The Upper East Region has been described as one of the poorest regions in Ghana as most of the people are unable to earn $1.29 per a day. This creates a huge burden for the women especially the widows who refuse to participate in widowhood rites after the death of their husbands. This is because such widows cease to get any economic or emotional support from most family member.
To this end, a livelihood training was organized by Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM) with support from Plan International Ghana and Funding from Global Affairs Canada. The training focused on how to operate the village savings and loans, a local saving initiative, and how to use it to run businesses and also to take care of their livelihood challenges.
Through the project, thirty percent of women have been supported financially by way of loans which they have invested into their various trades and have gained financial independence.
The project is also helping the government in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal One which is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030.
A widow and a member of the Zono Women’s Voice and Leadership Group, Anigana Asabire, 49 years, is a mother of four children who has been home for the past two years due to the collapse of her business. She said things have not been easy with her since she has to take care of the family without any source of income or help from anywhere. Madam Asabire recounts that participating in the livelihood training gave her hope to restart her defunct malt processing business. Malt is processed from guinea corn and used for brewing Pito, a local drink.
She indicated that she restarted malt processing with one bag of guinea corn on credit and reached a verbal agreement with her supplier that, when she is done selling the one bag, she pays all the money before collecting another one. This has been the routine for the past two months until last week when she was able to get a loan from the group and bought six bags of the guinea corn. This, according to her, has broken the unending cycle of relying on the benevolence of the supplier. She added that, “I am happy and relaxed because now I don’t have to go to the Bolga market after selling one”. The project has helped up to 89 women to overcome the financial barriers women face every day.
This article was authored by WOM as a success story of Anigana Asabire.