Rural women in Tamale have a difficult life of endless household chores and little time to dedicate to generating an income. They and their families are living below the poverty line, barely surviving. Children’s school resources or family healthcare is out of their reach. Women need to supplement their husband’s earnings in order to afford food and shelter, often with petty trading in small pieces of jewelry, or even food stuff. They often trade for just two or three hours, not enough to make a significant income. With little training and no access to a loan they cannot grow their business. Life is hard and there seems to be no escape.
The YOVI, Youth and Development Voice Initiative offers business training and a small loan to buy materials. They give women new ideas to generate an income that allows them to look after the family at home.
Tzedek’s grant to YOVI will enable 30 women to receive training in how to manage a small business, create savings and even customer service. The women come together for training and form a small co-operative for mutual support. YOVI helps to purchase equipment like shea butter processing machines for communal use by the women’s co-operative and gives additional health training which supports the entire family. At the end of the training each woman receives a loan of 300 Ghanaian Cedi (about £70) to develop her small business, which should allow them to quickly see their daily income double.
So far: all the women have been trained and have received a micro-credit loan, all beneficiaries have set up their own business and are successfully operating it and 50% of the loans have already been paid back into the revolving fund.
The Knock-on Effect
YOVI’s loans are collected from the women as they are able to repay them from their profits. These are put into a revolving fund. So when you fund the initial project you are not only funding women this year, but you are also helping to fund next year and the year after.
A Day in the Life of a Beneficiary
Fatima is 35 years old and has 6 children, of which only 3 are in school. Prior to the start of the project, she generated a small income by burning charcoal. After being selected to benefit from the YOVI program, Fatima attended training sessions and was granted a loan of GHC 200, which she used to purchase large quantities of rice for milling. Now, Fatima has a few customers and is able to make regular loan repayments to pay off her loan. She will now be able to send all her children to school and feels very confident and optimistic about their future.