Women’s Leadership Summit

a young woman, Olivia is awarded a certificate for her hard work form SHI's executive director, Nora Tobin

Executive Director Nora Tobin gives an award to Olivia, a leader from Kwaso

What a wonderful few months of milestones it has been for women in Ghana!  Micro-credit officers Victoria and Elizabeth have been working hard to celebrate leadership and promote self-sufficiency by linking women to commercial banks, a feat that has taken time.

Many women have made tremendous progress as local businesswomen, so we took some time to celebrate their accomplishments by hosting the first ever Women’s Leadership Summit, which was held at Calvary Methodist Church.  Micro-credit beneficiaries from the communities of Abompe, Asuogya, Bedaabour, Beposo, Kwame Dwaa, Afari/Nerebehi, Kwaso, Nkawie, Adagya, and Worapong were brought together to share experiences and business ideas, and exchange contacts together under one roof. Nearly 100 of the 400 women in the micro-credit program were in attendance.

Outstanding leaders including Olivia from Kwaso and Abena from Beposo shared their success stories with the attendees. Outstanding groups and individuals were awarded with certificates of honor to recognize their leadership, dedication, commitment and problem-solving abilities. Each participant was given a T-shirt to thank them, and help advertise the micro-credit program.  The Women’s Leadership Summit challenged groups who have not yet been recognized to step up their performances. Some of the groups have reshuffled and elected new leaders with the hope to win additional awards at the next summit.

a large grouo of women poses for a picture at the Women's Leadership Summit

Women’s Leadership Summit

Leadership is important to building a strong community, and so is access to resources, especially for rural women.  If women farmers had the same access to productive resources as men, including training, education, and capital, there would be 150 million fewer hungry people in the world.  It’s a staggering figure to consider, and the very goal that the Self-Help International Women’s Micro-Credit Program is working toward. Self-Help invests in the future of women by providing training, access to loans, and follow up advising to women so they can start up and expand their businesses, generate income, and better provide for their families.

In addition to the successful Women’s Leadership Summit, the micro-credit program reached a milestone that has been elusive for four years: all 59 women from Kwaso and Timeabu have now opened accounts with the Agricultural Development Bank. They have also been issued bank identification cards and check books. Some of the women have already made deposits into their savings accounts. Approximately 98% of these women now have bank accounts for the first time in their lives.

a group of people pose holding their new checkbooks

Group from Kwaso holding their new check books

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