From Share Cropper to Proud Grocery Store Owner, Alijatu’s Story

Many ladies think getting married is the solution to their financial problems. They expect their partner to provide for all their needs and the needs of their family. But little do these ladies think of how to improve the lives of the men they are getting married to and what they will do to survive in case the man faces financial challenges. Well! Who am I to criticize? As a lady myself, I also want to live the ‘American dream.’” – Alijatu



Alijatu is 38 years old and married to Abubakar. They have four children together. She is from Ho in the Volta region of eastern Ghana, but she was born and raised in Kwame-Dwaa in the Ashanti region. Most women in rural communities are well known for their hard work and Alijatu is no exception. Abubakar, Alijatu’s husband, has not been financially stable over the past few years which compelled Alijatu to find work to be able to provide for her family.


She initially got involved in oil palm and cocoa farming. Since she did not have any land of her own, both farms were shared cropping or “yemayenkye.”  Yemayenkye literally means cultivating a piece of land so that the produce is shared between the owner of the land and the cultivator. Before any of her farms produced fruits, she engaged in petty trading to support her family.


One Thursday morning, Self-Help International visited Kwame-Dwaa to talk about the micro-credit program, and Alijatu joined the micro-credit initiative and acquired a loan. She also received training on how to manage her business and loans. After months of applying diligent saving techniques, Alijatu was able to put up a small shop kiosk.


“With what I learned during training and the help of Almighty Allah, I can now boast of a fully stocked grocery store in Kwame-Dwaa. I have also been able to provide for my kids to the extent that two of them are now in the best senior high school in the district” Alijatu said.


Alijatu with her store

One of her greatest accomplishments is that she has been able to build a two-room house which has a roof and is about to be plastered.


“I would have named my ‘new child’ after Self-Help International if Self-Help was a human being,” she joked.


Her gratitude goes on and on. Alijatu may not be rich or have gained all her heart’s desires but she is comfortable now with what she has. Her story would not be possible without the help of Self-Help International and supporters across the globe. She is forever grateful.