Accra, Ghana: In November 2009, Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA), an African founded organization, initiated a microfinance program to support the non bankable and deprived women in Southern Ghana.
Created by Hayford Siaw, VPWA engages the services of global volunteers to undertake various humanitarian and development projects in Ghana and West Africa. The mission of VPWA is to assist struggling West African communities with solution oriented activities and advice through empowering disadvantaged local people to be change agents in their communities.
Within ten months of the commencement of the VPWA Microfinance project, the initiative has supported 40 women with micro loans ranging from $50- $180. The project uses the group lending methodology where a group of four needs to be formed and members serves as solidarity for each other. Before the loan is given, the applicants attend a two week financial literacy class. The literacy class empowers the women with financial management practices, marketing strategies and simple accounting practices.
A total approximate of $7200 has been given out in loans in the last ten months from VPWA own internally generated resources. Thirty-three women received an initial first round of loans and repaid on time leaving a repayment rate of 100%. Currently there are 40 women beneficiaries. Seven have received their 1st loans and 33 have received their 2nd round loans.
‘’In a country with a population of 22 million with 44.8% living below $1/day and 78.5% living below $2/day, there is no doubt micro loans like those embarked upon by VPWA is a significant step towards reducing poverty in Ghana’’ says Hayford Siaw, Executive Director of VPWA.
In line with its commitment to offer opportunity for the global audience who cannot arrive here to volunteer their time on the project, VPWA is creating an online social platform, that will allow individuals, philanthropy groups in churches and corporations from around the world to lend towards specific group of women, that will be profiled on its website. In line with this, VPWA has delegated our ICT Consultant, Mr. Rui Oliveira, a UN Online Volunteer, the task to raise 500 Euros Donations to help us to implement this project.
The solution to implement this platform is based on the Idea of a Community, where we want to aggregate and manage all the Microfinance projects and the persons that are responsible for them; it will be possible anytime, from anywhere, to see all the Microfinance projects we are dealing with, and how much funds have been obtained for each project, it will be possible, for those that are registered, to exchange experiences, via private messages, or even chat between members, there will be, as well, the possibility for each member to Post their Ads, and the usual functionalities offered by a Social Website.
The value mentioned above is related with: copyrights of the Community Software kernel that has been chosen, Fund Raise module, Advert module, Design template, Chat module, and one year Support from the developer company, all the manpower will be supplied freely, as it is implicit to the quality of Volunteering.
VPWA Microfinance on TV = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USTBIWlcQS0
Scene from VPWA Office = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYy0GM1Q1js
How Loan disbursement is done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfnwTph2RJ8&NR
VPWA donation to Health Clinic in Ghana = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT-nCaDnkns