The Light of Hope Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) working at Sumbrungu-Asoegoom in the Bolgatanga Municipality has set up poverty reduction scheme to empower rural women and reduce poverty.
The NGO has supported and empowered 79 rural and vulnerable women and children through microfinance and loans programme to venture into income generating activities such as; basket weaving, craftwork, shea butter production and other petty trading activities.
The humanitarian non-profit organisation, established in 2011, was aimed at easing the financial burden and improve livelihoods of vulnerable rural women in Sumbrungu through economic empowerment, entrepreneurial development and income generating opportunities.
These came to light during a Ghana News Agency interview with Mr Elias Ayinbila Apasiya, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation on the sidelines of the celebration of its 2019 festival at Sumburungu-Asoegoom.
The festival, was characterised by cultural dance performance, and was supported by a team of health personnel who provided free health screening on various disease conditions to the people.
Mr Apasiya told the GNA the foundation started with seven people eight years ago to provide a platform for the vulnerable, alleviate them from financial difficulties and improve on their lives as the poverty situation in the area was high.
The CEO explained that the group started with only GHC10.00 as a recycle loan facility, where the women traded with it by loaning it out to one person to undertake an economic activity for one month with little interest to benefit others.
He Founder said through this rotation, most of the women were empowered into basket weaving, while others were into shea butter processing among other activities to generate income.
He hoped to extend the support to other communities and appealed to government and other stakeholders to invest in the straw industry to make it readily available for basket production.
The women commended the founder and other donors who supported them over the years.
Mrs Atafila Akaribo, a beneficiary and leader of the group said the intervention relieved them of extreme poverty and provided them with alternative sources of income to improve on their lives.“The group has given us opportunities to be self-employed through the support and training.”
She however appealed to government to project the local baskets to attract and retain markets, and international avenues should be provided to exhibit their handicrafts and attract global patronage.
Madam Teni Ayamga, another beneficiary said the NGO united them, brought stability, peace and love in their respective families, as they contributed towards the upkeep of their families.