Ghana has made considerable progress in reducing poverty. Despite this, there is growing inequality as the gap between the rich and poor widens. Poor households lack food for around a quarter of each year. In bad years, this rises to more than half the year with little or no food. Access to financial services is scarce, with 78% of families in rural communities lacking access to even the most basic financial services.
Village Aid works in partnership with YOWE, a small community organisation in rural Ghana to help to diversify the income of some of the poorest rural farming communities.
Meet Thomas Djangme. He is a farmer in the village of Korme Towe in rural Ghana. He lives with his wife Rachel and his children in a small house with a small patch of land where he farms and keeps goats.
Last year Thomas went on a training course about beekeeping organised by YOWE (our partner in Ghana). He learnt how to set up a beekeeping business, collect the honey and sell the honey to make money at market.
Thomas used this loan to buy nails and wood. He then contracted a local carpenter who built him a beehive and another local person to make a veil to cover his face when collecting honey.
Once he had everything ready he was able to get some bees for his hive. He was really happy when he was able to harvest his first honey. He bought jars to store the honey and took it to market. With the skills he learnt in the training session with YOWE, he was able to sell the honey at the market for a good price.
Once Thomas started selling the honey he was able to start repaying the loan.
After 8 months, Thomas had repaid his loan in full. He said “I have now paid off the loan, and with the money I have made from beekeeping I am able to send my children to school. I am also able to pay for things my wife needs and I have improved my house.”
Now that Thomas has finished paying the loan he plans to save to buy the materials to make more hives. He says “other people in my village have seen my success and want have hives themselves. They ask me for advice on beekeeping but they can’t buy the materials until they can access their own loan.”
For such a small amount of money a whole families life can be transformed. Thanks to Village Aid’s support, Thomas is now able to sustain his income in an area where crop farming has become a less reliable source of income due to climate change. There are lots of other people in Ghana who could do so much with under £20. To help more families like Thomas’ you can sign up to a regular gift to Village Aid here.