Investing in growth
Through Village Savings and Loan schemes, Solidaridad trained rural women in sound financial management and supported them to gain access to credit from financial institutions. This has helped the women in cocoa-growing communities funnel needed capital into their businesses, providing a source of livelihood.
Solidaridad is implementing the Village Savings and Loans schemes as part of the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme, which seeks to promote sustainable productivity, profitability and competitiveness of the cocoa sector in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Since its inception, Solidaridad has contributed to the establishment of 251 associations in 475 communities in Côte d’Ivoire.
Solidaridad and the Women in Cocoa and Chocolate Network organized an event to celebrate 35 women beneficiaries for their enormous contributions and engagements for the success of their VSLA groups.
The chairperson of the Solidaridad International Supervisory Board, Madam Dao Gabala was present at the event. Others included Minister of Women, Family and Children of Côte d’Ivoire Professor Ramata Ly-Bakayokoname; Netherlands Ambassador in Cote d’Ivoire Yvette Daoud and representatives from the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment.
“Solidaridad, as a farmer-first oriented organization, believes that given the right opportunities and support, women, especially in rural areas, can play a key role in supporting and improving their families livelihoods,” says Madam Dao Gabala.
She thanked the government of Côte d’Ivoire for its dedication in fighting poverty. She assured Solidaridad’s continuous support to the government’s agenda to empower women and lift them out of poverty.
Building a savings culture
Through the Village Savings and Loans scheme, Solidaridad is helping nurture a savings culture and entrepreneurship in women and other farmers in cocoa producing communities. The scheme also empowers women to achieve financial inclusion and enhances their participation in development at the community level.
The scheme has empowered women in our communities” -Oulai Angele, Village Savings and Loan Association ambassador
The event awarded three associations for best income-generation, organizational structure and highest fund mobilization. Ultimately, the Village Savings and Loans schemes are creating opportunities for women and the marginalized to participate in and benefit from development processes.