Over 12,000 rural and low-income women farmers receive £ 3.6million grant
Over twelve thousand low-income rural women farmers and people with disabilities have benefited from an empowerment program.
Dubbed “The Roots of Change”, the three-year project was implemented by Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans in Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Opportunity International UK funded the project at a cost of £ 3.6 million over three years in both countries.
The support, including training in good agricultural practices, helped increase the yields and incomes of women beneficiaries.
Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans program manager Joyce Owusu-Dabo explains that rural women, mostly farmers, have been supported to access financial services.
“… We have come up with innovative activities with various services to ensure that they (women) are fully empowered to use the resources we give them. “
The “Roots of Change” program used innovations in training, technology and gender awareness to increase financial inclusion and create livelihoods for women in Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A gender awareness training program for nearly 2,300 male community leaders and spouses, as well as the women themselves, has improved mutual understanding and enabled a mental shift towards and within women rural.
Ms. Owusu-Dabo said, “We are also looking at a section of the training that looked at gender, both for their spouses and community leaders so that they all move to a level where we call gender awareness or gender awareness. gender proactivity.
“… So that together, as a family unit, we can help women to come out of themselves and use their skills and talents,” she added.
The project also supported women with disabilities who were physically ready to start something on their own.
Ms. Owusu-Dabo expressed confidence in the ability of participants with disabilities: “We believe that when a person is disabled, they always have this ability to do things on their own. we seek them to be independent, resilient and able to contribute to life. The program focuses on them, trains them and gives them some support to be able to invest in an activity in order to be able to generate income for themselves and their families ”.
Speaking at a client engagement conference in WA, Lydia Baffour-Awuah, Senior Director of Programs at Opportunity International, UK, said the project outcome suggests the investment is worth it.
“… There has been a smart investment, the good news is that as women’s businesses start to improve they are also starting to employ people in their communities.
Ms. Baffour-Awuah revealed that in the last interim assessment last year, more than 40,000 people were employed from planting to harvest.
For her, this means employment in these beneficiary communities.
“… There is always a multiplier effect because successful farms buy raw materials and more inputs, which also creates jobs in communities. It’s a fantastic program and I think it is worth the 3.6 million pounds invested ”.
In August 2021, project targets were repeatedly exceeded – over 15,000 women have been trained and over 12,000 rural women have opened savings accounts.
An estimated 40,000 additional jobs have been created as a result of the UK government sponsored program.
This immense success can be largely attributed to the program’s implementing partners who have adapted their strategies to overcome the challenges posed by the global pandemic.
Training was the cornerstone of the Roots and Change program.
Training in financial literacy and digital financial services gave women the crucial confidence, skills, knowledge and confidence they needed to access financial services and manage their finances independently.