Productive inclusion at Darumpong: Beneficiaries receive 0% interest loan

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Productive inclusion at Darumpong: Beneficiaries receive 0% interest loan

The global policy conversation on how to address extreme poverty is shifting gradually from social protection to productive inclusion models. Rural Heights Foundation’s Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE) program, which is currently being implemented in Gomoa West ( a district with 22.6% poverty headcount) is an example of this paradigm shift. The program is designed to assist aged women in agriculture to diversify their income sources, by building alternative value chains in trading, agro-processing and eco-tourism.

Program participants were targeted and selected through a structured process that involved use of macro-level data obtained from Ghana Poverty Map 2015. On April 5, 2017 trained RHF volunteers conducted interviews after having screened summary proposals from 40 applicants.

Following a thorough review and approval, the first batch of beneficiaries received payments on April 27, for investment into alternative value chains. Among proposals approved was that of a 63 year old widow whose dream was to start a Banku and Tilapia business to supplement her income from a 2-acre cassava farm. The program also involved skills training for program participants.

 

Although impact assessment data (see report by CDD Ghana) for social protection programs such as Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) suggests cause-effect linkages with school enrolment and access to basic health care, the urgent imperative to ensure fiscal prudence requires that Government of Ghana  rethink the current paradigm of poverty reduction programming in a manner that balance responsibility with sustainability. In this regard Rural Heights Foundation is showing the way and demonstrating that indeed, what the poor needs are lessons in fishing instead of handing out to them baskets of fish.

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