By Gogu Edwin
Aid for Socio-Economic and Rural Development (Aserd-Ghana) with funding from the United Nations Development Programme – UNDP_GEF_SGP in Ghana Mapped out Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) groups and build their capacities on the importance of VSLA, the need to work with their already established constitutions and how to link them to Financial Institutions for savings and access to loans for their business.
ASERD-Ghana which is a legitimate non-governmental organization is based in the Northern part of Ghana.
Their vision is to uplift the living standards of the rural poor, marginalized individuals, and rural women while contributing to equitable and sustainable community development.
ASERD-GHANA supported the VSLA groups with capacity Development activities on various ways in adopting the concept to mobilize more resources for higher saving, and to raise more incomes for their livelihood. They were also taken through the various modules in Rural Savings methods.
The Executive Director of ASERD- GHANA, Mr Benjamin Damongso Kafari explained that the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) will empower beneficiaries to increase access and have control over resources and use collective power to overcome social and financial barriers.
He further explained that the VSLAs brings community members together, empower them and help address some of the underlying issues of child labour: principally among them poverty, by allowing members to invest in alternative sources of income hence the need to power them more through bee keeping.
He also stated that the bee keeping and their various associations will help in empowering women to become changemakers to address gender issues in their community.
A total of 16 VSLA groups comprising of 95 women memberships were mapped out and trained in the KANANTO, KABAMPE and GRUPE communities in the West Gonja Municipality of the Savanna Region of Ghana. Over 80% of the group memberships are Women within these farming communities and between the Ages of 21 and 60.
This is part of the ASERD-GHANA project in Enhancing the Mole Ecosystem and Biodiversity Conservation through Community-Based Resources Management and Apiculture Systems (MOLE-ECO BVC PROJECT)
UNDP Ghana which was launched on 17th July, 2023 in the respectful communities.
The various Executives of these groups stressed on the lack of access to loans for their businesses but applauded ASERD-GHANA and the UNDP Ghana Office for the project and pledged to support its implementation as women groups in the beneficiary communities.
Madam Dramani Saratu, the Secretary of the Sabote Group called for more training of such and also appealed to financial institutions to support them to grow their businesses.