Self-Help International has been empowering women in Ghana since 1999. Empowering women is crucial to a thriving society. More than 60% of married women who are employed and earn cash make independent decisions on how to spend their earnings (2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey). By offering even illiterate women basic business skills training and the financing to put their skills into action, they are able to start small businesses, increase family income, and achieve self-sufficiency.
If women had the same access to productive resources as men, there would be 150 million fewer hungry people on this planet. Women play major roles as farmers & business people in rural Ghana, yet less than 1% own land or have access to collateral necessary to get loans through commercial banks. These social barriers limit women's ability to start up and scale up their small businesses, therefore making it difficult if not impossible to meet all of their children's basic needs.
Self-Help has been working to empower women with the financial literacy and microloans they need to start up and scale up their small businesses since 1999. We have witnessed the transformation in families and communities as women are first able to feed their children each day, then pay their school fees to ensure their sons and daughters alike get the education their mothers never had, and even build new homes. This project will extend that opportunity to 600 more women living in rural Ghana.
This project is about more than economic development: it's about advancing human dignity. Women take pride in being able to send their children to bed well-fed, in a decent home each night, and then off to school clothed in proper school uniforms each morning. Yes, we help them register for health insurance so one illness won't bankrupt them anymore. Yes, we help them open savings accounts at commercial banks so they can join the formal economy. But most of all, we create role models & leaders.