Friday, February 11, 2011

Pictures and Memories

 Here is a picture of the very first credit union we visited. Wa Community Credit Union serves over 9000 members in the town of Wa. They are very proactive in micro-lending with a portfolio of over $700,000 dedicated to assisting small groups to access money for various purposes. Some groups have joined efforts to borrow for a tractor to assist them with farming. What is unique and very inspirational is the fact that they also have field agents that work with the borrowers. Simply lending them money is not where it stops, they provide them education on numerous topics. Financial literacy is the biggest topic. Members who receive micro-lending products are taught a series of lessons on good financial management. They are also taught skills in bookkeeping and banking so that they can understand how credit is granted and the importance of good credit.

We had the opportunity to meet a lady who is living proof of the success of this program. She received a small loan to assist her in buying a few items in which she could sell. This process continued with several loans as she expanded her business to now having a very successful boutique. It was a pleasure meeting her and as she describes it, she wouldn't be in the financial position she is in now if it were not for her credit union. As a woman in Ghana, it is very difficult to ascertain financing, however the credit union is there without this stigma, and these success stories are very common :).

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