Emmanuel Yamoah (National Projects Manager) and Harry Jung (intern, Bowdoin University) from Patriots Ghana went visited SRF Microcredit for a brief meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with Justice Arthur (Head of Marketing and programs manager of GAFI) how the institution goes about giving out loans, who are their clients and under what terms of agreement. Although visiting a not-for-profit MFI would have given us more direct answers, visiting a for-profit institution offered an indirect and yet insightful new perspective.
Many interesting points were made by Justice. They include a fact that Ghanaian government regulates MFIs to operate in a single branch and focus on one area. As a for-profit MFI, Justice’s clients are salary workers, foreign students, and corporations—people or organizations whom are established and have credible financial backing. Apparently, it is a very profitable business; for a group of 6 full-time staff and a few interns, they serve more than 2,500 clients. With profit in mind, their interest rates are naturally higher than ours, which is a non-profit microfinance project. For example, Justice showed us as a typical balance sheet has interest rate at 8%, which applies to all outstanding loan balance monthly. We follow the same method, but ours is set at 4.5%. Something we don’t do—they charge upfront processing fee of 3.5% to cover for initial operational cost like drawing up paperwork, transportation, etc.
They are very successful at getting their owed money back in time. This is due to multiple factors. For example, for salary workers, their income bank account is linked to their lender, so lender automatically takes out monthly dues from the income bank account. This can’t be done with our project since our clients are technology adverse and don’t have bank account. All their transaction is done by cash. Furthermore, collateral is used. For example, a student must turn in a phone worth 2500 cedi and keep it with the bank for the duration of the loan to access to a loan of half of the phone’s value of 1250 cedi. PG does not use collateral during the loan screening process since no collateral in our client’s procession can match the money loaned out. Lastly, Justice’s MFI charge daily penalties for each day due is late. The rate is 12.5%. We use group liability in a high social capital area in the hopes that the members will keep each other at check since if one is late on repayment, the other group members are liable to repay on the person’s behalf.
Besides having clients who are educated and have stable income, the aforementioned ways ensure that for-profit like the one Justice works at minimizes arrears and defaults. Our choice of what sort of clients to work with in our microfinance project, illiterate and some of the poorest women in Ghana, brings up multiple intertwined constraints. Though mission and mindset between a for-profit, like SRF and non-profits are fundamentally different, there are lessons we can take away from the successes of for-profit MFI. One is that strong enforcement like penalty on arrears do decrease arrears and the risk of defaults. Finding creative solutions for achieving stronger enforcement, while not forgetting non-profit mission, tailored to the unique socioeconomic environment where we operate is a key step.
Credits: Harry Jung (intern, Bowdoin University)
Summer 2017 brought two amazing interns Leah Singleton and Taegan Dennis both of whom are undergraduate students at the Florida State University (FSU). They served as project coordinators for Patriots Ghana’s Child labor and trafficking prevention project in three fishing communities in the Central region of Ghana (Senya, Fetteh, and Nyanyano).
As part of their internship with Patriots Ghana, they conducted a study into the Implications of Family Planning on Child Labor. They presented their research at the National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) which was held on January 18th-20th at Harvard University. The NCRC aims to build an interdisciplinary research community among undergraduate students and promote undergraduate research. Their project explored how stakeholders in Senya-Beraku understand the role of family planning in reducing poverty and child labor within their community. Patriots Ghana offered community volunteers who acted as translators in the target community, Senya-Beraku, Ghana.
Background of Senya
Senya Breku is one of one of the villages located in Awutu-Senya in the Central Region of Ghana. Like most of the coastal communities, Senya too is based primarily on fish and fishing. Senya, in particular, relies almost entirely on fishing. As a result, they have to find other ways to make money but none are available. Families are forced to send their children to work at the shore untangling nets, selling fish and working on the boats. The men fish while the women sell the catch in the markets in Kasoa or Accra.
Recruited local elites from the Senya Beraku fishing community through snowball sampling and conducted 22 mid-length interviews (30-45 minutes). The interviewees include religious leaders, the stool elder of Senya, an assemblyman, local health workers, our National Coordinator and staff of our partner organization, Cheerful Hearts Foundation. Transcribed and inductively coded the language used by interviewees to describe family planning and child labor as well as relevant background information. Compared Codes between demographic factors such as gender and community role. SAS Software was used to portray the descriptive statistics and analyzed differences.
75% of respondents believe contraception is highly accessible in Senya-Beraku
Their study has provided Patriots Ghana an insight into some of the root causes of child labor and trafficking in the Senya-Bereku community in relation to gender roles and perspectives, religion, economic and social structures that need to be considered in addressing the problem.
Aside from working on their research study, they played key roles in various activities on the project. They assisted in coordinating community meetings and child rights advocacy & awareness campaigns in schools, one-on-one tutoring for rescued child laborers, and assisted in organizing the 2017 Worlds Day Against Child labor.
Recognizing the need for women empowerment in the three fishing communities, Leah and Taegan collaborate with Patriots Ghana, fundraising to expand our Women Entrepreneurial and Leadership Development (WELD) – A project that trains 72 girls per year (24 each quarter) in entrepreneurship and leadership. –https://www.omprakash.org/global/patriots-ghana/crowdfund/women-entrepreneurial-and-leadership-development–weld-
We are proud of our interns and impressed with their exceptional dedication to their research and rural community development.
(1) Ghana Statistical Service. Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 6 (GLSS 6): Child Labor Report. 2013. ix.http://www.statsghana.gov.gh/docfiles/glss6/GLSS6_Child%20Labour%20Report.pdf
(2) Laird, Siobhan. “The 1998 Children’s Act: Problems of Enforcement in Ghana.” The British Journal of SocialWork 32, no. 7 (2002): 893-905. JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2371656.
(3) Thakurata, Indrajit & Errol D’Souza. “Child Labour and Human Capital in Developing Countries—A multi-period stochastic model.” Economic Modeling (2007) EBSCO. DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2017.09.006
(4) Singleton, Leah & Dennis, Taegan. “Implications of Family Planning on Child Labor: A Ghanaian Case Study”. NCRC Poster. 2018.
(5) Dennis, Taegan. Omprakash Blog: Contrasting Voices on Family Planning.2017. https://www.omprakash.org/blog/contrasting-voices-on-family-planning
Photos Credits: Singleton, Leah & Dennis, Taegan.
Source:Emmanuel Yamoah (National Projects Manager).
In line with celebrating Founders Day and the National Volunteers Day, Patriots Ghana organized the Patriots Youth Leadership Seminar, the first of its kind. The theme of the seminar was, Empowering the Next Generation of Patriotic Leaders. The event held at the Cheerful Hearts Foundation Youth Development Centre (FieldHouse) was participated by One hundred and twenty seven students from the Nyanyano fishing community.The seminar began with the National Projects Manager of Patriots Ghana, Mr. Emmanuel Yamoah welcoming the students, explaining the purpose of the gathering and beginning a discussion around the question; “Do you love Ghana?”
He enlightened the young participants about how as young people they have varying talents and abilities and as such made them very powerful. He also briefly spoke to them about Ghana’s history and founding fathers and the importance of patriotism for national development. He further explained to the youth, the objectives of the sessions they were about to engage in and how they can clean-up them.
The first session was led by Zainabu Mamley Adams, the founder of our University of Ghana campus chapter. She discussed with the participants the importance of personal development as young people. She spoke to them about constantly trying to grow in every aspect of your life. She further enlightened them about building their self-esteem and confidence as it would be vital playing a leadership role in Ghana’s development. She said branding yourself affects how people address or treat you. The students then discussed improving their identity, potential, and talents for enhancing their employability and standard of living. The final part of her session focused on helping the young people develop personal strategies that they can use , .
The next session was facilitated by Mr. Bright Fiatsi, an accountant and the co-founder of the Cheerful Hearts Foundation. His session was identifying your competencies for community development. He began his session by helping the participants to understand what was meant by competences and community development. He explained different abilities learned from experiences in school, at home or our communities’ exceptionally guided or equipped young people to do things well.
He stressed the importance of a unified body of community members bringing together their varying competencies to develop their community. He emphasized various ways young people can start various initiative starting from their homes and neighborhoods geared towards community development. He discussed with them the importance of not waiting for the government to take action on issues that affect them but have a mindset of love for their community and as such take the right steps to contribute to its development. He told them to always stand for what is right and get together with other like-minded young people to help develop Ghana starting from where they are and doing anything regardless of how small it may seem.
The final session was led by Mr. Freeman Ahegbebu, Community Solutions Program Alumni, and YALI alumni. This session was a group discussion and activities. The participants were grouped into five groups and they led their fellow students to discuss the following the topics:
Other discussions were on;
Mr. Freeman afterward led the students to gain an in-depth understanding of the various topics discussed.
After the event, the students were given snacks and spent some time engaging with the facilitators and the patriots Ghana team. The seminar is one many strategic initiatives of Patriots Ghana under the Youth Empowerment Project of the organization. In the past, Patriots Ghana through its campus chapters and national body has organized various event on National Volunteers Day. Volunteers have embarked on clean up exercises, donations to orphanages and clinics, reading clinics, educational talks and outreaches, etc.
Patriots Ghana as a registered non-profit non-governmental organization is committed to the mission of uniting all passionate and patriotic Ghanaian citizens and organizations, and empowering them to undertake meaningful projects in areas of: Health, Education, Human Rights, Research and Advocacy and Economic development, in order to improve the lives of the less privileged Ghanaian citizens and deprived communities.
Source: Emmanuel Yamoah
National Projects Manager.
Are you interested in investing in women empowerment with $15 or more?
Patriots Ghana in collaboration with Cheerful Hearts Foundation is fundraising to expand our successful girl’s skills training program to the Senya fishing community.
In 2014, Patriots in collaboration with the Cheerful Hearts Foundation launched a pilot women empowerment project in the fishing village of Nyanyano. This project, known as the fieldhouse project, consisted of building a small facility from which to launch girls vocational training. This project was a great success: the first class of 26 girls graduated proudly in bead making, sewing, creative art and Decoration with a breadth of life-changing entrepreneurial, leadership, and vocational knowledge. Now, Patriots is ready to expand this initiative into the Senya-Beraku fishing community. Similar to the conditions in Nyanyano, child labor is rampant in Senya-Beraku; unlike Nyanyano, child trafficking is also prevalent in Senya-Beraku. The expansion into Senya-Beraku is necessary and will equip girls with tools to provide for themselves financially through business as an alternative of child labor or trafficking.
Please, would you consider to donate and share with 3 friends today? Any little donation counts! Many thanks!
Click here to read more details on the donation page.
For the last Face to Face for the month,the #WeParticipate campaign was hosted at three schools in the Awutu Senya East District on Friday, 30th September. The schools were Atlantic Wesleyan College, Datus SHS and Africana SHS.
Similar to the other campaigns, the Campaign Ambassadors educated the students on the importance of voting and also standing for peace before during and after the elections in December. The introduction was done by Emmanuel Yamoah, to explain the purpose of the visit and introduce the project to the school. Afterwards, Oppong Nyantakyi engaged the students in an interactive session on the importance of voting. A good number of the students admitted that they would not be voting come December 7th due to various reasons. Some of reasons were the stressful nature of the electoral process, proximity of polling centres, indifference on the political party to vote for, among others.
At Atlantic Wesleyan College there were students from other African countries such as Liberia, Togo, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. They also shared their views on electoral processes in their countries. At Africana SHS, Emmanuel Yamoah and Sylvester Adjapong facilitated a role playing scenario with the students as initiated by Mamley Adams last week. Students voted for a leader of the class and the leader took an immediate decision for all to stand during the session. Staff, CA’s and the all the students obeyed the decision
Some of the students did not vote, others voted just because the candidates were their friends, and others wanted to vote twice. The ambassadors used the scenario to explain to the students how it’s important for every eligible voter to vote as decisions of the elected leader affects all. Ambassadors also illustrated the importance of voting for candidates that are capable and obeying electoral rules. Raymond Taku afterwards spoke to the students about the importance of peace and ensuring that every Ghanaian enjoys the peace in the country and tolerate each other.
Two students volunteered to be ambassadors at Datus SHS, and two at Atlantic Wesleyan College. In all 27 students were reached at Atlantic Wesleyan College, 17 at Datus SHS and 12 students at SHS . Therefore, in total, we reached 56 youths this week. All the student ambassadors were also presented with a lacoste and introduced to their roles.
Wherever you are, join the #WeParticipate campaign! Pledge to Vote! Pledge for Peace! Take a minute to sign the petition here: www.patriotsghana.org/petitionpledge/
On Friday, 16th September , 16 Campaign Ambassadors (CA’s) embarked on an outreach for the first Face to Face campaign of the #WeParticipate project. The schools visited, were Epinal Senior High School and Kempshot Business College. The CA’s engaged the students in a very interactive and youth friendly session on the importance of voting, and peace in Ghana as essential elements for development. They used various Scenarios to illustrate how voting during elections is the voice, a right and also a responsibility of every responsible Ghanaian voter.
They also engaged the students in an assessment of various variables that lead to destruction of peace, and political instability. Mr Zakiyu Iddris Tindannayil, a Zongo youth activist, social entrepreneur and YALI RLC alumni enlightened the youth about how political parties can influence young people to engage in electoral offence. He used various practical examples and personal experiences to explain how peace is an invaluable necessity for Ghana’s development and should never be compromised because of personal gains.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The students in both schools were given the opportunity to ask questions and they asked questions such as:
In Epinal SHS, the students raised concern about not having love for Ghana because of corruption, mismanagement of funds and lack of confidence in leaders. For some of them these were the reasons why they didn’t have interest voting.The CA’s did well to answer all questions without being biased towards any political party, ethnic group, sex, etc. They entreated the students to believe in themselves as leaders and be the change they want to see.
SCHOOL AMBASSADORS RECRUITED
To ensure sustainability and continuity the Campaign, the team recruited 4 student Campaign Ambassadors who would further educate and remind all students through monthly meet up sessions before, during and after the elections.
In all, 97 students, 4 student ambassadors and 9 teachers were reached. The teachers and administration were excited about the campaign and pledged to spread the word on voting and standing for peace. Many thanks to all our campaign ambassadors for their selfless and devoted service to helping educate the youth on civic rights and the essence of ensuring the peace of mother Ghana.
Wherever you are, join the #WeParticipate campaign! Pledge to Vote! Pledge for Peace! Take a minute to sign the petition here: www.patriotsghana.org/petitionpledge/