The developers of the Fund have decades of active involvement supporting development projects and efforts in rural Ghana as well as facilitating development projects and awareness in North America and globally.
The Fund will formalize and expand the development work that was organized and funded through Waca Development Partners, Baraka Supplies and Baraka Shea Butter and their network of customers, friends and family
Baraka is a mission driven, private venture that works with women in rural Ghanaian villages helping to give them the dignity of income by bringing the fruits of their work to North American and global markets.
Baraka Supplies/Baraka Shea Butter
Baraka was created in 2011 to operate the fledgling shea butter and Bolga basket importing and marketing business that Wayne Dunn and his wife Gifty Serbeh-Dunn had been operating informally since about 2003.
From the onset the venture sought to operate with the highest ethical and social responsibility standards, not by charity but by integrating development impact directly into its core business strategy.
Baraka’s customers and their customers have embraced this model, and this has enabled the support of numerous social and development projects in the region.
Wayne and Gifty started providing support to small development initiatives, education, environment, etc in northern Ghana in the early 2000s.
At this time they thought to purchase a small amount of Shea Butter to try and resell in the North American market as a way to put more cash in the hands of local families.
The women in the communities they worked with stressed that they wanted the dignity of income, not just charity because it was more honourable for them and more sustainable.
This continued with the purchases, and ad-hoc support for development growing slowly over the next 8 years until a decision was made to create a mission driven, operating venture that would procure goods from rural Ghana for sale in the North American and global markets. Hence the birth of Baraka!
The sales of Shea Butter and Bolga Baskets were rolled into Baraka at this time and it has been operating independently ever since.
With encouragement from customers and the women who made their products, Baraka became more of a business focus for Wayne about 2017. The response from the women, Baraka’s customers and others was overwhelmingly positive and Wayne gradually shifted his business focus to Baraka.
Baraka is still operated and managed on a day-to-day basis by Wayne Dunn with support and assistance from Gifty and other team members in Canada and Ghana.
Baraka Shea Butter will contribute 100% of fund overhead and management, enabling all funds raised to be directly applied to projects.
Waca Development Partners
Waca Development Partners was incorporated in 2012 to serve as a vehicle to develop, support and initiate development projects, working with women, families, and communities in Ghana’s three northern regions
As part of this mandate Waca coordinates the production and processing of Shea Butter for export to North America, the manufacture and procurement of Bolga Baskets, the development and procurement of other products (e.g., Cocoa Butter, Coconut and Palm Oils, Kombo Butter, Baobab Powder, etc.)
Waca also coordinates Organic and Fair Trade certification
Waca has worked with Baraka previously, collaborating on several development projects such as:
- Provision of school supplies
- Provision of school uniforms
- Provision of sports equipment
- Support to micro-credit groups
- Education scholarships and bursaries
- Renovation of Chief’s Palace
- Income generation training and support for local women and families
- Development of Women’s Enterprise Centres
- Tree planting
Waca Development Partners is based in Wa, in Ghana’s Upper West Region and is managed on a day to day basis by Mr. Alfred Akolgo.
Alfred has worked with Waca and Baraka for three years, starting as a purchasing agent for Bolga Baskets and progressing through various projects and activities and is now the General Manager overseeing all of Waca’s activities. He is married with one child and holds a Masters in Development from the University for Development Studies.