By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Accra, April 16, 2016 (GNA) – Women groups at Sang in the Mion District of the Northern Region, have lauded the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) scheme for being a reliable source of funding for their business activities.
VSLA is a scheme through, which a group of 15-25 people save together and take loans at low interest rates from the savings as well as share the accumulated savings and loan profits after a year.
In November 2013, the Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS), a non-governmental organisation, in partnership with Canadian Feed The Children, as part of its sustainability steps, introduced the VSLA scheme to the Sang community.
So far, six out of nine women’s groups taking part in the VSLA scheme have qualified for the second time to share their accumulated savings and loan profits.
The VSLA scheme forms part of the Integrated Community Empowerment Programme (INCOME) being implemented by RAINS to enhance women’s access to credit facilities to ensure that they become financially independent to care for the needs of their children.
Madam Mustapha Ayi, Magazia (Leader) of Gub-Katimali Women’s Group, who spoke during the sharing out of the accumulated savings and loan profits at Sang, said the VSLA scheme had helped women in the area to start their own business ranging from food processing to petty trading.
Madam Ayi said other women also took loans to pay admission fees of their children to enroll in senior high schools.
Madam Ayi, a rice processor and corn flour seller, said she would use the proceeds realised from the VSLA scheme to expand her business to generate more income to take care of her family.
Madam Ayishetu Alhassan, Secretary of Gub-Kadikpema Women’s Group, said she would use her proceeds from the savings to buy rice and other farm produce and stock them to sell at a time when the produce is in short supply in the market.
Ms Gloria Wusufor Akugri, Project Officer at RAINS in-charge of the INCOME Programme said “RAINS believes that the VSLA has not only served its objective of enhancing women’s access to credit but also provided a remarkable platform on which women’s skills are enhanced and the education of their children assured”.
Ms Akugri said RAINS would be rolling out the next cycle of the VSLA scheme in the Zoosali community in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality this year to enable more women to benefit.