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Grace Ayaga, Edward Ayaga Buburu, and Dunadawe Ayaga.

By Napoleon ATO KITTOE

No matter which platform a marriage is consummated and irrespective of the cultural nuances, a marriage is bound by the realities of life. Islam permits polygamy, whereas Christianity is adherent to monogamy.

Well, in Navrongo, in the Upper East region of Ghana, a septuagenarian called Edward Ayaga Buburu is a family man with two wives. Pictured to the right in the photograph attachment to this story is his first wife, Dunadawe Ayaga, and on the left is his second wife, Grace Ayaga.

Their situation was not exempt from the pangs of polygamous homes, and these relate to conflict, trust, and financial controls. They had come under one strain or another in their long marital journeys.

Mr Edward Ayaga Buburu had said there were ugly situations, such as quarrels and rigidities relating to gender roles, until something else occurred.

One day, the second wife had the opportunity to attend the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) training, which took place in Kumasi. This was to alter the course of family life, and they found themselves on a different tangent, possibly cloud nine.

Grace Ayaga was taught prudence in financial management towards the fulfilment of her cherished goals. These were predicated on the existing conditions.

She returned from Kumasi to Navrongo to evangelise her new lessons, with the most immediate beneficiaries being her family. The training having cast a new horizon for them, this family had no choice but to close their ranks and tackle the challenges standing in the way of the family’s progress and happiness. From all indications, their greatest hurdle was mistrust. The GALS training changed the mindset of the second wife, who passed it on to her marital rival, Dunadawe Ayaga, and their husband.

Both were receptive to the message, and this has opened fresh page on their lives. They are transparent in dealings among themselves, they do not indulge unplanned expenditures, and there is flexibility in their marital adjustments.

The GALS trainings are basically counseling sessions. It is an offshoot of the Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme, GASIP. Essentially, GASIP seeks to improve livelihoods by channeling support to smallholder and even farmers who operate fairly big-size farms. It however sees the farming not becoming too successful if there is no peace within the households benefitting from agric assistance packages. A conflict-ridden family would certainly lose its cool and fail to tackle farming to the best of their abilities. Hence, counseling goes hand in hand with the supply of farm inputs.

GASIP whose baby is the GALS, is supervised by the ministry of Food and Agriculture and sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.


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