In Ghana, as elsewhere in Africa, hostile economic and political environments have resulted in the implementation of a package of economic programmes, which limit the social and economic possibilities and rights of the people in general. If people are poor and cannot send their children to school, it does not make sense constructing a school.
We should be able to help the parents send their children to school. Apart from school, the people should be able to earn a living and lead a normal life. At Thirdway our overall aim is to improve the economic and social situation of the people by increasing access to income-generating activities and by providing required training.
Above are photos taken from a Thirdway school - lessons from a Drama class on responsible parenthood and a portrait of a pupil at the schol.
Micro credit programmes extend small loans to very poor people and (of late) the working poor for self-employment projects that generate income, allowing them to care for themselves and their families. These initiatives can come in a variety of packages, serve a wide cross section of client base and their product can be delivered in a free standing mode or as an integral part of the services provided by a Community Based Financial Institution or a Credit Union.
In general terms, they fill a gap left by mainstream commercial lenders who simply would not even consider lending to certain potential borrowers for a variety of reasons, thereby leaving them with no choice, other than to seek alternative sources of capital which inevitably incur extremely high rates of interest.
Most of the local self-employed start their income-generating activities on a very small scale, usually with no outside assistance. They keep operating-costs low by using handmade or second-hand equipment and family labour. Businesses often operate from within the home. Unfortunately, they often have no future, since they have no access to capital beyond sources from family, friends, or professional moneylenders. Usually, a small amount of capital can already produce growth.
The soap called Kwame soap is as result of the pilot entrepreneurial business education project by Thirdway Ghana. Both men and women received intensive training in business education and some selected women undertook training in local soap making. We look forward for more funding to continue with the project
This 90 year old man is weaving what we called KETE it is a traditional way of weaving very special cloths and it can be very laborious since everything is done by hand. It has various stages before the weaving and the final stage. Something for tourists to see. Again financial credit is needed for these people
The advantages of the professions in which the self-employed are involved are:
· micro-enterprises are simple to operate;
· they use locally available skills;
· they are labour-intensive and create significant employment;
· they improve the income of the working poor, especially women;
· they can serve as a basis for community participation and the empowerment of clients;
· they can pay market interest rates charged on loans, which can help a project cover cost and reach more people.
Though micro-finance is successful, many people in rural areas do not have access to these funds. Institutional and human capacity to deliver services is lacking and investment is needed to build this up in an effective way.
About Thirdway Human Rights and Development: Thirdway Human Rights and Development is a small non-profit organization based in the Netherlands dedicated to the promotion of human rights in the West African nation of Ghana and all across the planet. It is associated with Thirdway Human Rights Education and Development America based in the U.S., which works on human rights education and development, further associated locations are in France and Ghana. Contact us to see how you can help http://www.third-way.org