The VSLA model, introduced by the Tree Aid Ghana, an NGO, is a community loan system where 20-30 people contribute small amounts of money over a period to enable them to take loans from the contribution to undertake viable economic ventures.
Mr Charles Atubiga, the Assemblyman for the area, at the annual VSLA meeting, said: “As a result of this intervention, domestic violence in this community has reduced drastically. Unlike in the past where I had to intervene to solve many domestic violence issues together with the DOVVSU, It is no longer so.
“The incidence has reduced drastically as a result of the economic empowerment of the women who have now become self-reliant and contributing to the upkeep of their homes”.
The Tree Aid Ghana, with its local partner, Community Self-Reliance Centre, organised and built the capacity of nine such groups made up of 254 people, comprising 224 females and 30 males.
Mr Atubiga lauded the efforts of the NGO and its partners for the initiative said the intervention had empowered many women to engage in economic activities such as shea processing, soap-making, malt and pito brewing and animal rearing.
He said apart from many of the VSLA group members being able to pay their children’s school fees, the model had also helped to forge a strong bond of unity among the community members.
The assemblyman called on the two organisations to build the capacity of the groups to expand their businesses and extend the model to other communities to empower more communities, particularly the women.
Mr Jonathan Naaba Anachem, the Project Officer of Tree Aid Ghana, commended the groups for contributing 66,569 Ghana cedis to be shared among them and entreated the members to use the money judiciously.
He said the NGO had empowered the community to implement the Natural Resource Management project to mitigate climate change, undertook tree and grass growing exercise to protect rivers and streams, as well engaging in mango grafting and pest management.
“Tree Aid Ghana has also supported some community members with Livestock, improved seeds and wells all geared towards ensuring the effective management of natural resources.
‘’I therefore urge you to work hard to stabilise the success story to help preserve the natural resources for posterity,” Naaba Anachem said.
By Samuel Akapule