Roots of Change beneficiaries

More than twelve thousand rural women farmers and persons with disability who are low-income earners have benefitted from an empowerment support scheme.

Dubbed, ‘Roots of Change’, the three-year project was implemented by Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans ( one of the implementing partners ) in Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Opportunity International UK financed the project at the cost of 3.6 million pounds for the three years, in both countries.

The support, including training in good agriculture practices, has resulted in increased yields and income for the beneficiary women.

Chief Programmes Officer at Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, Joyce Owusu-Dabo, says rural women, mainly farmers, were supported to access financial services.

“…We came up with Innovative activities with various services to make sure that they (women) are wholly empowered to be able to utilise the resources that we are giving to them.”

More than 12,000 rural women farmers, low income earners benefit from £3.6 million grant
Roots of Change Leadership in a pose with Upper West Reginal Minister

The ‘Roots of Change’ programme used innovations in training, technology and gender awareness to increase financial inclusion and build livelihoods for women in Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A curriculum of gender awareness training for nearly 2,300 male community leaders and spouses, as well as the women themselves, served to enhance mutual understanding and enable a mental shift towards and within rural women.

Mrs Owusu-Dabo says, “We are also looking at a section of the training that looked at gender, both for their spouses and community leaders so that they all move onto a level where we call gender awareness or being gender proactive.

“…so that together as a family unit, we will be able to support the woman to come out of her own and be able to implement her skill and talent”, she added.

The project also supported physically challenged women ready to start something on their own.

Mrs Owusu-Dabo expressed confidence in the ability of the disabled participants, “we believe that when someone is disabled, they still have that ability to do things for themselves. we are looking at they being independent, resilient and being able to contribute to life. The programme focuses on them, train them and gave them some support to be able to invest in some activity to be able to generate income for themselves and their families”.

More than 12,000 rural women farmers, low income earners benefit from £3.6 million grant

At a client engagement conference in WA, Senior Programmes Manager of Opportunity International, UK, Lydia Baffour-Awuah said the outcome of the project suggests the investment is worth it.

“…there has been a smart investment, the good news is that as the women’s businesses start improving, they also start employing people in their communities.

Mrs Baffour-Awuah revealed that in the last midline evaluation last year, over 40,000 people had been employed from planting stage to harvesting stage.

For her, this means employment in these beneficiary communities.

“…there is always a multiplying effect because successful farms buy raw materials and more inputs so they are also creating jobs in the communities. It’s been a fantastic programme and I think it is worth the 3.6 million pounds invested”.

Project Outcome
By August 2021, the project targets have been repeatedly exceeded – more than 15,000 women have been trained and over 12,000 rural women had opened savings accounts.

It is estimated that 40,000 additional jobs have been created as a result of the UK government-sponsored programme.

This immense success can be largely attributed to the programme’s implementing partners who adapted their strategies to overcome the challenges presented by the global pandemic.

The training was a cornerstone of the Roots and Change programme.

Training in financial literacy and digital financial services gave women the trust, skills, knowledge and crucially confidence they needed to access financial services and independently manage their finances.



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