Client Stories from our partners Grameen Ghana and One Acre Fund

Claire KellyFoundation News, Travel

This quarter we received these two special client stories from our partners Grameen Ghana and One Acre Fund.

Samata, a client of our partner Grameen Ghana

“Whole Planet Foundation support has made me a true entrepreneur” – A story received from our partner Grameen Ghana in northern Ghana.

Samata, a client of Grameen Ghana

Samata, a client of Grameen Ghana

“I am Samata, a 45 years old woman from Karaga in the Karaga District of the northern region of Ghana. I am a member of Suhudoo credit association located at Ashibti Yapala in Karaga town. I am engaged in foodstuff trading including maize, groundnuts, soya beans and millet. I started my business when I observed changes in prices of foodstuffs at different times and different market locations. I realized that this could be an opportunity to generate income but I did not have any money to begin this business. One day, I decided to generate my own capital by supporting some farmers on their farms and taking foodstuff as payment for my labour. The produce obtained from this work was always sold when the prices are high and this enabled me to raise some capital to buy many bowls of different foodstuffs to add to what I get from the labour credit. This practiced continued for some 3 years until I heard about the operations of Grameen Ghana in our community.

After joining Grameen Ghana, I received a lot of education on business management, marketing strategies and health and social issues. I also took an initial loan amount of GHC100.00 ($29) and increased the amount gradually every cycle up to this current loan amount of GHC 800.00 ($233) which I received as eighth cycle loan.

The credit has not only expanded my business by eight times, but it has also given me profit more than 5 times what I used to get prior to the WPF support. The business development and management education I received has given me the insight to analyse my business and take innovative measures to secure my sources of foodstuff and the market. I now link seed sellers and tractor operators with some farmers I trust so that the farmers can be given seeds and ploughing services on credit. I provide assurance to the seed sellers and tractor operators that I shall buy the produce from the farmers so that they will be able to pay for these inputs. These poor farmers always tell me that if not because of me they could not have had these opportunities to improve their business and I always say they should thank WPF and Grameen Ghana.

My knowledge in marketing from Grameen Ghana has been applied by targeting a regular buyer from Tamale and ensuring that I am consistent in supplying the quantity she needs at certain periods of the year. All these efforts have boosted my credibility and my business growth and ‘I can confidently say that the WPF support has made me a true entrepreneur’ so that I am always able to repay my loan on time and also pay my children school fees and health bills. I have also registered all my dependents on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

My happiest moment arrived when I made enough money from my business in the first half of this year and bought a plot of land and four packets of roofing sheets to build a house. I am so delighted that the annual threat to life and property due to bad weather will soon be over because my family shall have a more secured home. There is no other way I can show my appreciation to WPF and Grameen Ghana than to pray for more blessings for your organizations and everyone who contribute to ensure that people like us are touched by your services”.

Timothee, a client of our partner One Acre Fund

Timothee, a client of One Acre Fund in Burundi

Timothee, a client of One Acre Fund in Burundi

Timothee is a One Acre Fund farmer in the village of Mbuye, Burundi. Timothee joined One Acre Fund three years ago, enrolling just under an acre of land to cultivate beans and maize.

“With One Acre Fund, I adopted new techniques of farming,” Timothee says. “I now plant in straight lines and apply fertilizers the right way.”

Timothee and his wife Bernadette have two children, aged 7 and 10. With increased harvests, Timothee is able to consistently put food on the table, improving his family’s quality of life.

“Since the time I joined the program, I am no longer facing problems with lacking fertilizer… I am happy for my improved harvests,” Timothee says. “Apart from heavy rains, I no longer face any constraints in my farming.”

With each harvest Timothee has had with One Acre Fund, he has generated income to purchase more land to farm. In his first year with One Acre Fund, he sold half of his harvest and set aside 500,000 Burundian Francs (approximately $300 USD) to purchase more land. Each year since, he has done the same.

Over three years, Timothee has chosen to increase the amount of land he enrolls with One Acre Fund. He currently plants 1 1/4 acres of land with One Acre Fund, and in 2013, he harvested 0.65 tons of beans and 0.65 tons of maize.

Because of his strong harvest in 2013, Timothee was able to make improvements to his house, including paving the living room floor with bricks, adding new windows and doors, and strengthening the walls with cement. Timothee also owns a cow that calved in late 2013. By selling some of the milk his cow was producing, Timothee was able to bring in a small additional income. This helped subsidize his home improvement and living costs.

This year, Timothee hopes to open a small shop in his village where he can sell goods such as salt, soap, rice, flour and other household items. “I hope my shop will fit the basic needs of my neighbors,” Timothee says.

From there, Timothee plans to continue expanding his farmland and growing crops to support his family and his children’s futures.