Eric’s Story – Empowerment and Gender Equality

  • Video

“The key was to enable the women to lead”

You can paper over the cracks, or you can dig down to the underlying roots and fix the foundations, solving the problem and benefitting generations to come.

When I first met Eric in our London offices, I just knew he was extraordinary and I fell in love with his aims and his aspirations. You see, Eric unknowingly lives his life by the words of Albert Schweitzer “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

By the end of our meeting, I knew that I would travel halfway around the world in order to tell his story.

Impact and wider application

The VIVIDA team has shown this production to hundreds of Barclays employees around the world in cities in India, the USA and throughout the UK

We are proud to claim it as a resounding success with the experience having achieved very high levels of engagement and awareness.

This production exemplifies the power of this medium as an educational tool, with applications for training in crisis management across a wide range of authorities and organisations

Eric was born and raised in Ghana and now lives in London where he is training to become a Doctor. His motivation for training wasn’t to satisfy parents or for pay and prominence; it was to go back to Ghana – fully qualified as a doctor – and truly touch the lives of the people he’d met using the power of modern medicine. But there was a problem. On his initial return Eric recognised diseases and conditions that were treatable with the correct medication. The problem, he quickly realised, was that nearly all the families told him they simply couldn’t afford the medicines that they needed! This was a much bigger problem than Eric had ever imagined. Would all of his effort and all of those years of training be wasted?

Eric was not about to accept defeat. So he decided he was going to fix the foundations and began to think what he could do to solve this problem.

I stood with my camera equipment in front of those very same families that had inspired Eric all those years ago. He smiled at me and then his face changed as the seriousness of his challenge kicked in. In order to create a healthy home for this community, medicine alone just wasn’t enough. Eric, his best friend Rob, and a dedicated few from local towns needed to create a sustainable business solution to generate income for the community. Unbelievably it all hinged on shea butter and the women of the village who were producing it. I brought my camera to my eye and pressed record.

For information on this production, we would love you to stay hanging out with us and see some of the Behind The Scenes:

Gender equality and the empowerment of women are extremely important to us. VIVIDA travelled across to Ghana with a skeleton crew to capture both photos and video.

At the time of writing this, The Shea Business School has successfully trained and educated over 800 women and generated. These women are now seen in a new light, regarded as entrepreneurial leaders on the path to trade the results of their hard work. Cultivating shea butter in order to support their community.

Eric has successfully created an environment within which the women can work safely, feel respected and work towards financial independence, for themselves, their families as well as future generations.