VSLA-CHILD (Ivory Coast)
The VSLA-CHILD project in Ivory Coast is a financial inclusion and child labour remediation scheme that aims to improve the savings culture, provide access to micro-credit, increase the gender awareness and provide a platform for child labour sensitization among cocoa farmers.
Update on Activities
The 29 VSLA groups formed under the project meet weekly to purchase shares, grant micro-credit (loans) to their members and repay their loans.
After the training of two representatives (GALS and Child Labour champions) from each group in the previous quarter, the groups have started their GALS and child labour training at the community level. The groups meet either before or after their weekly share purchase and loan meeting, depending on what works for them, to have the GALS training and child labour sensitization sessions using coloured anti-child labour facilitation flashcards designed and produced by PDA.
Out of a total of 196 loans whose purpose were declared, 85 of them were used for commerce which included buying fuel for retail, investment in shops, petty trading and operation of a cold store. 110 of the loans were used for farm-related expenses. A further breakdown of the farm-related expenses revealed that 81 loans were used to buy farm inputs, 25 of the loans were specifically to support rice farms, 2 loans were used to hire farm labour while the remaining loan in relation to farm-related expenses was invested in a vegetable farm. One of the loans was used to purchase an unspecified machine.
The GALS training was new for the VSLA group members. Even though some group members thought it was time wasting at the beginning, they have now wholeheartedly accepted it. Building a house seems to be the foremost vision of a majority of the group members.
Group members participating in a GALS training
ASASE Project VSLA-CHILD
As part of the implementation of the Accessible Soils And Sustainable Environments (ASASE) Project, PDA is expected to form 80 VSLA groups using the VSLA-CHILD Methodology to promote savings and provide access to small loans while offering training on gender and child labour to tackle the intersectional nature of climate change and poverty. The VSLA group formation is one of the 6 interventions under the ASASE project.
Update on Activities
All the 80 VSLA groups under the project have been formed with a total membership of 2064 farmers. 901 of the members are males and the remaining 1163 are females. During the third quarter, the groups met weekly to purchase shares, grant loans and repay their loans.
Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS) and Child labour training were organized at Agona Dukwa, New Edubiase, Suhum, Konongo and Samreboi for 160 GALS and Child Labour champions who were selected from the groups. After the intensive training of two representatives from each of the groups, the trained champions have started training their group members on GALS and child labour, with support from the project field officers.
On August 16th and August 17th 2022, two VSLA groups in the Assin Fosu and Nsokote districts were visited by clients of Beyond Beans.
Stephen Oduro from Dzinpa group in Topre in the Duakwa district took a loan to buy agrochemicals which he applied on his cocoa farm. He is very grateful to the group for the loan because he would have struggled to get the loan which would have been at a very high interest rate.
Joseph Sam, the husband of one of the GALS champions, testified at their VSLA meeting that he has seen notable positive changes in his wife after the GALS champions training
The Dzinpa VSLA group in Topre bought plastic chairs for their weekly VSLA meeting with part of their social fund. The chairman of Mawu Maa Pee VSLA group in Abrenya-Yohonu and the Purchasing clerk donated a table and wooden benches to the group to solve their chair deficit problem. The chairman of the group promised to add more benches to enable all the group members to sit comfortably during their group meetings.
It has emerged from the loan data that the top three reasons for loan request have been to expand existing business, farming-related expenditure and payment of school fees and other education-related expenses.
Dzinpa VSLA group at Topre displaying the plastic chairs purchased with their social fund
The table and wooden chairs donated by the chairman of Mau Maa Pee and the Purchasing clerk
First Loan meeting of Enigye VSLA group at Dwendwenase
First share purchase meeting of Adom bi Apue VSLA group Somdadieso
Record keeper of Nyame Nti VSLA group at Ankaa recording shares purchased in the group’s records book
GALS champions at Suhum drawing their group vision journey during the GALS and Child Labour champions training
GALS champions at Agona Duakwa drawing their symbols for money during the GALS and Child Labour champions training
Facilitation of Child Labour sensitization using flashcards during the GALS and Child Labour champions training
Group members drawing their symbols for numbers during GALS training
GALS training at the group level in Nyame Tease group at Pewodie in the Nsokote District
IAP VSLA-CHILD (IVORY COAST)
Nestlé’s Income Accelerator Program (IAP) is an initiative that seeks to improve the livelihood of cocoa farming households. PDA in partnership with Beyond Beans is using the VSLA-CHILD methodology to increase farmers’ access to microcredit, improve their savings culture and income diversity, increase their gender awareness and sensitivity, and sensitize them on child labour using coloured anti-child labour facilitation flashcards.
Update on Activities
Community entry for the formation of the VSLA groups was continued in July. Currently, 60 VSLA groups have been trained to elect their executives, draft their constitution and start purchasing shares. The groups meet weekly for share purchasing. First Loan meeting training, first loan repayment meeting training as well as GALS and Child Labour champions training will be done in the last quarter of 2022.
The target number of VSLA groups which were supposed to be formed under the project was exceeded. The interest in the project by farmer cooperative members and other community members from the selected communities was very high.
Share purchase meeting of Anouanze VSLA group at Mathiaskro
Share Purchase meeting of Abokoun VSLA group at N’gokro
Share purchase meeting of Passepanga VSLA group at Ble