“The story of my growing up with my mother in the market place and her friends awaked me to the fact that the poor who are able and willing to change their lives can do so if given access to basic finance with flexible repayment plans”.
I grew up from a poor home with nine (9) other siblings and single-handedly taken care of by a mother who farmed and traded concurrently. Hard as she worked, she could only provide just enough to feed us. As the situation became quite unbearable, the older siblings checked themselves out of the family house. Incidentally I was the only one who showed progress in my academic reports so she promised to take care of my education at all cost. I also offered to give my mother a hand in her trading activities after school and this continued till my high school.
During such times in the markets, I could see how majority of these traders including my mum run after moving vehicles supposed to have arrived from the villages with food stuffs, etc so that they can get some to sell in other to provide the evening meal for the five of us remaining in the house. There was no money to buy immediately from these village merchants so most of them just like my mother will collect items to sell whilst the village merchant sits next to her.
She was forced on several occasions to sell below the market prices if the merchant felt is taking too long to sell. The merchant then takes all the proceeds and gives commissions to my mother. My mother will then take whatever is given to her sometimes amidst some insults. This however changed when in a raining season around June 1989; a man offered my mum a loan of up to (GH¢10.00) $2.50. I could distinctively remember the tears of joy from my mother eyes. Now she was able to buy immediately from the village merchants and sell them at the market value. She was able to pay the man back even though it was at 100% interest rate.
The man gave her another one and so, till she needed it no more. Through her savings, she was able to take care of my other siblings and myself especially even up to the University level. All these were made possible through that micro loan from that man. My mother is now 75 years old and lives in her own seven bed room house.
This situation of my mother motivated me to set up this foundation with the help of like minded individuals to provide the basic training, financial and social support to these vulnerable women who are able and willing to work to enhance their lives and that of their families.