Caring for an aged mother

Ama and gas oven purchased with SHI loan

In many advanced countries there are homes for the aged where old people are sent to receive special care. There are no such homes in Ghana and many aged Ghanaians go through difficult times before their death. Women, sometimes are accused of being witches when blessed with many years, they are abandoned and left to die miserably.

Ama is 33 years old and a mother. She has three children; a daughter who is 12 years and two sons, 9 years and 10 months old. Her first two children are from her previous marriage from which she learnt good marital lessons; it pays to be a working mother who contributes financially towards her children’s education and general upbringing; a mother should not be a burden to her husband due to joblessness. This is inspiring in the face of the fact that one-third of girls in the developing world are married before the age of 18 and 1 in 9 are married before the age of 15 (http://www.icrw.org/child-marriage-facts-and-figures). Unlike other girls who are given out in marriages after basic school, Ama did petty jobs and later had the opportunity to train in pastry making.

Over the years, Ama prepared and sold pastries near a bus station at Nkawie Panin in the Atwima Nwabiagya District. Business was not encouraging because her working capital was small. In October 2012, she became a beneficiary of SHI micro credit program and received a loan of 200 Ghanaian Cedis (about $50). She invested the money in her business and she was able to pay back the loan on time. With her savings and subsequent loans she purchased a gas oven.

Ama in her new store.

Currently, she takes large orders on occasions such as school graduations, weddings, naming ceremonies, and funerals. As her business expands and her profits increase she comfortably takes good care of her children; provides food, pays schools fees and medicals bills.

In December 2014, Ama successfully built a metal container with her savings to use as a shop and with a loan of 1,000 cedis (about $250) from SHI she purchased a chest freezer and now sells soft drinks, bottled and sachet water. Ama receives a lot of assistance from her aging mother at her new shop. While she goes around selling her pastries her mother manages the shop. She is excited to have found something which gives her additional income and also keeps her mother active to increase her days on earth.

Ama contributes significantly towards keeping the house and earns a lot of respect from her husband and community. Her mother is extremely proud of her and thankful as well. Ama tells SHI there is a lot of love and happiness in her family and she will forever be thankful to Self-Help International for the support.

Your donation has helped women, like Ama, to expand their businesses and provide for their families. Thank you for your continued support.

Ama and her new chest freezer

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