Your support means that women can take control of their incomes, build new businesses, and change everything for their children
Most women in rural areas of Ghana do not have the same opportunities to earn income as men. That’s why your support to help women start and sustain farming businesses has been so transformative. Jennifer and Esther are two women living in northern Ghana who once faced extreme food insecurity and poverty. As mothers, both of them struggled to provide food for their children and were determined to make a change. Here’s how they were able to transform their lives.
CERTIFIED SEEDS SPROUTED CHANGE FOR ESTHER AND HER CHILDREN
“I sometimes shed tears in my room, not knowing what to do.”
Losing her husband was one of the greatest struggles of Esther’s life - made even harder by the fact that she had difficulty feeding their four children. When she thought of the low yields of her crops due to climate change, the lack of income, and the cost of the children’s education, she would become overwhelmed.
But Esther’s life began to change when she joined with her neighbours to attend regular community meetings in their home in northern Ghana. It was there that she learned of a program run by CFTC partner TradeAID and supported in part by Unifor which was helping women like her establish small livestock businesses and improve their farms. She was selected to participate and received 3 sheep at first, but her fortunes really turned around when she received certified seeds in late 2018.
The seeds were a game changer for her farm. They required just one seed per hole rather than the traditional two or more. The climate-resilient seeds matured quickly and she was able to increase her millet yields from half a bag to four bags per acre, and increase her maize from three to eight bags per acre. She also received training and supplies to maximize her farm’s production, including best practice in fertilizer application and row planting.
“With the certified seeds, a farmer’s sweat will not go in vain,” Esther told us.
Today Esther’s profits are growing as fast as her crops, thanks to her participation in a savings and loan group. She no longer worries about her children’s meals or the cost of their education.
“The children now eat nutritious meals - they do not have to be hungry before they eat. These services brought smiles to me and my entire family. Thank you for the support!”
JENNIFER’S LIVESTOCK CHANGED HER LIFE, THANKS TO YOUR SUPPORT
Jennifer and her husband in the Upper East Region of Ghana spent much of their time trying to find ways to stretch the family meals for their three children. Jennifer rationed portion sizes carefully and reduced the number of daily meals per day, but it still wasn’t enough to stop them going hungry.
The family depended on the income from the family farm, which was struggling. They could only afford to send their eldest child to school, and even then, she would stay home frequently when they couldn’t afford school fees, books and uniforms. Jennifer was determined to make a change for her family.
She learned of a program in her area run by TradeAID and supported generously by Unifor. She could increase her farm’s productivity and earn more income through a new venture: basket weaving. Jennifer took full advantage of the opportunity, and was also selected by her community to receive goats. It was a life-changing moment.
“Raising animals has changed my life more significantly than I could have ever imagined,” she told us. “Our tradition did not permit a woman to own property of that nature.”
But this didn’t stop Jennifer. She eagerly took to the training on veterinary care, proper feeding, housing and vaccination. Since she started the project in 2016, her herd has grown from 3 goats to 18. She has sold 10 over the years to pay school feels for all her children, renew their health insurance and most importantly, provide regular, healthy meals. Any leftover income is now saved and grown through her village savings and loan association.
With a diversified income and financial stability, Jennifer and her husband are looking forward to a bright future for their children.
“I am working hard to ensure they become responsible citizens who contribute meaningfully to this community and beyond,” she says proudly. “I would like to thank you for the goats, training and other interventions you have supported us with!”
YOUR SUPPORT MADE IT POSSIBLE
None of this transformative change would have been possible without the support of the Unifor Social Justice Fund and the generous gifts of caring CFTC supporters like you. Thank you for standing with Jennifer, Esther and thousands of women around the world who are leading the fight to end child poverty and hunger.