With no access to bank accounts our members struggle to improve their business via bulk buying, equally they do not have the opportunity to save for times of greater hardship.
Ideally women want to buy seeds or sheanuts, for example, during the rainy season when prices are lower and store them for year-round use, unfortunately this is not possible as they are unable to generate the required funds, that being between GHc30-50 (c£15-25 / cUS$20-35). Without TAWODEPs micro-credit scheme women will need to buy greater quantities throughout the year when prices are significantly higher.
Thanks to generous contributions we have been able to provide women with loans to be paid back within 12 months. Women thumb-print-sign for their loan and again women feel very happy to receive a 'salary' from TAWODEP - the first that they will have received in their life.
We also give our members the opportunity to save money with TAWODEP so that the money is not in the home, within reach of temptation. The savings, although small, can really come in useful when families are faced with unexpected financial difficulties, such as medical costs. One example of this was when one of our members, Akabotibanama, experienced problems with her eyesight.
Akabotibanama believed she was going blind and was no longer able to work and therefore contribute towards the families income. We went with her to attend the nearest opticians which she'd never done before and was therefore understandably nervous - thankfully Akabotibanama's sight could be correctly perfectly with glasses - she contributed GHc30 (c£15/cUS$20) which was the total of her savings over 4 years, and TAWODEP loaned her the further GHc29 (c£15/US$20) necessary for her to purchase glasses. She's ecstatic to be working again, seeing the world clearly and no longer being a burden on her family, without our imput this would not have been possible.