Women in the Vea community in the Bongo District have shared GH₡ 9,161 they realized from their savings for 2013 to undertake farming and income generating activities.
The women, constituting five groups of 75 women, received various sums that ranged between GH ₡ 200 and GH ₡ 50.
The initiative was under the Integrated Community Empowerment Programme (INCOME) initiated by Trade Aid a non-governmental organization.
An amount of GH₡844 was also realized from their social fund designed by the women to support members in times of emergency especially when a member or child is sick and requires financial assistance.
For 2013, the group realized GH₡1,000 from interest on loans.
Madam Apana Anea, who received GH₡ 296 as the highest saver among the women, said she planned to buy farm inputs for her farm and to buy some raw materials for her basket weaving. Others received cash amounts ranging between GH₡260 and 50 Ghana cedis.
Madam Akolgo Nsoh, a beneficiary, said the savings had helped them immensely because they were able to renew their health insurance.
Ms Vida Virginia Boyubie , Project Coordinator of INCOME, said the objectives of the village savings and loans association was to support men and women in northern Ghana to attain food security and improve their economic status.
Ms Boyubie said Trade Aid partnered the Canadian Feed the Children on the Food Security component to enhance beneficiaries’ income status as well as ensure availability of food all the time and also to cut down on mass migration to the south during the non-farming season.
She said the three-year INCOME project, which started in 2012, had rolled out faming other support activities that included training on agronomic practices for cultivativation of rice, groundnuts and millet and post-harvest management
She said the project was also practiced in Biu in the Kassena Nankana District and Sumbrungu in the Bolgatanga Municipality and added that her outfit also provided farm inputs such as bullock ploughs and bullocks and gave small ruminants to farmers.
A Craft Centre donated to the group by Trade Aid also doubled as a kindergarten for the children of the women whilst they worked and according to the project Coordinator, Trade Aid supported the basket weavers by finding market for the finished products.
On the INCOME project, she said the group members were trained on literacy and book keeping skills which helped the treasurers of the groups to record their savings and by using symbols and figures for easy recording and accounting. GNA