Writing From a Nameless Community in the Middle of Nowhere… The Story Continues

Click Here to read the first part of this story, published in February 2024.

An Update from Lydia:

I wrote to you on October 19, 2023 about this potential microcredit client, Stephen, the man who made me ask a lot of “what if questions”. Our business with him was inconclusive then as there were assessments to be made. The team kept engaging him to know how best to approach his case, and on 14th December 2023, we secured permission from management to buy the tricycle for him.

Micro-credit client with his family, all impacted by his tricycle.

Two months down the lane, we decided to visit his farm to know if there has been any improvement in the family’s living conditions after securing his tricycle. It is interesting to know how a person’s life can change because of access to resources. Stephen’s life, his family’s and that of his neighbor’s have dramatically changed because of the tricycle.

On his personal life Stephen had this to say: “I never imagined my life could be easier like this. Thanks to the tricycle, I am able to make extra income. Every week, I visit two major markets; on Wednesdays at Nkawie and Fridays at Kunsu. I transport people’s items to the market with the tricycle at a fee and after everything, I am able to save Ghc 200 from every visit. This has really eased my burdens and worries as I wake up confidently every day, ready to face any challenges I may face because I have a reliable source of income through the money I save. I had some gallons of oil stuck here that I couldn’t carry to the market for lack of transportation. But since I acquired the tricycle, I have been able to sell them at a competitive rate, that is why I was able to pay almost half of my loan in my first repayment”.

About family life, Stephen says: I am so relieved I get to take the kids to school every morning. After dropping them at school, I come back home to continue with my farming until later in the day when I go and fetch them after school. Now, school is so much fun for the kids because they don’t have to walk all the long and lonely distance alone. Even my little one gets ready ahead of all of us (he smiles). I don’t chase them around anymore trying to get them to be ready for school. On weekends, she would come and ask,” papa, when are we going to school again”? It fills us (my wife and I) with so much joy whenever she asks that, because we want to give them the life our own parents couldn’t give us, and thanks to this tricycle, our dream is becoming a reality. I know, for them to have any form of brighter future, they must receive proper education. Even though it is very difficult getting that here, we won’t give up on it. We will do our best; celebrating the little achievements and work hard towards the challenges.

We also got to speak with some neighbours who were all so excited about the tricycle. Fatimatu Mamudu and Barikusu Malik are both clients of the microcredit program (I spoke about Barikisu in my previous letter and the circumstance through which she lost her baby).


Micro-credit client walking in his community.

Barikisu said “I’m very sure I wouldn’t have lost my baby if the tricycle was here then, and I am very happy we have a means of transport to take the kids to school and take our products to the market. Initially, we had a lot of post-harvest losses, we couldn’t take our products to the market to sell them during that time of the week. Now, we are able to do that twice a week! My kids are also excited to go to school because they get to sit in the tricycle!

Fatimatu also said this” besides the kids’ excitement in going to school and us the adults going to the market, the part I like most is the fact that it carries our gallons of water from the stream to our houses. You see, our water source is so far from here, and it is always a headache having to transport it to our homes. Sometimes, you don’t even want to use the quantity you need because when it gets finished, you would have to go back again, and for me, that’s a very difficult thing to do. We are so grateful for this tricycle. You may think you bought this machine for Stephen alone, but my sister, this machine is serving all of us here in this jungle.
Thank you Self-Help International, for making our lives a bit easier. We promise to help him take care of this tricycle with our lives so that it can stay with us for many more years to come”

Client meeting with SHI staff.

Now, there are several other people like Stephen and his neighbors’ who need our support to better their lives and live with dignity, people who are counting on us to have a stable family income and not worry so much about where their next meals will come from, people who are depending on us to secure the future of their children so that they don’t suffer like the way their parents are suffering.
Who wants to walk this path with us?