Business News of Friday, 18 December 2015
The Saboba Women’s group of the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) has taken a leap by taking advantage of a USAID-RING support to liberate themselves from poverty in the area.
The VSLA programme under the USAID Ghana-RING project started operation in Saboba in June 2014 with a total mobilization of about GHC56,081.00 out of which GHC21,942.00 was given as loans, while the rest was used to purchase grains for banking for 23 VSLA in the Saboba district with a membership of 590 from 13 communities.
The groups had, however, increased to 53 with 1,432 membership from 30 communities who had mobilized up to GHC122,632.55 from the loan given to them and made personal profits, which enabled them to take care of their families including paying of school fees.
The women groups had also undergone training in leadership, constitution and bylaws, savings procedures, financial literacy and numeracy, and group dynamics, which helped the women to make profits in their businesses.
Speaking to stakeholders and donors at Saboba in the Saboba District on Thursday during the first Annual General Meeting of the VSLA, some of the beneficiary women said poverty had been over exaggerated because those who claimed to be poor lacked the technical support.
The AGM created the platform for VSLA members to share with group members’ success stories, experiences and challenges as beneficiaries of the VSLA programme and to find ways of addressing challenges.
They said poverty especially in the north should not be over exaggerated and that prior to USAID-RING support to the women groups, their businesses were not improving partly because they did not have the culture of saving and business strategy, which ruined their efforts.
They said due to the support of USAID RING support, they were able to take care of their children while their husbands were also supportive in ensuring that their businesses grew, which was a contributory factor in curbing conflicts in the area.
Mr Adolf Ali, Saboba District Chief Executive (DCE) in a speech read on his behalf at the AGM expressed hope that the USAID-RING support to the women would help solve poverty in the area and improve the living conditions of the people.
He described the meeting as historic for the Assembly and the USAID-Ghana RING project because the women had achieved a lot during the first time implementation of the VSLA in Saboba and expressed the hope that lives would be transformed.
He said the USAID-RING intervention was in line with government’s efforts in fighting poverty in the country and appealed to other donor partners to invest in the District as means of helping transform lives.
The five-year USAID/Ghana Resiliency in Northern Ghana (RING) programme is an integrated project and partnership effort under USAID’s Feed the Future initiative designed to contribute to the Government of Ghana’s efforts to sustainably reduce poverty and improve the nutritional status of vulnerable populations.