Life is easier when a little help comes our way

Ama & her nephew attend to a customer at her store

Ama is a forty-five year old single mother of three. In addition to caring for her own children, she has taken on the added responsibility of caring for her late sister’s four children.  Having observed how Self-Help’s micro-credit program had impacted on women in her community, Nkawie, she applied to join the program and has seen her life transformed.

Ama tells Self-Help that before joining the micro-credit program, she used to sell charcoal, Kenkey (a cornmeal product) and vegetables on her head as she trekked from one community to another. She made little or no profits at the end of the day and she could not invest any of the money she earned to expand her business since she had many mouths to feed in addition to paying the childrens’ school fees and medical bills. Ama regrets her inability to go to school which she attributes to the neglect of her polygamous father and the fact that she comes from a large family of eleven children of which she is the youngest. It has always been her dream to give to her children quality education and a descent accommodation; something she never had.

Sheltering her family: Ama’s new home

With training, micro-loans, hard work and perseverance, Ama was able to expand her business and now has a shop of her own in which she sells groceries and other items. Business is good: Ama consistently make a profit and the family’s finances have significantly improved. Her eldest son, Prince who is 27 years old is completing the final year of his Bachelor’s program at the University and her daughter, Agnes, who is 24 years old, has successfully completed nurses’ training college and about to be stationed at her first job. Ama’s youngest child is now in 4th grade.

With pride and joy, Ama is building a two-story house, a project many consider overly ambitious. She admits it is an uphill task but has a reason; by building upwards instead of outwards, she can save land and use the space as a foundation for her children to build on. “Wherever I get to, my children will someday continue,” she concludes. It is inspiring to learn that she is making these investments not only for herself but for the generations yet unborn.

Every little support given to women like Ama benefiting from the micro-credit program will certainly trickle down to benefit many generations and improve livelihoods of disadvantaged people today and for years to come. Thank you for your generosity in helping us help Ama and more women like her to make this difference for their children and grandchildren.