Savings and loan schemes empower women in cocoa-producing communities

Over 6,000 women in cocoa-growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire have been empowered to improve their living conditions and that of their families through Village Savings and Loan schemes.

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.

Celebrating success

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.

Mrs Dao Gabala (first left) ISB member Solidaridad and Cissé Ahmadou, Solidaridad Country Representative (second from right and) with the association awards receivers. 

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.