A loan is not the only reason people join the Lumana program. They also join to get an education, or to connect with a cooperative group for support, and many times to partner with local mentors who help them improve their businesses. We have seen many cases where women who take these steps start gaining greater control in their lives and eventually become the kind of leaders their families and communities need most.
We decided the best way for our program to continually support our clients would be to encourage them to work towards their personal and business goals.
We like this method because of the way it it sends a message to our clients that we are there to help them improve their lives on their own terms. It also helps us to learn how quickly clients can reach their financial goals, and gives us stories that we can learn from and share.
We believe that helping our clients reach their goals enforces one of the strongest assets a client has, the belief that they are the skilled and able authors of their own futures.
So far we've seen a diverse array of goals, ranging from target savings amounts, to business investments, to tuition coverage for children and we are excited to hear more.
Here are some examples of the goals set by members of our microfinance programs in rural Ghana, and how with Lumana's help they have been able to grow their businesses to create more jobs in their areas:
Peace Klutsey owns a business that makes cloth and sells sandals, she wants to build a kiosk in Atorkor and train three more apprentices to work in her shop.
Peace travels to Accra to buy sandals and batik, the fabric she uses for cloth. She takes the batik back to her workshop made of palm thatch which is equipped with two sewing machines and tables. Whenever visitors stop by, Peace is busily working with her apprentices making cloth. The new kiosk she would build on the main road in Atorkor would attract much more attention than her current location, and she already knows a carpenter who can build the shop. The three new apprentices will also help production to increase. Peace possesses the intelligence and ambition to greatly expand her business.
Beatrice Attitsogbi sells her own baked goods in Atorkor(our first village), and she wants to grow her business so she can attain financial security for her family. A loan would allow her to purchase a kneading machine that would rapidly speed up the time it takes to make each loaf of bread.
Beatrice's baking business is her only source of income, and she has already been able to hire two employees to assist in production. She readily acknowledges Lumana's role in transforming her business, and she wants to continue accessing microloans so she can purchase beneficial products like the kneading machine.
These are just two examples of some of the amazing women Lumana partners with in Ghana. If you are able, please help us to continue offering our services to help their communities in rural Ghana to reach their goals of education, empowerment and security.