Ghana (MNN) — Three years ago, setting aside money for financial independence seemed impossible for Gladys–a single mom in Ghana–because there was never enough.
But thanks to Compassion International and the local church, impossible dreams are coming true. Gladys launched her own business a month ago and has since been able to save 110 Ghanaian Cedi (GHc), or roughly $27 USD.
Struggling to survive
Haunted by tragedy, Gladys was widowed twice and left to care for five children on her own. It would seem trading would provide a sustainable income in Kasoa (“market” in Hausa), but Gladys soon found it wasn’t enough.
She tried selling all sorts of things, from secondhand clothing to vegetables to fried doughnuts, but could never achieve financial independence. Then, Gladys met the Compassion Ghana team and their local church partners.
Two of Gladyss’ children were placed in Compassion’s child sponsorship program, and the family began receiving short-term support from Compassion’s Highly Vulnerable Children (HVC) fund.
“The relief HVC has brought to our house is great,” one of Gladys’s daughters, Paulina, told Compassion recently. “Most times the items the project gives us are so much, my mother sends some to my brother who is in secondary school and in the boarding house.”
As the HVC provides for immediate needs like food, clothing, and shelter, it empowers caregivers so they don’t become dependent on a program. After three years of training and investment, Gladys and 10 other caregivers in Kasoa are “graduating” from the HVC program.
Attaining financial independence
In the beginning, caregivers were taught how to identify activities that would generate income: selling fresh garlic, in Gladys’s case. They were also trained in basic record keeping, stocking, and the importance of saving.
After they had identified an income-generating activity and completed their lessons, caregivers were given a small grant to launch their business.
“Life is better for me and my children, and business has improved,” Gladys told Compassion.
“I have even been able to save more than GHc100 in a short period, something I have never done in all my life of selling until now. This is because of the training we have received. Now, I know how to better manage my small business.”
Most importantly, Gladys and her family have heard about Christ, the One who can provide for ALL their needs.
After almost three years of hard work, the time has come for Gladys and the other caregivers to transition out of the HVC intervention and into financial independence. Mariam Conney, the account clerk for Transform CDC, is optimistic that all 10 caregivers will be well-equipped to exit HVC with ease.