Gushegu, (N/R) July, 11, GNA - A total of 12,212 people in the Karaga and Gushegu districts of the Northern Region of Ghana have so far benefited from the savings for transformation (S4T), an initiative of World Vision International, a Christian Non-Governmental Organisation.
Of the membership, 10,470 representing 86 per cent were women while 1,742 representing 14 per cent are males.
To date, 463 groups formed in the two districts could boast of a total asset of GH¢1,874,031.00 of which 14 per cent representing GH¢128,022.00 was a social fund that was used to support members to manage household emergencies.
Mr Joseph Alhassan, a House Food Security and Resilience Project Officer at World Vision Ghana, briefing the media during a field visit to the area explained that the S4T was a model under its food security and resilience technical programme to improve and transform household food security.
“The group meet once a week, where each member makes a contribution by procuring shares at the cost of GH¢2.00 per share. To validate and show that a payment has been made the group secretary stamps the membership book in presence of all members.
“After the money is counted and the money and the membership books kept in a metallic box that has three padlocks and the keys were given to three different people for safekeeping,” he explained.
He noted that the by introducing S4T groups into communities, World Vision International (WVI) was facilitating a sustainable platform for families to access savings and small loans.
The S4T, he said, had built resilience by enabling community members to develop skills and access to funds to invest in their various businesses.
Mr Alhassan noted that households and families had become economically empowered to withstand shocks and also invest in the lives of their children to create a better future for them stating that the groups had become important social safety nets for their members, creating a greater sense of empowerment and trust within communities.
Some beneficiaries the Ghana News Agency (GNA) spoke to said the initiative had connected the most vulnerable and marginalised individuals and households in the community to groups, provide accessibility and inclusion to women, and people with disability
Amina Sisu, a 37-year old dressmaker, who joined the Tinieya group in Kpatinga three years ago attested that there had been an improvement in her business and finances since she connected with the group.
“I have learned how to save and currently I have been able to build a new shop which can accommodate more apprentices. Last December, I got over GH¢600.00 from my savings and that has really helped me in many ways including; supporting my husband to provide the needs of our two children’s education,” she said.
Madam Fusheni Amina 70, a trader at Salaa, a farming community in Gushegu has been able to expand the ‘kulikuli’, groundnut chips business by increasing the quantity of groundnuts she used from three bowls to 10 bowls.
She hinted that through the proceeds of savings she had diversified the business by adding livestock rearing and was a proud owner of 13 matured sheep and goats.
Mr Salas Dramani, Integrated Development Facilitator at the Gushegu Cluster WVG, noted that the intervention was tied to the organisation’s aim to work towards Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
He said WV was posed to working with other partners to reduce the manifestation of poverty on children including; hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.