My name is Agnes Adjei and I am from Anukpenya, Manstekope Epicenter in the Dangbe-East District of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. I am 58 years old and married with five children.
I joined The Hunger Project’s Microfinance Program (MFP) in Ghana in 2006. We started with three groups of 28 partners in my community and have now increased to 10 groups of 97 partners. We hold regular meetings, sensitizations and provide regular notifications of loan repayments. No matter how small an amount a partner brings as savings or repayment, I will collect it and do the necessary recordings in their presence, in their respective passbooks and ledger cards. Later, I will send the money to the Epicenter Credit Union Manager.
Under my able leadership, my group continues to make on-time repayments at over a 90 percent success rate.
My community has received four rounds of loans and is always the first to finish repayment at the epicenter. The loans have helped us witness improvement in our lives in diverse ways. Currently, we can farm and dictate the price of our produce to the buyers which was not the case before. In fact, before we were like laborers to the market women in the cities on our own land. They would give us money to farm for them and buy the produce at very low prices to offset the money they gave us. By the time we finished harvesting, sometimes nothing was left for us and we were back to square one. I can say with confidence that currently, my groups are the most cohesive and active in the entire Matsekope Epicenter.
I always encourage them to show love and respect to each other so that we can live in peace. I also settle disputes that are brought before me. The partners love me and I love them as well. All these qualities are mostly attributed to the trainings in leadership skills, credit management and savings offered at the epicenter. The key to the success of any group is leadership by example and that is what binds us together to achieve our set goals.
My wish is to be economically self-reliant and to help our economically active poor women to do the same. This unites us to strive hard and find lasting solutions to our challenges.
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March 18, 2011