Village Savings and Loans Associations and cooperative development (2004-2019)
WIDO has been working to introduce community level savings and Micro credit since 2004. The main goal of the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) is to create the opportunity for self-reliance by providing financial and technical assistance to the poor people specially women residing in villages. WIDO VSLAs are providing micro credit aid with flexible conditions to its member as per their demand in order to implement income generating activities to make the backward poor people self-reliant. At present, WIDO works with 1,856 VLSA groups in all its project zones. WIDO is doing this with support from Care International, Star Ghana Foundation and World Vision Ghana. In addition, 85 of these VSLAs have been registered with the department of Cooperatives and are able to attract other financial opportunities. In addition, over 30,000 VSLA members have been linked to Fidelity Bank for access to formal financial services.
Developing skills of producer groups in the shea, soya and maize value chains
WIDO beneficiaries are agro-based with 85% engaged with agriculture either directly or indirectly. Agriculture is the main economical sector of the WIDO beneficiary groups due to the availability of cultivation worthy land and availability of labor. Despite this, farmers are deprived in various ways. Access to financial services is limited due to the small-scale of operations of the farmers. Farmers are also under the threat of climate change effects and adopting unsustainable farming practices.
WIDO in partnership with the Cornelius family in Belgium and SNV has created employment among the rural poor families, by increasing the income level of rural women through Shea butter production and soya production. Under this, 1450 beneficiaries are trained on shea processing and are making an average income of $55.5 from Shea in the Upper West region monthly. In addition, 890 women farmers were trained on soya cultivation and processing. These women are producing an average of 1.5 acres each and making income of over $100 per season. These groups have been trained and receive certification from the department of cooperative for production, processing and marketing of shea, soya and maize.
Youth and young mothers Empowerment Programs
WIDO is currently working with 65 youth groups located in 22 communities in the Nadowli Kaleo-District and Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District. The groups have been provided with entrepreneurial development skills, financial education, selection, planning and management of business. Most youth have been able to pay for their school fee, while migration among some youth has reduced. Under three (3) years joint project with Plan Ghana entitled: Green Skills for Ghana (GSG). The project is implemented in 40 communities within Sunyani Municipal and Tano District Assembly respectively. The Green Skills for Ghana (GSG) project is funded by the European Union with the aim of improving employment and employability for 4,000 youth, young mothers and women (18-35) in 40 selected communities through the promotion of local environmentally sustainable businesses.