In Their Own Words: What Economic Empowerment Means to Women in Nkawie

Last month, we shared with you how we’re getting creative to listen to the needs of the women we serve in Nkawie, and adapting our programs to ensure we’re best meeting their needs.  Read about how women in Nkawie appealed for a special loan exception here.

We interviewed some of the women who process palm oil at John’s facility in Nkawie to find out what access to micro-loans and the ability to earn their own source of income means to them.  Here’s what they said:

Esther, palm oil processor, Nkawie, Ghana

“Before I began working with Self-Help, it was a problem to buy palm fruits to process. I had to buy the palm fruits in small, small quantities, which is more expensive than buying in bulk. Now, with the loans, I am able to buy in bulk so I keep more of the proceeds. I use my profits to pay school fees to keep two of my children in senior high school.”  – Esther

Nazak, Palm Oil Processor, Nkawie, Ghana“The loans have been very helpful. If you work hard, you can secure a better future for your children. I am able to feed and school my children, and still continue my business. I don’t want my children to suffer the way I have, so I am very grateful.” – Nazak

Ndgo, Palm Oil Processor, Nkawie, Ghana“When my brother died, I took in his two children. Two of my grandchildren also live with us. I am able to feed all four of them and pay all of their school fees. Without Self-Help, none of that would be possible.” – Ndgo

Abena, Palm Oil Processor, Nkawie, Ghana“I have six children: two are married and out of the house, one just finished high school, and three are in primary school. Ever since I joined the micro-credit program, I have had no difficulty paying school fees. The daughter who just graduated has started a poultry business, so we are getting more protein in our diets. And we own our own home, we don’t rent. I am very proud.” – Abena

Alimatu, Nkawie, Ghana“I have one child in high school, and use my proceeds to pay the school fees. Then my other child was in a car accident, and I had many expenses for the healthcare. If not for Self-Help, my business would not have survived. I would have had to sell everything to pay for the medical care, and then I would have been left with no way of supporting my family. But because of this micro-credit program, my business survived and I’m able to continue providing for my children.” – Alimatu

Dinah, Nkawie, Ghana“Thanks to the micro-loans, I am able to pay school fees to keep my children in school. My business is stable. Having a regular source of income gives me peace of mind. My dream is that one day, I will be able to afford to send my children abroad to continue their education.” – Dinah

Little by little, each one of these women have made vast improvements in their family’s quality of life, turning $50 loans into education, health, and peace of mind. Little by little, we all make a difference. Thank you for giving them this opportunity!