During the first two weeks in March 2020, our CEO Chris Dunn visited our branches in Ghana.
His first stop was in Northern Ghana with our Tamale team of MENTORS. The mothers in this area are finding great success with our MENTORING and business training programs. Supported by small loans, these micro-enterprises being developed are achieving great things. These entrepreneurial women are also benefiting because of their proximity to the markets in Tamale.
These women are working together and supporting each other during their MENTORING and business training lessons. They know that when they pay back their loans, the money is then lent out to another mother to help and lift their community. They are very grateful for the financial solutions and support that the MENTORS Ghana team is providing. We observed that they are making great strides on their journey towards greater Self-Reliance.
Next, we arrived in Tolon, and visited with this amazing group of women who were eagerly waiting for us. We took time for personal introductions and conducted a group training session. The mothers were very gracious and anxious to continue to participate in the groups with micro-loan and training opportunities.
The remote villages of Tolon, are west of Tamale, and off the beaten path. It requires significant travel over dirt roads to get there. With little support, these women rely on Mentors Ghana and on each other to elevate themselves to higher levels of Self-Reliance. We were impressed with how committed they are to learning from our MENTORS and implementing our business teachings. They are women of integrity and honesty.
Next, we traveled to Walewale where we met with members of the loan group including the Center Chief (standing). Walewale is an area of tremendous poverty. It is located North of Tamale, and is a very remote area with great need.
We were impressed with the women and their dedicated work ethic. They were so gracious and grateful for our MENTORS that traveled so far to teach them.
When we arrived, we observed that they did not currently have a savings lockbox and had no real savings program established. We arranged for a lockbox to be purchased for them. They were so excited to begin their savings program. (Read about our successful savings program in Ghana.)
With the COVID-19 pandemic just beginning to take hold in Ghana during the tail end of our trip, we conducted a training and orientation exercise with masks and protective gloves and a lot of hand-sanitizer as a precaution! Our Abomosu team had a very productive training and orientation exercise. They are looking forward to receiving additional training and completing our online MENTORING certification course.
Shortly after this picture to the right was taken and our departure, Ghana went into full lockdown. Today our team of MENTORS are unable to go out to meet with individuals to MENTOR, teach, and collect or distribute loan funds. We are working on developing a modified approach to maintaining virtual contact and training with the individuals and families that we serve. There are many challenges as many of the remote villages have little to no access to cellphones, or the internet.