Help Fund Women Farmers in Ghana

 
$1,600 $0
Raised Remaining

With an average income of $2 per day, many Ghanaians struggle against the debilitating effects of chronic poverty and hunger. Opportunity Ghana’s operations began in 1994. Today, we provide nationwide coverage in Ghana with significant operations in all 10 of the country’s regions through 47 branches that serve hardworking grassroots entrepreneurs with an array of microfinance products and services.

In 2005, Opportunity launched its programs in Ghana to offer deposit services and increase outreach to Ghana’s most marginalized rural families and communities. Because of your support we have imrpoved our agricultural loans to help farmers, many of which are women, pay expenses during the growing season.

Through the support of this project, we have raised the funds to map and profile clients’ farms, enabling the bank to customize agricultural lending to provide accurate input levels and funding. Savings accounts and insurance products also help ensure farmers’ food security. The crop focus in Ghana includes cocoa, chili, plantain, citrus and onions.

We are so thankful and appreciative of your support which has enabled this project to be fully funded. Until we develop another project focused on Ghana, we will be rolling over all recurring donations to a broader project called Banking on Africa (#7660). This new project focuses on providing financial services to the poorest of the poor in Africa many of which are rural farmers. Please contact us at getinfo@opportunity.org with any questions regarding the ending of this project. Thank you again. 

The name of my school, Ahobrase Academy, means "humility." In 1998, I had the idea to create a small nursery in my home. Day after day, I saw children aimlessly wandering the streets and not in the classroom. In Ghana, like many other places, getting an education is critical for success. So everyday when my husband left for work, I would secretly teach children from within my home. I would go into the community and invite children in, many who were hungry and unclothed.  Slowly I began to build a school that not only provides access to education but also offers children a safe place where they could bathe and eat. We became a family.

Over time, the number of students I was teaching outgrew my front porch and I knew I needed to find a new facility. I had dreams of expanding and improving what I was offering. And so six months after I first opened my doors to children in the community, I told my husband what I had been doing—and, to my surprise, he was supportive and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. 

With an introduction from a friend, I met with a loan officer from Opportunity International, applied, and received a school proprietor loan. In no time at all, I started with the foundation for a new building. I built a first story. And then a second. Every time Ahobrase Academy grew in size, so did the number of eager children waiting outside with a hunger for learning.

Today, Ahobrase Academy has more than 800 students from preschool through junior high. It amazes me and touches my heart to hear the children call me "Momma!" Everywhere I go they shout, "Momma! Momma! Momma!" We are a family and these are my children. Just like I dream for a better future for my four daughters, I have big hopes for my students—many of whom are now in college. And that is what I dreamed of—opening the doors to opportunity. 

Unfortunately, I did not go to college because I couldn't afford to. Like every parent, I saw many possibilities in my children and wanted them to succeed and have a brighter future. And that's exactly what they are doing. I am proud to say to say that all of my children are today attending University and pursuing careers they are passionate about. That's all any parent can ask for.   

Opportunity International gave us the resources to make these dreams a reality. When others would have denied me a loan, Opportunity International opened their doors and guided me through the process. Today, I am investing in my community, educating children, employing teachers, and looking toward the future where we will continue to expand and improve Ahobrase Academy.

My name is Comfort Appiah and I am proud to invest in education across Ghana. Thank you for helping to create brighter futures for children everywhere. Opportunity supports smallholder famers with agricultural finance tools and training to equip them to move from subsistence to commercial farming. Helping farmers increase their yields and productivity raises household incomes. This is crucial to ending hunger and supporting children's education. With your help, we provide financial services specifically tailored to the needs of farm families - ending the multigenerational cycle of poverty by allowing them to invest in their children's futures. 

Clients Emelia George & Enyoman Hlordzi
Clients Emelia George & Enyoman Hlordzi

Emelia George, Enyoman Hlordzi and Gladys Donu are three women farmers in Ada, an area two hours outside of Ghana’s capital Accra. In that area are small plots of land as far as the eye can see thanks to Opportunity's agricultural finance program. Emelia, Enyoman, and Glady's farms feature neatly planted rows of tomatoes, onions, and carrots. It takes a lot of effort to dig thousands of small holes and to place a single seedling in each one.

Opportunity loans have enabled these farmers to purchase irrigation systems, including an electrical pump and tubes (hoses), so they no longer have to carry buckets of water from the well to water the plants individually. There literally are not enough hours in the day to keep up with this backbreaking task. Instead, sprays of water shoot up from the black rubber tubes placed along the rows in these beautiful farms. And this scene is being repeated in six communities in Ada, where Opportunity serves 110 smallholder farmers, 55% of whom are women.

With irrigation, fertilizer, seed and manure purchased with the Opportunity loans you financed, Emelia, Enyoman and Gladys have expanded the size of their farms and the variety of crops they grow. They’ve received training which has helped them improve their farming methods. This has ultimately increased their crop production, their income and their ability to support their families. They also can afford to hire neighbors to help them clear more land and harvest their bumper crops.

Vivian
Vivian

A natural entrepreneur, Vivian instinctually knew how to transform what started as a table-top slipper display into a larger stall situated in a better location. “I always had a sense of what would sell in my community and how to display it nicely. I approach business with a positive attitude and a spirit of hard work.” What she lacked, however, was the capital to make it happen.

Today, selling a variety of supplies that she thoughtfully selects and displays to fill the needs of her community, Vivian uses her natural business skills coupled with strategically invested loans and training to operate a thriving business. Vivian is investing her eighth loan of $518 to purchase a freezer that will allow her to sell cold foods and beverages. 

As a result of her partnership with Opportunity Ghana, Vivian testifies that her life has taken a whole new direction. “I thank God for leading me to OISL to impact my life, and may the Lord richly bless them in return.”

You brought success to struggling farmers and families in Ghana

  • More than 7,000 cocoa, poultry and plantain farmers like Elizabeth are benefiting from the broad range of services offered through Opportunity’s Agriculture Finance Initiative – more than tripling outreach in the second quarter. Cocoa farmers represent more than 80% of the active farmer clients.
  • Rural savings accounts have grown from 25,742 in March 2012 to 63,374 as of June 30, 2012. The Agro saver product for rural clients was rolled out over the quarter, and staff expects strong client demand during the harvest season (September-January) when farmers’ incomes are higher.

Your partnership is making the dream of education a reality for Ghanaian children

As of June 30, 2012, Opportunity Ghana reported active school loans with 119 proprietors, up from 110 at December 31, 2011 and an outstanding education finance loan portfolio valuing $674,714, up 44% from 2011 year-end.

  • Opportunity Ghana is currently conducting an intensive campaign in partnership with the Ghana National Association of Private Schools to increase outreach to schools.
  • Opportunity Ghana has launched a school fee loan available to existing microbusiness loan clients to help send their children to school. Fifteen families have already taken advantage of this opportunity.
  • The bank is piloting a child savings/insurance account called EduSave in two branches for a four month period. The pilot will be assessed and product rolled out by early 2013.   

You changed everything for Vivian

A natural entrepreneur, Vivian instinctually knew how to transform what started as a table-top slipper display into a larger stall situated in a better location. “I always had a sense of what would sell in my community and how to display it nicely. I approach business with a positive attitude and a spirit of hard work.” What she lacked, however, was the capital to make it happen.

Today, selling a variety of supplies that she thoughtfully selects and displays to fill the needs of her community, Vivian uses her natural business skills coupled with strategically invested loans and training to operate a thriving business. Vivian is investing her eighth loan of $518 to purchase a freezer that will allow her to sell cold foods and beverages. 

As a result of her partnership with Opportunity Ghana, Vivian testifies that her life has taken a whole new direction. “I thank God for leading me to OISL to impact my life, and may the Lord richly bless them in return.”

Vivian formed the dream; you gave her the opportunity to make it a reality. On behalf of Vivian and more than a million other families, thank you very much for your partnership.  

Links:

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

donate now:

Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?
Support another project run by Opportunity International that needs your help, such as:

Organization

Project Leader

Ally Lynch

Oak Brook, Illinois United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Fund Women Farmers in Ghana