rural economic development in our partner communities.

Geographical focus: COMWELF targets the poorest of the poor, identified by Ghana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy to be living in five regions Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Volta Region and parts of Brong Ahafo Regions. These regions consist of forest-savanna mosaic (transition zone) and savanna ecosystems (Sudan, Guinea and Coastal Savannas). We have now opened the Head Office in Kintampo, replacing the Office in conflict-torn Bawku Municipality. A link has been maintained in Bolgatanga for ongoing work in the three northern regions. An office is planned for upper section of Volta Region in the near future.

In many cases, we have implemented cross-border projects with outlier communities in Burkina Faso and Togo. This will continue in order to strengthen social networking and good neighbourliness between the Moshie-Dagbane Tribal Group living across borders in these three countries. This is a crucial step in integrating the peoples of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and has potential to resolve ethnic conflicts over resource rights and claims.

Now, take a tour around our website, read and become part of the important work of COMWELF to inspire, build capacity and resource local communities in adaptive change management in environments subject to climatic variability and disasters. Become a fun, supporter, and/or volunteer. We take comments send by visitors to our website into account in updating the contents. Please, take a minute to send your impressions by filling in the feedback form. The IT Team thanks you for visiting; do come back in a few days’ or a week’s time to check out what is new.

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